Major (Retired) Francis J. Paronish, Jr. is our March 2015 Citizen of the Month. He has proudly served his country both in the United States and overseas. A quiet, unassuming family man of few words who modestly underplays his sacrifices, he was a perfect candidate to highlight for our readers. We appreciate his service and all he has given up to protect all of us. We salute you, Sir!
Q: Why did you decide to join the military, and what inspired you to do it? Did you enjoy it?
A: I wanted to serve my country. My Father was serving when I was born and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I enjoyed some of life in the military. Military life is difficult and stressful, more so than most civilian jobs. Military life has its good points and its bad points, and it requires a special kind of person to get through it. Military life requires a dedication from both the Service member and his/her family which is seen by no other job. Service in the Military is often in some of the most austere conditions one can fathom. Operations in these conditions must continue regardless of the personal hardship.
Q: Where all were you stationed? How did you like moving to different areas and seeing new cultures and meeting new people?
A: I was stationed in Manchester, NH; Ames, IA; St. Louis, MO; Ft. McCoy, WI; Afghanistan; Ft. Bragg, NC.
I mostly enjoyed moving to different places, and meeting new people. Some people and places were better than others. It was interesting that some places and people were so very different. People in the northeast are more harried and rude than people in the mid-west.
Q: What kind of impact did this have on you and your family?
A: I think this enriched my family; it has allowed us to see many different places and lifestyles. It also allowed us to make friends in many different places. I have noticed throughout all of this that many people tend to stay in the place where their family is or where they grew up and they don’t experience anything else. Many live and work in one place throughout their lives and then when they retire, they buy an RV in order to travel around to see the Country.
Q: Are you satisfied with what you have accomplished thus far?
A: I am absolutely satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. I have always been dedicated to doing my best at whatever I set out to do and I think that I have done that. This is a value which was instilled in me by my Dad.
Q: What plans do you have for the future?
A: I am embarking on my “second career”. I intend to work for another ten years and then retire for good.
Q:What second career are you doing?
A: I am looking for contract management work in the civilian work world.
Q: Why do you think people should join the Military?
A: People join the military for many reasons. The main reason that people should join the military is to satisfy a desire to serve their country. If this desire does not exist, neither the Service member nor the military will benefit.
Q: Tell us a little more about your position in the military.
A: I started out in ROTC and joined the Army Reserves in 1988 while in college, then went active duty as an officer after college. I was a Major when I retired.
Q: What do you think of Human Diaries?
A: Human Diaries is a great way for people to see different facets of humanity!