Success in life can be found on many different paths. United States Army Sgt. Tyler Stahlhut shared his story of success with students at Waxahachie Ninth Grade Academy on Wednesday.

Stahlhut was invited to speak to students in Wendy Carter’s world geography class. Stahlhut attended schools in Red Oak where Carter was his teacher for seventh, eighth and ninth grades.

“I was not the best student. I had average grades and I didn’t really fill out any college applications. College was not going to be for me. Three years after I had got out of high school I was working odd jobs and doing things that I should not have been doing,” Stahlhut said.

“I joined the army and it is one of the best things that I could have done. I now have a bachelor’s degree and will be starting on my master’s degree. It has been hard. I am not going to say the army is for everyone but it was the best thing for me at the time. I don’t regret a single thing I have done in the army.”

Stahlhut enlisted in 2006 and served in Iraq from July 2008 to March 2009. While in Iraq one of his duties was to be a turret gunner in an armored Humvee protecting the rear of convoys. Supply convoys were comprised of 45-50 semi trucks and stretched two to three miles in length. 

Convoy missions could last as long as 45 hours because of improvised explosive devices found along the route. When a device was found the convoy would have to wait — sometimes up to four or five hours — for explosive ordnance disposal teams to make the area safe.

Stahlhut told students that while serving in the military he had opportunities to visit other countries such as Australia, Germany and Italy.

In October Stahlhut will be stationed at Camp Casey located in Dongducheon, South Korea, for the second time. While overseas Stahlhut will join the 6th Battalion of the 37th Field Artillery Regiment of the 210th Fires Brigade. The unit operates the M270 multiple launch rocket system which is a self-propelled, armored and multiple rocket launcher. One part of his job will be to train new soldiers on their specific job in the unit.

Stahlhut told students if they visit South Korea they will find a lot of the same conveniences they have right here, such as similar restaurants. One of the most unusual animals he has seen while stationed in another country was the “Vampire Deer” which is also known as the Water Deer. This animal has long canine teeth that stick out of the upper jaw.

Carter said she invited Stahlhut to speak to her class to show her students that by making good choices you can succeed and excel in life. 

“I just admire him and I am appreciative of what he is doing. Nothing I could ever do could repay his sacrifice that he has made for our country being away from his family and friends,” Carter said. “It is just an honor having him here.”

Stahlhut said he hopes to encourage students to succeed in making the right choices through his visit.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1451.