59-Year-Old Veteran Reenlists, Headed Out to Basic
- Joey Upper
Staff Sgt. Monte L. Gould might be more machine than man.
This June, Gould reportedly headed back out to basic combat training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, according to the Army Times. He’s 59 years old.
The former Marine and civil affairs soldier nearly had enough years to retire when he was last in the armed forces in 2009. Now, however, he’s ready for round 2.
The Army Times reports that after his civilian job calmed down, he began the year-long process to reenlist in the Army Reserves. He wants to be eligible for retirement, and he wants the chance to give back to the younger troops — which should be just about all of them.
“It’s kind of cool that they get to see somebody who is 59 and isn’t all fat, beat up with diabetes and on their death bed,” Gould said. He still reportedly rucks around with 50 pounds for seven miles a week and practices martial arts.
Gould tells it like he sees it.
“If I’m lucky, I got 20 more years and then I drop dead,” Gould said.
“To me, this is a last hurrah. To have the opportunity to serve again is a thrill. I’m looking down the gun barrel at 60, and I know all the health problems that come after that.”
He’s having to ship back to basic because he’s been out of the military for so long. However, he will retain his staff sergeant rank, and will still be able to wear his combat patches.
Gould lost 45 pounds for this adventure he’s embarked on, and shortly he’s going to be serving in the same Reserve unit as his son, working in civil affairs once again.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command spokeswoman Lisa Ferguson noted that this is unusual, but that’s Gould’s not the oldest to get back on the horse.
“Amazingly this 59-year-old is NOT the oldest person to go through basic,” she said according to the Army Times. “In July 1999, a 68-year-old shipped to basic training.”
We wish him and his son the best.
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