Student soldier anticipates deployment to Afghanistan

Shelli White

Shelli WhiteReporter

A current Students’ Association senator will depart for Afghanistan on Feb. 14, 2011 and return in January of 2012.

Tyler Holmquist, a sophomore agricultural-business major, has been in the Navy since he was 17 years old. He is in the Navy Reserve now.

Holmquist said he joined the Navy because his dad is a member of the National Guard and he wanted to travel the world.

“I thought about joining the Air Force, but I knew I wouldn’t be stationed in Minot, North Dakota if I joined the Navy,” Holmquist said.

Holmquist was deployed before, but was underwater. He said this time around would be different.

“I was active duty for four years, but I was in a submarine,” Holmquist said. “This time, I will be in a country opposed to being on a ship.”

He said he was not surprised about his deployment and expected it sooner than later.

“You have to know joining the military that you will go overseas,” Holmquist said.

Holmquist said he was contacted about his deployment by the leadership of the reserve unit in Sioux Falls. Holmquist said he is nervous about going overseas. He predicts there will be times he will be lonely and other times the experience will be exciting.

“It is nothing like anything I have ever done before,” Holmquist said.

He said he thinks one of the aspects he will miss is knowing what is going on in America.

“It’s like putting your life on hold,” he said. “You lose track of what is going on.”

He said the thing he will miss most about SDSU is merely the everyday life that goes along with being in college.

“It’s not easy to leave everything and go fight a war,” said Hassan Ali, SA senator for the College of General Studies.

Ali said he is proud of Holmquist and proud of his courage.

“He is brave for doing it, and I honor him for it,” Ali said.

Ali and Ty Littau, a sophomore agricultural-business major, said Holmquist is the type of person who stands up for what he believes in.

“Tyler voices his opinion whenever he needs to and represents the students,” Ali said.

Littau said Holmquist represents the university very well and always has a positive attitude.

“His positive attitude is what you see first, and it is the last thing he leaves you with,” Littau said.

Holmquist is involved with SA, the Economics Club and choir. He plans to return to SDSU upon his arrival back in the states.

“I hope Tyler has a good experience while he is over there, and stays safe so he can come back and do what he does best,” Littau said.

#1.1825367:3508635447.png:Tyler.png:Tyler Holmquist, SA Senator, will deploy for Afghanistan soon.:Submitted Photo