Central Texas News Now Chief Meteorologist Matt Hines served his country in the United States Army Reserve in the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion.
Hines began serving in the military during the early '90s and credits his grandfather, retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Rod Huse for giving him the inspiration and motivation to answer the call to service.
Hines says he proudly served his country and said, “the Army grew me up in a hurry.”
While he was away from home, Hines often times spoke of his Waco born grandfather to his fellow soldiers and told them the stories of World War II that Grandpa Huse told him during his childhood.
The story of retired Lt. Colonel Rod Huse’s military career begins at a very young age. He remembers vividly when he joined. Huse said he, "enlisted in the Texas National Guard when I was 15-years-old."
Huse wasn’t the only one who enlisted that day, he says, “I enlisted with two of my buddies, they took all three of us. We were known in the battery as the Three Musketeers.”
Despite being underage, the Three Musketeers were allowed to serve and later, Huse saw something that would forever change his life.
“The story there is when I joined the Texas National Guard, I watched the Battalion Commander and his staff march out with their Aggie boots on. They were all Ags, most of them and their sabers and I looked at that and I said, I'm going to be one of those."
With the same determination it took to enlist, Huse did indeed find his way to Texas A&M University in College Station.
The date was Dec. 7, 1941 and the attack on Pearl Harbor was underway. Huse says the attack was happening while he and his roommate were attending a free movie on campus.
“I was a sophomore at Texas A&M," said Huse. "Came out and the college was like an anthill stirred up. People were running all over the place shouting, it's war, it's war. So I turned on my radio and sure enough, World War II had started. I looked at my roommate and said we'll be going soon."
And just like so many young men of that time, Huse said, "I wanted to go.”
His desire to go and fight would soon come true because just as he predicted, "The Army said, 'we want you.'”
Now it was time to report for basic training and Huse was fortunate because his training was held in Central Texas.
"It was North Camp Hood at the time, near Gatesville," said Huse.
After finishing his training and officer candidate school at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the newly commissioned Lt. Huse was on the move.
"We were on our way to Germany,” Huse recalls. And when they arrived, "I looked at what I saw when I entered Germany and I knew it was war. It was bad, bad, bad and I said this is gonna be tough."
Huse’s company assembled in Dusseldorf.
He remembers one specific detail, "Started our shelling from there. And later, one of my jobs was collecting all the weapons in all of that area. I hauled weapons by the truckload."
Eventually, new orders were delivered and Huse was told he was going to Japan.
"Just before, I guess it was about two hours before we were supposed to get on the ship our transport to go to Japan, the war ended so we did not go to Japan. That was after the A-Bomb, both of them. So we were spared that, going to Japan. Because that would have been a bloodbath," said Huse.
As the decades and years have passed, Huse will tell anyone who will listen that he would have honorably carried out his orders to go fight in Japan. He proudly boasts, "I'm a patriot. I loved the military because of the organization of it.”
And he even has a few words of praise for his alma mater, Texas A&M University, “Got me down the road of life, the way I wanted to go.”
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