SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Only about one percent of people in the United States join the military. Among that small percentage is Jeff Finken, a man who dedicated a large portion of his life protecting the country he loves.
“When I first entered in the middle ’80s, there wasn’t a lot going on as far as conflict goes, then, of course, Desert Storm kicked up and 2001.”
Jeff Finken served as a Unit Movement Officer. He planned and executed air movement for Army Transition Teams. He was 18-years-old when he went in.
“I ended up getting deployed to Iraq, actually, towards the end of my career, so I spent two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.”
Finken was trained in the Air Force, but was assigned to the Army when he went back and was sent to Iraq in 2009.
“For the first three weeks, I was physically ill because I was going to fail. For six months, my duty was to bring men from the United States to Quade. I got stuck on a job I had never done before, you know.”
He also got soldiers who had been overseas for a year or more, back to America. He said the hardest part was dealing with situations he couldn’t control.
“I couldn’t control the weather. I can’t control fires on planes, and I couldn’t control what they call hero missions, human remains. and I understand some of these guys have been there 365 days, 365 plus days.”
But soon enough, uncertainty turned into confidence.
“I’ve got this, I had made my connections, I was grounded, I knew how to track flights and what to do if they got mad at me. I was confident in what I was doing, and it felt like the rest of the six months just flew by.”
Looking back, Finken says he proud of his service.
“It’s not always easy when you’re there, but when you come back, you feel a sense of pride, like you’ve contributed.”
Finken is now a Master Patrol Officer with the Sioux City Police Department. Although he’s no longer in active duty, he remains an active and honorable member in the community.