COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (WTVA) — Mike Sprouse remembers his experience serving in Operation Desert Storm.
"It was an interesting time. Stressful on everyone even though a lot of times people didn't show the stress," said Sprouse.
Sprouse teaches pilots at Columbus Air Force Base, but in the early 1990s, he was one of many in the U.S. Air Force who went overseas on missions in an F-15C fighter jet.
"Fly the borders of Iraq until the war started and then help suppress the enemy air defense," according to Sprouse, now a retired lieutenant colonel.
Some may see the job in the cockpit of a fighter jet as a glamorous one like it's been portrayed in the movies, but Sprouse says there's no glamour to it.
"It's a survival mode. Take care of your buddies, take care of the people on the ground and take care of the targets and mission that you're assigned," he said.
According to Sprouse, those missions could go from three hours to as long as seven hours. He adds there were some close calls, but his squad did not suffer any losses.
Of course, some in the service never made it home, and when Veterans Day comes around, that's what comes to mind for this veteran.
"I look more at the people that've been behind us and pushed us this way where we're at today, the lives that were lost for the wars, the sacrifices that the people before us made," said Sprouse.