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The Times
  • Local man writes about experience in Army

  • Originally from St. Johnsville, Ken Conklin grew up in the Mohawk Valley.

    As he got older, he worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers for The Evening Times. Eventually, Conklin stopped delivering papers, graduated from high school and joined the U.S. Army.

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  • Originally from St. Johnsville, Ken Conklin grew up in the Mohawk Valley.
    As he got older, he worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers for The Evening Times. Eventually, Conklin stopped delivering papers, graduated from high school and joined the U.S. Army.
    During Conklin’s time in the Army he served four overseas tours, two in Iraq, one in Afghanistan and one in Korea. In June 2011, ten years after serving in the Army, Conklin decided to attend college.
    “It was at that point that I decided to write an autobiography about my 10 year journey as a local boy leaving St. Johnsville at 18-years old and serving time in the U.S. Army until I was 28,” he said.
    Conklin said he decided to write “Don’t Thank Me, Thank Your Recruiter” for two reasons.
    “Most books and movies are about infantry and combat soldiers, you never see other jobs,” he said. “There are many jobs that are not combat based which most people don’t associate with the Army.”
    While serving time in the Army Conklin worked in human resources.
    “People always think of the Army as angry killers which is not true. There are other jobs that do not involve killing and do not have a voice. Those stories need to be told,” he said.
    Although Conklin worked in human resources and did not fight in combat he still made the sacrifices combat soldiers make. “We still have to spend a year from home, be in constant danger, work long hours, get attacked, eat the same horrible food and get paid the same. There is no special treatment for those not directly on the line,” he said. “Not to take away from the sacrifices that infantry make, but there are other stories to be told.”
    During some soul searching and talking with fellow soldiers Conklin thought the autobiography would be a great way to share his story and what he learned during his time in the U.S. Army.
    Conklin said there were times when he was in the Army that he doubted himself.
    “I realized that sometimes we have to face challenges that we don’t think we can overcome and we have something inside ourselves that pushes us to face our challenges,” he said.
    Conklin said he wants people to feel as if anything can be achieved while reading his autobiography.
    “‘Don’t Thank Me, Thank Your Recruiter’ will explain to readers to not be afraid to face a challenge. If you believe, you can do anything,” he said.
    Currently Conklin is attending community college in New Jersey. He plans to transfer to Rutgers to receive his bachelor’s degree. Conklin will walk in the St. Johnsville Memorial Day parade as a flag holder for American Legion Post No. 168. This will be Conklin’s second year walking in the parade.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Don’t Thank Me, Thank Your Recruiter” will be released on Oct. 1. For more information on the autobiography visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dontthankmethankyourrecruiter.

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