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Oral history interview of Frank Medina. Interview conducted by Andrew D. Ortiz at the University of Central Florida on June 29, 2017.


0:01 Introduction; 0:22 Biographical information; 0:48 Childhood in Puerto Rico and Connecticut, influence of church; 3:20 High school education; 4:48 Grandfather in the Borinqueneers, hearing stories as a child; 6:35 Other family in the military; 7:02 Influence of grandfather to join the military; 7:52 Influence to join the Army over other branches, interest in engineering; 8:41 Applying for Coast Guard and West Point academies; 9:46 First day at basic training for U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School; 11:18 Emotions of first day and drill sergeants; 13:30 Memories from basic training; 14:35 Wearing a shirt inside-out; 15:55 Staying in touch with fellow trainees; 17:32 Memories from graduation; 19:04 Basic training at West Point, impact of both basic trainings; 22:34 Differences between basic trainings; 26:00 Rituals and traditions; 26:55 Becoming a "Plebe", West Point hierarchy; 29:20 Studying electrical engineering at West Point, other classes; 33:13 Four years at West Point; 35:58 First class to have phones in rooms, staying in contact with family; 37:30 Computers with TV cards, reading newspaper and briefings at breakfast; 39:12 Graduation, bicentennial class & first graduating class after 9/11; 42:45 Memories of 9/11, watching on TV; 46:20 Signal corps officer basic course, first duty station in South Korea; 47:50 Job as platoon leader in South Korea; 48:42 Joining the Signal Communication Corps; 50:58 Getting his first choice of post, receiving the insignia; 52:42 Wanting to leave quickly to go to Honduras; 52:50 Reactions to US invasion of Iraq; 56:36 Duty station in Honduras, traveling in Central America; 59:32 Tried to extend time in Honduras, sent to Fort Hood, TX; 1:01:06 Wanting to deploy to Iraq, trying to find a unit; 1:04:00 Time at Ft. Hood, returning to the U.S. after Honduras; 1:05:48 Signal Officer for Medical Battalion in Iraq, digitalizing medical records; 1:09:52 Challenges, kept in touch with battalion commander; 1:10:50 End of Iraq deployment; 1:12:25 Wouldn't change anything; 1:13:42 Changes in the Army; 1:14:22 Education after the military; 1:16:47 Work with Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Project; 1:21:02 Thoughts on his experience in Iraq and the military; 1:27:47 Closing comments.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Ponce (P.R.)





Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

Signal Communications Corps

Location of Service

Iraq; Korea; Honduras; Fort Hood (Tex.)

Highest Rank

Captain; CPT

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Bronze Star Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Commendation Medal


Was Communications officer and S6 Signal Officer.


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth

Puerto Rico


Ortiz, Andrew

Interview Date

Summer 6-29-2017

Location of Interview

Orlando, FL.


Medina, Frank; 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


Ortiz, Andrew

Length of Interview

89 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida


Video; MovingImage


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