Veteran of Cape Central


Tory Strom is a science teacher at Cape Central High School. He is a Disabled American Vet. Strom served for 16 years in the U.S Navy and served some years with the U.S Marines. Strom looked up to the Navy Chaplain that he worked for. When he was asked what the Navy Chaplain was like he stated, “He was one of those guys that you have to follow their orders, but with him, you wanted to follow his orders.” 

What people don’t normally think about being deployed is how the soldiers are treated by each other. Strom expressed, “Everyone is equal, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man, woman, black, white, pink, purple, or had polka dots. If somebody got something pointing at you. they’ve got to have your back and you got to have theirs,” said Strom. Soldiers have many memories from the time they were deployed. Soldiers spend a lot of time together so they have time to make memories. Strom’s favorite memory was running with the Marines in New Orleans. “We run six miles every Friday. I’m not a runner but for some stupid reason I liked that,” said Strom.

However, running isn’t the only major memory that many veterans have. The meals that were provided while they were in service are also a big part of the experience. When soldiers are deployed they will eat something called MRE, which stands for meal ready to eat. What soldiers eat in the field is 3000 calories a meal. “It wasn’t necessarily good food but when we got to the base some guys ran to Mcdonalds or Burger King. I wanted a salad” Strom said. He wanted something fresh. “When you have a bag of food and it has a twenty-year shelf life, there’s something wrong with that,” said Strom.

In the field, soldiers would need places to sleep so they would set up tents. The tents soldiers used were called GP tents. GP stands for general purpose tents. “Thirty feet by thirty feet tent so you cramped as many people in it as you could,” said Strom. Many soldiers loved what they did while they were deployed. “I’d go back in a heartbeat,” said Strom. Unfortunately, Strom suffered an injury, and that ended his military career. Strom was heading to Iraq with his crew and they were on a training mission. “It was 2 o’clock in the morning, and all of our gear was about one hundred pounds. We called it our battle rattle,” said Strom. As the soldiers were walking on their mission Strom fell in a hole and his ankle snapped. “I started to get cold sweats from my toenails to the top of my head, and I thought yeah this isn’t good” Said Strom. Soldiers get sent home for many different injuries Strom said “You’re a liability if you can’t run, and that ended it, unfortunately,”