Meet Telling: Southwest Veteran Timothy Durham

The Florida Humanities Council partners with The Telling Project, a national effort to bring veterans’ stories of military service to local communities. “Telling: Southwest Florida” features five veterans from the Army and Marine Corps. Three performances will occur at the end of the month in Naples and Fort Myers.

Each week, we will tell you a little more about each veteran. Today, we spotlight Timothy Durham, a U.S. Army Sergeant.

Timothy Durham first enlisted in the Army in 1976, after finishing high school. ”My family has a long tradition of serving during wartime,” Durham explains. His first assignment was in Germany, where he spent time in a tank company on the East-West German border. Following his departure from active duty military in 1983, Durham attended college in New Jersey and joined a reserve unit, serving as a drill sergeant.

Following the September 11th attacks, and after a fifteen year separation from the military, Durham rejoined enlisting in the Florida National Guard. “I put my civilian career on hold and, at the age of 47 with a 5-year old daughter at home.” His unit, the 651st Military Police Company, deployed to Iraq in September 2005. Tim’s unit was responsible for transporting detainees throughout Iraq. Spending a year in the country, Durham’s unit performed over 100 transportation missions, including the single largest transfer of detainees in theater. The 651st suffered a direct hit from an IED two days before Christmas in 2005. Durham was awarded the Bronze Star for meritorious service in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Tim left in 2006, returning to his civilian job at Collier County. He worked for four years as the Chief Deputy for the Collier County Supervisor of Elections. He currently works as the Executive Manager for Corporate Business Operations for Collier County.

While patrolling the German border they heard an explosion, Tim shares the story.