Nick Hudson is currently serving as an active 15-year member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Hudson has served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

Nick Hudson is currently serving as an active 15-year member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. Hudson has served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

“Whenever I enlisted it was a year after 9/11,” Hudson said. “When that happened, I talked to my father and told him I want to serve. I didn't want to get too old and not have done something I wanted to do. Also the college benefits helped my decision.”

Hudson's family supported his decision. Several members of his family served so it only made sense for Hudson to enlist when it was time.

“All of my family was on board. It was a generation thing,” he said. “My great grandfather served, my grandpa was in the Korean War, my step-grandpa was a POW in World War II. My dad was in the Air National Guard for six years and my little brother is active duty Army.”

When Hudson was first notified that he would be deployed it was a mixed bag of emotions, he said.

“There was a little bit of nervousness and the fear of the unknown,” Hudson said. “They had us ready at basic training but until you get the orders it doesn't sink in. There was a little bit of excitement too and that was another reason for joining. To me, that's part of joining the military.”

Upon his return from deployment, Hudson was met by a large group of veterans and civilians at the airport.

“The support back home was amazing,” Hudson said. “If I'm at drill on a weekend there will always be someone shaking my hand thanking me for my service. On my first deployment, Wen we landed in Maine, there were Vietnam War veterans welcoming us home. I thought that was amazing. I had to thank them and shake their hand for their service.”

One aspects of home Hudson missed was the option to pick what was for dinner.

“We were fed pretty good over there, but back home you can pick and choose what you want to eat each day,” Hudson said. “When I got back home I spent about a week going to a bunch of different restaurants.”

The toughest part of being overseas was missing family. With modern technology soldiers are able to communicate in real time with their loved ones.

“Being able to see family was able to boost my morale and it did for other soldiers as well,” Hudson said. “On my second deployment it was much easier. As time went on I was able to text with my wife and I was able to let her know I was alright. It was good for our families as well. The military does a good job of preparing families on what to expect when we are deployed.”

Even though he was able to video chat with his family, it was still not easy being away from them, Hudson said

“Missing family was the toughest part,” he said. “Even though you can see them on a computer screen it's still hard. On the last deployment my son was a little older and could comprehend what was going on a little more. Getting home sick was definitely the hardest part.”

Hudson currently works as a store manager for the Walmart in Shawnee. He is very thankful for their support along the way.

“Walmart has been very supportive,” Hudson said. “They communicated with me and my family while I was away. There were employees at my welcome home ceremony. They have always been supportive of my transition back to work.”

On Veterans Day, Hudson will be fulfilling his duty as a member of the National Guard and will be at drill Saturday.