Insights > Veterans Spotlight: Rock Ingram & Wilbert Corley
Veterans Spotlight: Rock Ingram & Wilbert Corley
In celebration of Veterans Week, today we feature two Entergy Mississippi employees who served in the military. Wilbert Corley is a distribution operations center manager in Jackson, and Rock is an engineer in Cleveland. They both served in the United States Army.
I was a sergeant in the Army for 11 years. My most memorable experience is of a 203 millimeter rocket whistling while it was in the air. The whistle is unignorable when the rocket has been shot at you. Set in motion by the dreadful sound, 30 miles south of Baghdad and 7,000 miles from home as Senior Radar Operator, I asked myself silently, “How did I get here?” I answered myself, “Because you wanted the Army to pay for your engineering education so your parents wouldn’t have to.”
People unselfishly serve for various reasons. As for me, I have an education to die for and an unshakeable desire to succeed. I’d like others to know that success is a result of intentional effort and unintended opportunity. Finally, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
I’m a veteran of the US Army Reserve. I served eight years as a Specialist as a Combat Engineer and a Motor Transport Operator. I trained at Ft. Leonard in Missouri and later transferred to the 296th Transportation Unit in Brookhaven, MS. I really enjoyed being a member of this unit.
As a member of the 296th Unit, I was deployed to Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia. Upon receipt of active duty orders, I was required to ensure my paperwork was complete and in order for family affairs should something happen to me while deployed. This was a very intense time for me, because I started thinking of what could happen to me over there. At the time, I was a young husband and father of three young sons, Marcus, Maurice and Wilbert Jr. Wilbert Jr. was a special needs child who was totally dependent on someone to care for him. My wife had to rely on my family to help with my kids while I was away. They did a wonderful job, and I am very grateful for their support … especially my brother for stepping up to be there for my boys.
There are a lot of memories I will never forget from my six-and-a-half month deployment, but the most memorable would have to be the sirens that went off, mostly in evenings. The sirens warned the camp of incoming SCUD missiles. These were followed by the sounds of Patriot missiles taking off to intercept the SCUD missiles. I could never get used to those; I was always on alert and required to have my gas mask and mop suit nearby in case I needed them.
On Jan. 16, 1991, I was at work along with my teammates when the air strikes began against Iraq. We‘d always hear the Air Force performing their daily missions but on this particular night, the jets were taking off like never before. We weren’t sure but assumed because of this activity the war had begun. The next day we joined our unit on a Marine base and began running missions.
I will never forget the day we landed in Georgia on April 12, 1991. I was glad to be back on U.S. soil and very glad to see my family.
It was an honor to serve my country, and I am proud to be a Veteran!