Austin de la Torre ’20
This Thursday the Woodberry Forest community was fortunate enough to have David Budlong, a member of the faculty, talk about some of his experiences while serving our nation overseas during the War on Terror. Coach Budlong helps Newboys develop healthy academic habits. He also coaches football and is the head wrestling coach.
He watched the 9/11 attacks while in Australia, and would see Ground Zero only a month after that. Mr. Budlong went on to serve in the Airborne Infantry Unit and was the team leader of the weapons squad. His first deployment was to an area south of Baghdad as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. On his second deployment, he was part of Operation Enduring Freedom. His team performed hundreds of missions, from which he drew a couple key lessons which he shared with the school: trusting your teammates, selfless service, sacrifice, teamwork, adaptability, and commitment, were among these takeaways.
Coach Budlong concluded by sharing why he chose to fight: “I fought for my country, and now with a greater perspective I realize that I was fighting for so much more.” We are all thankful for his service to both this nation and this school; it was a privilege to be able to hear from him.