Wes Waggoner grew up in Perrysburg, Ohio. From a young age, he knew that he wanted to help people. Both his father and grandfather were in the army so it was no surprise when he enlisted after September 11.
He joined the Army the summer after high school in a delayed-enlistment program. He left on August 9, 2003, for basic training. After basic training, he took an additional five weeks of Advanced Individual Training and became a 13 BRAVO Cannon Crew member. His team was trained to fire high-explosive rounds up to 27 miles with high accuracy.
Waggoner shipped out to Germany on January 4, 2004, and was deployed in Iraq for several months. In Iraq, his unit helped to patrol the area, run security conveys and train Iraqi police forces. He also helped to build schools, water plants and was responsible for helping get two universities back up
After his time in Iraq, he served as an Assistant Advanced Individual Training Instructor and taught new soldiers his job. In August 2007, he completed his time with the Army, joined the Army Reserves and started school at Owens Community College in the Ohio Basic Police Officer Academy.
Now Waggoner works in the Safety and Security department at Owens, is a volunteer firefighter for Perrysburg Township Fire Department and is currently enrolled in both the Emergency Medical Technician and Criminal Justice programs at Owens.
"I want to help as many people as I can. I couldn't pick just one degree," said Waggoner.
He was able to attend Owens with money from his GI benefits and is getting class credit from his military classes and the time he spends in the Army Reserves.
"Joanne DeCant, the Veterans Affairs representative at Owens, has been very helpful. She is one of the most knowledgeable reps I know. Her desire and drive to help people showed that she cared," said Waggoner.