John Carson grew up in St. James, Minnesota, and joined the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1998 when he was 17. (He went to basic training the summer between his junior and senior year of high school.)

Carson joined the Minnesota National Guard as a private E1, and is currently still serving in the Minnesota Army National Guard with the rank of sergeant first class E7.

During the years of 2003-2004, Carson was deployed to Mildenhall, England, to help support the Air Force under Operation Enduring Freedom. From 2005-2007, he was deployed to Iraq under Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2010-2012 he was under orders to help support in Rear Det Operations while the 1BCT deployed to Kuwait.

When asked if he had any thoughts to share about the war or what he learned about life, Carson replied, “The biggest thing I have learned is that no matter what you’re doing it is always beneficial to have good people by your side. We all look out for each other.”

Carson works for the Disabled American Veterans as an event planner/coordinator to help get veterans back into the outdoors or back to doing things they once loved but are no longer able to do by themselves anymore. He helped start the Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota’s outdoors program to help get this accomplished.

Carson has a 4-year-old son whom he enjoys raising and spending his time with.

The medals and special commendations Carson earned are:

-Combat Action Badge
-Meritorious Unit Citation
-Army Commendation Medal
-4 Army Achievement Medals
-Iraq Campaign Medal with 2 Campaign Stars
-Army Good Conduct Medal
-Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal
-National Defense Service Medal
-Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
-Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon
-Army Service Ribbon
-Overseas Service Ribbon
-Armed Forces Reserve Medal

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)