Pecos County People A look at people and business in Pecos County

A lifetime of military service

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After serving his entire life in the military, one Pecos County resident uses his knowledge to help veterans in need.

Micheal Corkrum is the Veteran's Service Officer in Pecos County where he has lived for the last seven years.

He moved to West Texas after he got back from Afghanistan, where before he was in Tampa, Florida.

He met his wife, Adonna Gonzalez, owner of Mi Casita, on the San Antonio River Walk in 2011 before he deployed and they were married in 2016.

Corkrum served in the Army and now he is in the Army reserves.

He joined the Army one month out of high school in 1987 and was active duty for seven years.

He then went to work with the Army National Guard in Minnesota learning winter operations and did training in Norway.

Being with the National Guard he was able to assist with the red river flood of 1997 in Minnesota.

He got out of the service in 2000 and moved to New York managing office space.

He remembers seeing the second plane hit the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001 and it changed his life and made him want to re-enlist.

“It was terrifying,” said Corkrum. “We quickly realized it wasn't an accident.”

He remembers calling his dad in Washington and leaving a messaging telling him that he was okay.

They sheltered in place until it was safe to leave.

He was back in the Army by 2004 and by November 2006 he was sent to Iraq for 10 months.

As a medic he was able to help train others on tactical emergency medicine.

He took a flight medic course and was deployed to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012.

He was going in the field with the Army reserves when the Veterans Service Officer became available and he applied.

He loves being able to assist veterans and their families in applying for VA benefits and disability.

He is still in the Army reserves today and his unit is out of El Paso and while he said he misses active duty, being in the reserves gives him a fix.

They require one weekend a month of two weeks at some point in the year and the county is very accommodating to his schedule.

“A lot of people don't realize how much of a time commitment it is,” said Corkrum.

Corkrum did say that Texas is one of the best states to be a veteran in and other states are looking to adopt Texas' model designed by the Texas Veterans Commission.

Corkrum has two adult children in business and his wife wants to celebrate 30 years of business in three years and then they may consider retiring.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I've been saying that for a couple years,” said Corkrum. “ It's hard to be a retiree, the Army has been my identity since I was 17 and shaped my entire adult life.”

In the mean time, between work and the Army reserves,Corkrum graduates from Sul Ross State University next week with a bachelor of arts in general studies.

He will then go on to get a masters in public administration.

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