David Englert and Logan Englert

Recorded August 3, 2020 Archived August 2, 2020 34:54 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: ddv000085


David Robert Englert (53) talks to his son, Logan Englert (18), about his service in the military and his five deployments. Logan shares reflections on being raised in a military family and traveling.

Subject Log / Time Code

DE recalls when he first joined the military.
DE shares a memory from boot camp.
LE remembers living in Germany while DE was deployed.
DE talks about Skype and other technology he used while in the military, and how it has evolved.
DE lists where he did his service.
DE talks about not being around for some of LE's birthdays, and LE shares how he felt about it.
DE remembers coming home from his final deployment.
DE talks about how he reacts to fireworks, and how his family handles that reaction.
DE talks about transitioning into civilian life.
DE remembers his first deployment, which happened after 9/11. He remembers writing letters to LE, who wasn't yet born.


  • David Englert
  • Logan Englert

Recording Location

Virtual Recording


Partnership Type



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00:01 David Robert Englert, I'm 53 years old. Today's date is 3 August 2020. We are in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I'm interviewing with Logan Englert. My son Logan Ziggler age 18. Today is Monday August 3rd 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I'm recording my dad David Engler.

00:23 The start just what made you join?

00:28 Yeah alarm. So I joined in 1985 because everybody in my family pretty much the man anyway, what kind of expected to join the military nobody's ever going to college? I'm just really know what else to do and such as usually you went and did you for years and then you got out and came back to Minnesota and you got to trade you kind of did that and so I joined the Marines and

00:55 Did my 4 years and I got out a while. I was in college in the Marines I decided to some college and so then I decided I decided I decided to side of the so I went to the first guy anyway, and art are men in my family and then I went to graduate school. So I went to graduate school and then after all those years I thought I should go back to the military, but the

01:22 Yeah, they didn't have in the Marines is medical folks so I couldn't be a couldn't be in the in the Marines and be a psychologist versus sorry. I join the Airforce and so we're going to do it for four years and your mom and I talked about it with that will do the four years and will be done. And then Porsche 911 happens if we stay for that then we went to Turkey we stay for that and I'm so that kept on going and going and going what do you know after 21 years ended up being a true story of choosing their forces. I want OS like makes me laugh though I had

02:13 Add my school my Tech score for the Marines. My first school was all branches and the Army and Army and Navy at two people to write that two people to a room. And that was fine. Will the Air Force Commander didn't like that respects. We took one of the beds out and put in a mini fridge. So one of them every one of them had their own TV their own fridge in bed and then wrinkled if they want to watch TV, they can watch in the dayroom. It took our TVs out get those pads from the Air Force. There's no reason that when I was talking to your mom and let you know guys like there's like you said it was just for me.

03:08 Well, you know, it was funny that I had used my step father's last name when I was growing up, but he never officially adopted us and there was a storm you could fill out that says I understand my name is intact, but I prefer to go by why and so I hadn't filled it out, but he mixed up the the names if so, they had it. So I understand legal last name is safe. And so I got a boot camp. I got there first and go hard and I'm not answering and I'm thinking myself for this shoot it like here sir, and I wanted to know why I didn't answer. I was it seriously.

04:02 Did I don't want to get into the the next day and I would come in and do it again. I start soon as I thought I told you never sing again, and there's a variation of that you would think it would get old.

04:33 What are what are some lessons do you get to military taught you cuz I know there's a lot that like I could take that from our family that I think I've learned a lot but then like you specifically like being in the military anymore. There's days like that really stands out.

04:48 Oh my God, that's a great question. But I think I did that the first thing that taught me is to show up.

04:56 Right and by that, I mean a lot of people think why can't do that and then how do you know if you don't try and how do you know if you can't do something if you can drive it, if you're if you're the last person to be to make it to the Finish Line, then you beat all the people never try right? And so and then the show up on time and then the idea of dressing for the job you want if you want to if you want to be the next rank. Do you want to be the next minute then act like it and I think that's something to really help me because as I'm sure I know I shared with you before I got a high school with a D minus average and all the teachers tell me I would never really yeah, they're happy with me to come out there and I thought I would try it.

05:47 That certainly taught me a lot and then the other thing I think we'll all the play. Mr. Tommy was perspective and it was just what it's like living in other countries whether it be a combat zone or when we lived in turkey or Germany. What would it look how much different are life is and everybody else is in the be really grateful for a lot of things were given up to this weekend.

06:11 If I definitely that was actually something I was going to bring it like appointments and stuff. Cuz I really enjoyed like being overseas and getting that different perspective like you said and that's helped me a lot like Foreman. But I was going to say if he don't tell me when there's one thing that you were the military children to be as like if I'm not 10 minutes early. I'm wait till like 10:14 and it was definitely different like one like the traditional like coming back. It's like, you know some things that you're missing a lot of things that I feel like if you go buy special things people over here with some kind of like a new different version of everything and I really enjoyed it and I think I would have enjoyed more as I like him now and that's why I definitely want to study abroad and stuff again in the college and I definitely would travel more cuz I really like that.

07:11 We took you your 5 months old when we took you to live in Turkey for the first couple years. I don't think you're really old enough to remember much of that but then you know, what you missed out back for what you missed out on your tank cuz it wasn't like that kind of stuff. But I mean playing soccer like no one is the same language and running with you and that's paid off cellular Christmas by spending time in another country growing up. You have a different perspective on anything when other people your age we act like we have to be like completely perfect two were like really like got to be like the role model and why can't we go over here and do this and it's a lot of it's like cultural perspectives. My dad made sure a la

08:11 The time where I was like, I just want to stay home and play video games or something were to travel to a different country at least every other week. And I really like Looking Back Now not being like 12 years old. Like why can't I watched like Scooby-Doo or something like that or Netflix or something? It's like seeing like everything that's like change the way that I think about other countries, especially when we like think about everything like a global scale and are you got to like understand their culture helping to bend down there for like since they've been a country way longer than the USF?

08:47 We would talk quite a bit about when we go to visit a country what the history was and that Curly for Poland during the Ireland would look up the history that we talked about it. I do remember being in 7 countries and will near and asking me that list off all the countries we've been

09:04 That's why I couldn't do social football or some of those are things that people wanted to do and you're right. And the other thing was ever kept on moving every few years. You never really got to have long-term friends or talk to people here have been friends with each other since kidney like this like kindergarten stuff and I think

09:36 In a way, it's like I don't have that kind of stuff. But I wish the way that social media is now I think makes it way easier cuz at least you're me at the end there there was like Facebook and stuff that just coming around Snapchat like that last year and now I'm like some still in touch with the people that I was we were stationed with over there. But I think like if it was like if we were just now getting deployed and everything in her like I would ever sees it would have even made it easier and I said a question about you saying like I remember deployment like your most recent appointment with the weed like be able to Skype before that like if there was a Skype everything I know Skype just made it way easier now that last appointment cuz we can talk at least once a week if not more but how do you think it is now to look like having so much more technology enables to reach out? I feel like it would make it. Where is your some ways to get when I went after 9/11, you know when I went to New York that night and then I went to the Department of Defense much rain was there a couple days?

10:34 And then I got home and I spent two weeks back with your mom when she was pregnant with you and they told me I was going going away and I could tell me what country was going to end up being a mom and a Truck Anniston, but we got letters right in the old intellect in the mail that go take a couple weeks to write a letter or send a letter and we would stand if you wanted to you could stand in line for a couple hours and had a couple computers and you got 15 minutes on this really really slow after I think they're actually do some satellites for the internet and so you could try to login your email and will take a while to and I don't reckon I could just

11:15 It would just be enough time for me to kind of delete like they're 20 or 30 bullshit OBS emails sending one quick email off to your mom and I don't have a pre-written kind of something that would send out a group to folks and that was it.

11:32 And then after I reached the point, you're right. I got one more in some ways. I think that really hurt people. I think that now there's something weird about stuff. They shouldn't have to be worried about what combat zone. Yeah back home and everything. So intact and everything going on here that I actually like you're more distracted. I could see you or people you don't want the car broke down and we need a new muffler or something. And so now this guy's online at time of day of the logic with Skype with their families and families were really upset that they hadn't called in that they Michael

12:32 It was much better in some ways. That's great in some ways. That's really kind of distracted and maybe you know about about things back home. And do you know?

12:52 And then just cuz we talked about it a little bit like where and when did you serve cuz I know what time I should Germany turkey in like how old I am but like specifically like where you're stationed in the Marines boot camp in San Diego and then we went to school in Indiana and then another one in North Carolina and then back to California and I toast at Camp Pendleton. I did that the whole time which is really unique because most Marines would have to go to open hour for time and it was really good to me and she knew that I was trying to get through college. They got me a different assignment on the bay so I can keep on going to school there and then we join the Airforce and I got my commission we went to Texas so we stayed there and that's what you were born. I was working at and then we went to Turkey for 2 years. And so your mom for me so she had to take to dogs.

13:52 5 month old turkey and years and then we got that offer to go to Air Force OSI. And so if it was real lucky that it's the base right next to where I wanted to go next door, and then we were getting ready to

14:50 Mom it always she always wanted to go to Germany showers want to go to Europe and we were upset that we didn't get to before so we can set a return at 20 years. We did three more years. So I had to retire yet little over 21, but you're the one that could be a last one. We were really lucky cuz then you know, we got the look at a map of the US and say what we want to live cuz you the other day we won we chose.

15:25 Right, I think so cuz I remember telling you I was going to Afghanistan and I said hey buddy, I'm really sure I'm not going to be for your birthday and you looked at me cuz you're not at the time. She said that's okay, Dad. You've never been to any of my birthdays.

15:50 I mean, I think at the time I thought I was really normal. And I think it was just like cuz we were friends with a lot of military people so scared of this same scenario. I think that's one thing that's great about the military spouses and kids can all understand when you're in that like Niche group if they really like each other out.

16:11 But I thought it was normal and I think you even like after that you might have missed a couple of like Atlas I said.

16:21 But it wasn't like anything to think about cuz again, I think something was before that. I just don't remember wasn't like anything worry about it. And the later ones that I can it was like at least like I got a call from you that day. We'd like to talk on the phone or on Skype and I think that really makes it seem like you said there are downsides to that but it also makes it seem more personal more like morning person real life kind of stuff. So it sounds like a bother me anymore.

16:56 What was your favorite memory growing up in the military?

17:00 I really just like especially traveling the most one and you know, I want to try with you like Japan like over there but Germany was a whole lot of fun and no honestly, it was like, oh my God. I wish we kind of left Maryland what two years earlier could have got like two little more trips and it was just fun to fun to travel around to go kind of like on all those Adventures especially now, I think it's more now I can like where I would like to show off like it was and how fun it was and everything and looking back on it. Like I said at the time I was Catholic churches in like to lose their Minds season SeaWorld

18:00 American kids get a chance to actually have sword fights in a real castle.

18:08 So so remember remember my very last appointment the enemy coming home from my favorite memory was remember to set it up. They had like people there to greet like everybody in there was like if your family or friends do not want to like to see them until we're done like saying thank you and greeting them and everything. It was seems really like I like you explain to me later. It seems great for the people that don't have family or friends coming to get them and they like it's awesome that at least somebody sent. Thank you stuff. But the for the people that I wish they'd like split all the people that did that family friends have seen her for a year was like

18:48 I'm going to let some stranger like hug my dad before I get to hug my dad. And so I ran underneath the saying it like 8 years old or 9 years old and like split or 10:10 and I split on light carpet and push some of the other way to give you a hug and everything just as it was awesome to see they're trying to be back and everything but it's like it's like we said is

19:17 It almost sucked for people that did have their kids everything. They haven't seen for a year, but it was understandable. Now for people that don't have the Baltimore first and then get off so that some of the Nock great memories that right. I think the what I know now, is that if there's a

19:50 Sudden noise in the house or something very loud for you that you and your brother and your mom. I'll have to be really quiet for a second. It's almost no one really talked about it because it's kind of like I was like messing around with something fell like right behind you and it's kind of like y'all got to be quiet for second to suck me understand like what it is. We know what the Spooks you like differently than anyone else especially like fireworks since like that's why it's like all those kind of things like all kind of crazy. Now, I understand like specific days, but like I understand lighting off fireworks in your backyard looks like like a baller I kind of talked about like little things with people that like random occasions like the other day were like fireworks that I like it like love to do and be there like my style but it's like you got to think about like how people round send Leslie.

20:50 Big military base their songs people stationed there be thinking about like last time you and all that kind of stuff. That's like a year or two after I got back from my last appointment. What was happening to that? I was I didn't even really think about getting angry right textbook me in that kind again just broke my heart that I saw that you guys were.

21:20 Everybody kind of got quiet everybody throw it is not that old man. This is off like I need to eat you better.

21:28 You remember the first time you realized that as a family that you needed to do things differently with loud noises.

21:36 I think we had just gotten back. I just got back from Afghanistan and they stripped us to Germany and the Germans don't have for the July the way we do of course, but on New Year's Eve, they have unbelievable fireworks that starts in the morning that goes all day and no one told us.

22:00 And so, you know, we didn't start all day and in the way that the houses were built it like it was all giant freak like walls and upfront with like big metal doors the carriages to go through so it did it just like you feel like a giant flashes through the window the bang bang bang and it scared the hell out of me. I'm going to be honest. I was like that first day or first year and a half and I'm like to see from that morning like waking up to that we all woke up to it like the day before but I am so uncomfortable though. I had to leave and just go sit there for the rest of the day that I'd realized. Maybe if you must actor that ever gets so angry.

22:54 After I pee I got started like that and that you and your mess with make me feel so awful excited one day I looked and I saw that you and your brother just Frozen and you just didn't move and you just didn't know how to react and that really really taught me up.

23:11 And then kind of like going off that like to advise her transitioning to civilian life because we're talking about like the adjustments like noise and everything the other stuff and then I remember like when you got the job, I mean it's a little different cuz now you're with the police here and everything. It says I still uniform still everything of that kind of stuff. But I remember you saying like it when you walk in the room, you're like some people are just looking at you like what are you doing with your hands at Grinder's switch right? Because this apartment. Stand up when I walk in the room.

23:54 Some people have a hard time getting to the civilian world because they they weren't ready to leave the military.

24:00 And your mom and I talked three years before we got out we knew we were done we knew that we wanted to do I done 5 appointment as I said she didn't want anymore. And so we just kind of agreed that that would be our last three years. So we had a good long time to have anticipated. I think some folks for whatever reason to get out. And so it's a little harder for them. But yeah, and it not being the place I called you. So I'm not the police officer, but it is nice because everybody have ranks the structure and uniforms and that's all that's nice to me, but I think that

24:40 People to find a different passion. So retire from the military and have to find something else if going to do a long career to have finally got to be excited about going to wake up the military was good. That's bad. But it is it is what it is.

25:04 Something else about the military

25:09 Is that if there was something that you miss about being in the military that you don't have in civilian life?

25:22 I love him so much. I miss about the military stuff. I think the

25:27 I enjoy quite a bit to the camaraderie of the friendships of of the people there and the it seemed to me at least of my experiences that we cared much more about each other's families as you said Logan the

25:42 When the spouse is in the kids would look out for each other and we knew when people needed help and we we always end the fast run chest, right if when people are every year almost up there with my friend to pick up people didn't want to be a friend and I was like, yeah, it's kind of like those kind of like Fast friendships are ones that like we're still like going to trip to Asheville with people were making shirts to go see people like my longtime friend was a military guys that hang out with him like every chance we get a 16 16 years later and it's just it's awesome to each other and understanding what is a different perspective in the military than any other job cuz you're not going to be friends with everybody you work with someone like that other job. She liked my work people in Hangout.

26:42 At work, but I've got actual friends. That's like the military are stationed overseas somewhere else. Like those are the only friends around Lee and then I found this in the whole village then you got you got to be a good idea. If not exactly what I was going to wear everyday, so I miss that.

27:17 The the veterans are the military trucks right now. We tend to be less likely to be insulted or Lincoln's personal but there's always the same space in sorry about that.

27:47 I like it about the things I learned from the military one of the things I really learned was that Noah is the first step it. So if I ask a question, I asked you not to get something downtown placed need your directions always know cuz that was easy right and go to bed a really taught me was I expect you to say no and now and now we move on to the lighthouse of the newer like trying to work and problems, right? And so what I found out later that people like what how do you get that done as I accepted the nose a first response and then we did all these other things and they just got to get it done.

28:35 I expect you both and look out for their own self-interest. That's okay. And so, how do I help them? Get to Yes it what what's in it for them. And that's why I let you borrow in forever. And that's why I have to do those things yet.

28:50 They said yeah, and so what other questions to ask your favorite memory of them from back in this thing really had that I didn't like just about everything so they ever tell you about my

29:11 I know we talked about before but

29:14 When I deploy the very first time is after 9:11. So I I said they put it where in San Antonio and they put us on a plane or Medical Group in a sentence up to New York City. If we set up the hospital's the combat hospital and after 2 days they came to me and I said I'll try group in the shed. You know it fortunately people fine or their deceased know there's no real between and there's plenty of hospital beds. And so I will just send everybody home and I said that's fantastic. You and you and your social worker and the mental health technician are going to go down the Dover, Delaware.

30:03 When the plane landed into the Pentagon a lot of the unfortunate of bodies were ripped apart and they were trying to put bodies and boxes and they're trying to identify all the pieces and obviously very traumatic for people and soccer couple days that they decide they need some support and so they put me in a bus with a bunch of other people and they sent me down to Dover. We were there a couple weeks and then I got home and I was telling your mom that that that's okay. Thanks for good. I think I'm going to be in charge of the psychology department and then a day and a half later. They said no no, no.

30:51 And I thought why don't I don't want that to happen because we we had no idea there was no salt like now and deployments are not long after that.

31:01 You're deployed and you got to return date that we just leave it on the plane crashes. And so they sent us away. We didn't know we do know if you're ever coming back and I'm so I wrote a letter A Day to you in just in case I never see you and then they say they were going to go to Afghanistan and they didn't know if they're going to do and so I knew what was going on and why they're going to send our unit to Kyrgyzstan to help with some of the logistics and so they are just going to send me home and then send the new my replacement straight thing rather than a couple weeks cuz I knew that you were going to be for and so some very kind of leadership books the back of that in the United States knew that you were going to be born so they pulled all the strings that could

32:01 They got me home and I think I was home three full days before you were born before you were born luckily.

32:14 Do you remember what you wrote the letters, but I couldn't be there with some letters when I start thinking to myself. What what advice does a dad want to give to his son if I couldn't be there, right? And so some of it was real actual practical advice some of it was it up. I will call gentleman treats people in his life. Some of it was about

32:45 How to shave in some some of us just how to treat his mom in that and some of us just about not to be angry cuz if I didn't come back I didn't want him ever to be angry at anybody else right with my decision and so we talked about that or I talked about that in there and I think I got almost ninety four letters. I was gone for about 3 months since I filled up a legal pad full of full of letters again that was recording stuff and then I think for your little brother is the next my next the next to fluids read the book. I read a book that we were reported to it for him. And so he didn't know he was so excited to explain his room a couple weeks ago. So excited about that. So those look

33:36 Scary members that turned out to be good memories

33:42 We talked about that quite a bit with folks, right? Cuz I miss I miss my friends who didn't come back. And so I really I tried very hard to keep in contact with their children than hope that they would have in the same if it if it's been the other way around.

33:58 That's why I remember writing letters to Ron's son and daughter after he had died and telling them all about him and reform in the end their mom said they've keep them till I turned on so I can get letters about their dad.

34:21 Yes, I stopped ovulating weeks is going to be the last time for this relationship right that if so, I really was going to do this with you talk a little bit of our experiences cuz we know it's going to be to be a different time in a couple weeks. So thank you very much. Thank you.