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Oral history interview with Carlos Merced. Interview conducted by John Grande in Orlando, Florida on July 20, 2017.


0:25 Birthplace and year, family, childhood; 1:38 Schooling, from Puerto Rico to Iowa; 3:39 Family in the military, culture shock in Iowa; 5:50 Influence for enlisting and why the Army, testing and training; 6:58 A lot of advance training, COMSAT, stationed in Panama; 7:34 Left the Army, school, Iowa National Guard, medical battalion; 8:21 Remembering the beginning of Desert Storm, leaving to Iraq; 9:22 Journey to Saudi Arabia and Iraq, pictures he took, cartoonist from unit; 11:38 Staying in touch with friends, attached to hospital from Germany; 12:45 Talking to a recruiter and his dad, MOS, storing assets with friends; 15:03 Basic Training, older than most recruits, Drill Sergeants, rumors; 16:28 AIT, like being in college, Georgia compared to Iowa; 17:26 Basic at Fort Jackson, SC, Drill Sergeants, father and graduation; 19:26 Experiencing firearms the first time, loved firearms, Fort Jackson; 21:16 Panama, stationed at Howard and Clayton bases, assignment and duty; 22:54 Favorite place: Guatemala, money there, certificates he received; 24:25 Signal Communications, preparing for Guatemala, hostile country; 27:18 Living it up in Guatemala, gun shots while working at a clinic; 29:05 Seeing how humanitarian aid works, third world country, translating; 31:03 Going to Desert storm with National Guard, certificates he received; 32:23 Saudi Arabian airport, training at Fort McCoy, WI, flying to Middle East; 35:16 KKMC, desert heat, waiting on vehicles and story from Merchant Mariners; 37:25 Desert Shield to Storm, assigned to hospital from Germany, preparing; 40:00 Stories of injured soldiers he witnessed, MPs and POWs; 43:05 Story of Iraqi-American fighting for Iraq, conditions in Iraq; 45:13 Rotation delays, coming back to finish degree, culture shock overseas; 46:57 Returning to the States; 48:33 Looking for work, becoming a corrections officer; 50:10 From military to civilian, PTSD, serving in the same unit as his father; 52:19 Meeting fellow military personal, Honduras and hurricane Mitch; 53:40 Military guys working at prisons, from engineers to core support; 56:15 Clearance to work with communications and the technology, how it worked; 58:09 Making the Trip from Kuqait to Bagdad, prison co-works there and story; 1:00:06 Meeting international soldiers, driving in Kuwait, working with unknowns; 1:01:45 Leaving his kids, staying in contact, shows pictures from Camp Victory; 1:05:46 Easier the second time in Iraq, advising others, curious about going out; 1:07:14 Meeting other NG units from other states, homesick and contacting family; 1:08:00 Having connections and a cellphone; 1:09:01 Back to Honduras and work there, coming back from Iraq the second time; 1:11:32 Moving up in the Bureau of Prisons, training for new position; 1:13:18 Taking a break after retirement, retirement for federal employees, jobs; 1:15:52 Opportunity to travel while working for prisons, different prisons Events he witnessed while working in a prison; 1:19:24 How his military background helped, family, retirement benefits End of Interview.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Humacao (P.R.)




White - Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

HHD 101st Troop Command, PRNG

Location of Service

Howard Air Force Base (Panama); Guatemala; Fort McCoy (Wis.); Honduras; Iraq; Kuwait; Dominic Republic

Highest Rank

Sergeant; SGT

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Desert Storm


National Defense Service Medal; Overseas Service Ribbon; Army Commendation Medal


Specialize in signal and communication.


Awarded Army Advancement Medal seven times. Awarded Army Commendation Medal eight times.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

Puerto Rico


Grande, John

Interview Date

Fall 7-20-2017

Location of Interview

Orlando, FL.


Merced, Carlos F.; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

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


Grande, John

Length of Interview

81 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 & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type