Crossing the border from Kuwait to Iraq was like going from day
to night for 28-year-old Daniel Alexander.
The climate was the same – hot and dry – but in Iraq there were
children sitting on the sides of the streets begging for food and
water. The cement buildings were stifling, with few or no windows
and no air conditioning.
Alexander was sent to Kuwait with the United States Army in
February 2003 and then to Iraq in March 2003.
“It felt like I was doing something good for a country that
needed help,” Alexander said.
People, especially children, would cheer for the U.S. soldiers
as they drove through the streets throwing food and water to them,
“Kids are cute no matter where you go,” he said.
It was hard for Alexander to see the children living in such
harsh conditions because he has a 7-year-old daughter of his
“It definitely pulls at your heart strings,” he said.
Alexander was a network controller in Iraq. He managed a voice
and data network in nine locations in three countries. His job was
to provide the military with voice and data capabilities such as
the Internet and phone.
As a soldier, Alexander has generally been welcomed home warmly.
Most of the criticisms he has seen are of President Bush and the
war, but not of the soldiers themselves. He said he thinks the
media focuses too much on the negative aspects of the war, such as
fatalities, when there are many positive projects being done in
Iraq, such as building schools and roads.
“I think a lot of the people against the war don’t understand
what’s going on over there,” he said.
After being in the Army for 10 years, Alexander has seen a large
portion of the world. He has been stationed in Germany, Poland and
He met his wife, Micky, in Korea in 1995. He said he is glad he
joined the Army because it gave him a chance to understand the
hardships others face and appreciate the freedoms he enjoys as a
Being in the military has taught Alexander about teamwork and
leadership and has helped him focus on finishing his liberal arts
Alexander, a senior, received a two-year scholarship to CSU.
He will be returning to active duty when he graduates. He wants
to earn his degree so he can be commissioned as an officer.
Maj. Heather Herrera, a recruiting officer and one of
Alexander’s instructors at CSU, said he is a very determined
student and is excellent at time management skills and balancing
his roles as a father, husband and student.
“He’s very prepared,” Herrera said. “You can always count on him
if something falls through.”
Alexander has a different perspective than the average student
who has not served in the military, she said. He gives the other
military sciences students a real world perspective instead of just
an academic one.
“He knows what it’s like to be in a stressful environment, and
he keeps everyone laid-back,” said Cadet Jamie Anderson, a senior
equine science major who knows Anderson through the ROTC. “He’s a
gentlemen. He’s very sweet; he’ll listen when you want to talk, but
he gets things done. He gives 100 percent all the time.”