BHS alum serves in Army in highly specialized field
Editors note: May is Military Appreciation Month. For the next two weeks, the Burleson Star will bring you stories of people from Burleson serving their country at home and abroad.
Trevor Moody knew he wanted to join the Army when he graduated from Burleson High School in 2013. The Army has given him the opportunity to travel, see the world and start a family. It also gave him the push to grow up into his own person, and Moody had to grow up quickly when he first enlisted.
Moody, who is currently a sergeant, joined as a helicopter maintainer. He then made a career change and became a crew chief, which he did for more than three years. Moody liked the job because it made him think on his feet and solve problems.
“You’re basically living like a firefighter,” Moody said. “You’re always on duty, always on call. When you get a call, you have to hurry up and get into your aircraft and pick someone up who needs help. So I really liked that.”
However, during one of Moody’s first operations while deployed in Afghanistan, a hair-raising scenario played out. Moody and his team were tasked with a nighttime medivac pickup. Moody had only been in the country for two months and was still learning the ropes of performing a mission in a Middle Eastern country.
“This was an urgent medivac situation,” Moody said.
Flying a helicopter at night presents challenges, Moody said. Pilots wear night vision goggles which can make it difficult to navigate and landing in Afghanistan can be hard. Additionally, F-16 pilots had told the crew a specific area to land in, but Moody could not see it.
“It was just hectic,” he said. “There was so much going on. It was completely dark and we only had 20 percent visibility. Additionally, dust was blowing up all around it making it even more difficult to see. We eventually landed and I notice that there is a ditch very close to the helicopter. So we had to re-land which caused more dust to blow up. Then my medic got out and forgot about the ditch and fell into it, then realizes he is on the wrong side of where the patient is, so then people started yelling at me after I executed this very dangerous landing. It was just overwhelming, but fortunately, my training kicked in and I chalk it up to an experience now.”
After his deployment, Moody decided he wanted a job that kept him closer to home. He applied for and got a spot on the psychological operations unit, which he is currently in training for.
“I wanted to be closer to my kids,” Moody said. “During my deployment, I was gone for nine straight months. I left when my daughter was tow months old and didn’t return until she was a year old. A friend told me about PSYOPS and I was very interested. I was selected in April of last year and embarked on an intensive six-month language course.”
Psychological operations is one of the three branches of special operations. PSYOPS helps support special forces and green berets.
“The best way I can describe it is we help persuade or change peoples’ opinions on the U.S.,” Moody said. “When we go to a new place, for instance, the invasion of Iraq, we need the Iraqis to believe that the U.S. forces were going to help them, and that if they surrendered, they’d be taken care of. A lot of Iraqi’s didn’t have food or water, so we wanted to help them while also persuading them that we were not the bad guys. It was just all very interesting.”
Moody plans to stay the course and keep serving in the Army until he is eligible for retirement.