By BETHANY WIEGAND
Terry Cropf, of Danville, recently published the book, "Combat Support: The True Burden of Sacrifice," about his experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq during his deployment from August 2005 to 2006.
Cropf joined the Army in 1997.
"I spent four years in the active Army between South Korea and Dugway Proving Ground in the west desert of Utah," Cropf said.
He then met his wife, Shannon, and they were married in Utah.
In 2001, Cropf put his family's future as his main priority and he was honorably discharged in 2001.
"I did it so I wouldn't have to move my family around the country as a traditional active Army soldier," Cropf said.
He joined the Utah Army National Guard two months after Sept. 11 and was deployed from 2005 to 2006. Cropf's wife had their fourth child and she moved their family to the Danville area to prepare for Cropf's homecoming.
After arriving, Cropf applied to Pennsylvania College of Technology and entered the physician's assistant program in 2007. After graduating in 2009, Cropf was hired by Geisinger Health System in neurosurgery as a physician's assistant.
But he still is active in the National Guard.
"I am the battalion physician assistant for the Third of the 103rd Armor Regiment with locations in Wellsboro to Danville," Cropf said.
Writing had been a hobby of Cropf's since he was a teen.
"I think it started as a dream to write lyrics for music, but turned out most everything from the early days was poetry," Cropf said. He also started to write two novels in his teens and early 20s, but never finished. Cropf said that he has many other ideas for novels that he would like to pursue.
"I will always continue to write poetry," he said.
For Cropf, the purpose of writing "Combat Support" was more than just making money.
"It took much determination to get through 'Combat Support,' but the driving factor was not dollar signs, but my sincere hope that others throughout the military might benefit from my honesty, and to give my wife and family the credit they are due for their part in my successful deployment and our struggles upon my return," Cropf said.
After months of searching for a publisher, and multiple rejections, Cropf finally went with Brighton Publishing. His book is available at Barnes and Nobles, Amazon.com, Kindle and soon to be available at local bookstores.