Veteran returns to SHS

Solon High School 2005 graduate Colin Busse, second from right, revisits teachers Jake Voigt, from left, Bryan Ashkettle and Jill Harvey, far right. Mr. Busse recounted his experiences with his two deployments in Afghanistan as an Army paratrooper to SHS students. 

SHS grad recounts deployment

Solon High School students participated in a real and thought-provoking lesson in military service and camaraderie as 2005 SHS graduate Colin Busse shared the experience of his two active-duty deployments to Afghanistan as an Army paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne.

Mr. Busse, who now lives in Bainbridge with his wife and infant son, was an SHS freshman on September 11, 2001.

“For my generation, you remember exactly where you were on that Tuesday. Sept. 11 changed my life. It changed all of us,” he told students. He said the day solidified his decision to pursue a career in the military.

His senior year at SHS, he received an Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Dayton. But when he arrived on campus for his freshman year, he realized he did not want to put off military service. So he left school after his first semester and enlisted as an infantryman.

SHS students listened as Mr. Busse recounted his experiences through two deployments to Afghanistan, including his truck striking a roadside bomb and the “brutal” conditions of constantly being under fire.

He told students that re-engaging in civilian life after his two tours was not as hard for him as it can be for other veterans, but while he said he does not have PTSD, he does experience flashbacks triggered by things like smells.

Mr. Busse said he went back to college two months after he got home, attending The Ohio State University on the GI Bill, and told how he was able to regain a sense of camaraderie by rooming with other military veterans while going to school full time.

“I had a great support network of family and friends, so that helped me readjust,” he said.

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