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Oral History interview of Xavier Rojas. Interview conducted by Sidman, Evan at Veteran's Residence.


0:53 Born in the Bronx, NY at Jacoby Hospital in 1984; 1:29 Moved to Florida on a whim in about 2000; 2:41 Came to Florida with his mother; she worked at Disney; 3:19 Twin Towers was catalyst for joining the military; 3:52 Lost a few people he knew in the towers; 4:40 Doesn't necessarily feel he got what he wanted out of enlistment; 7:24 Processed for the military at MEPS in Tampa; 7:40 Met a man at work who just recently joined the Army and recommended he do the same; 8:13 Met with a recruiter with all intents of joining the Army; 11:00 Chose the Army because his uncle is also in the Army; 11:28 Completed training and went to the desert right away; 13:04 It wasn't hard adjusting to military life because he's from New York and feels he was built for war; 14:00 Some people weren't cut for the military because they joined for the wrong reasons; 15:40 The food in the Army was good and soldiers were fed well; 16:22 Army maintained low sugar diet for soldiers; 16:48 Considers it a good experience overall in the Army and especially enjoyed the camaraderie; 17:22 Feels he wasn't totally informed of his actual duties before joining the service; 17:57 Served at Camp Liberty in Iraq; 18:15 Did more training before being deployed to Iraq; 18:55 Getting orders to go to Iraq wasn't the best feeling; 20:21 Groups formed while going on missions and everybody watched out for each other; 20:40 Soldiers had recreational time aside from missions; 21:11 Hearing bombs go off was a regular occurrence; 21:30 Made friends while in the military, some are still enlisted; 21:50 Didn't lose any soldiers close to him while deployed; 22:35 Used phones while deployed to contact family and had access to technology while deployed; 23:24 Not everyone had the same electronic luxuries that he had; 25:40 Had decent recreation time but wasn't allowed to drink; 27:40 Osama's death was a big landmark for the war but the story wasn't told correctly; 29:20 Never got the closure he expected; 31:20 Being in the military improved his life overall, but it wasn't the same for everyone; 33:08 Still maintains contact with his veteran friends; 33:58 Feels that the war affected him in a positive way despite having minor sleep issues; 35:08 Every soldier in the Army had a different experience based on their roles and duties.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Bronx (N.Y.)




White - Hispanic

Home State

New York

War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army National Guard

Unit of Service

53rd Infantry, 106th Field Division;53rd Infantry 1016 Field Artillery

Location of Service


Highest Rank

Private First Class; PFC; Corporal; CPL

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury







Logistics, Networking


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Sidman, Evan

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Veteran's Residence


Rojas, Xavier; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. National Guard

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Sidman, Evan

Length of Interview

36 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type