SHREVEPORT, La. -- Glen Kinsey turned wrenches in his dad's auto body shop growing up. So the Air Force put him to work doing heavy maintenance on choppers. That was one year before the 9/11 attacks.
Keeping Blackhawk helicopters combat ready was Glen's job as a crew chief with the 101st Airborne. He soon deployed to a base in Kuwait for the war in Afghanistan in early 2002.
He'd do one more deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom, and then another deployment to the war with Iraq. It was to a place that earned a catchy name because of frequent mortar attacks.
"We called it Mortariaville," Glen says. "It got mortared everyday while we there."
Glen says no one was ever hurt. The shells always seemed to land out of harm's way. And he came home from the wars on terror unscathed.
"I think I'm very blessed that I was a part of it in the manner that I was. We have some people that went through a lot of terrible times."
Glen pays honor to the "Screaming Eagles" with his Shreveport business "Airborne Locksmith," which bears the air assault division's logo.
"I am proud of my military history. I like my military brothers to see me and recognize me," he says.
He has a mobile unit where he can swoop in to your location and make you a new car key on the spot if you're in a jam.
"Once we get it to where it turns in the ignition, we have specialized equipment to where we can program the key to the car -- because the car has to recognize the key," Glen explained.
And in his shop, he has all the tools to add the electronics and make you a new, functioning key fob. Lost keys really are his new mission.
"I've had people say they've thrown 'em away. I've had customers say they've got 3 year olds. I personally understand that one. 'Cos I've had keys come up missing. I guess it's only fitting that I make my own," Glen said with a chuckle.
He looks back on his days as a key part of our war effort in the Middle East as some of the best times of his life.
"The bond that you make in the military is way deeper than you'll ever make with just everyday civilians. Because when you are forcefully putting your life into somebody else's hands, you have a bond that can not be broken," Glen says.
He originally wanted to join the Air Force and work on A-10 attack jets he admired watching fly over our area from Barksdale. But when they couldn't guarantee him duty on the Warthogs, Glen decided to go Army.