FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For some, joining the military is a decision influenced by family history but for others it has taken obstacles to get there. Christopher McBride is a reservist for the United States Army and also serves the community of Fort Wayne as a police officer.

McBride grew up with a close friend who knew he wanted to join the military since he grew up in a military family. After high school he went straight to basic training. In July of 2011, McBride’s friend was stationed in Afghanistan. While serving he was hit by an improvised explosive device and died. After losing his friend, McBride was motivated to join the military. “It was kind of a wake up call for me and as unfortunate as it was it was important for me to realize there is a bigger cause out there,” McBride says.

“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into,” McBride explains. That was in September of 2012. He first went over as a group leader teaching a 29 day leadership course and was stationed in Kuwait.

“We still have soldiers in desolate parts of the world protecting the American way of life and there’s a reason why the United States is one of the best countries in the world,” McBride says.

In 2014 he was mobilized to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where the only strategic maximum security detention facility that is being operated by the department of defense. “That’s where we were currently holding the suspected terrorists of 9/11,” McBride explains. He worked inside the facility with those individuals of nine months.

“My transition was really rocky. We still face all the normal every day hurdles everyone else does, the only difference is our support system is each other. If we didn’t have each other, it would be a really dark place,” McBride says.

“The military is really good at making you realize you aren’t going to succeed by yourself, you really have to work as a team. We owe it to each other’s families, we came together and we are going to come home together,” he says.

McBride still serves as a reservist, and he did that intentionally because he enjoys his civilian job as a Fort Wayne Police officer. “Every Sunday night I would watch ‘Cops’ and ‘American’s Most Wanted’ with my mom, it was our treat, our tradition.” That inspired him to pursue a career as an officer. He started his career in 2014 and has served with FWPD for three years.

Both roles in his life compliment each other. Chris says that officers go to multiple calls a day to people who just need someone to talk to. He says that it is surprising how many of them are veterans so his role as a reservist helps him be able to relate to those struggling. “I want to be able to provide them the support that I would help someone would do for me,” Chris says.

When asked why it is important to honor veterans, Chris says, “without the veterans from any of the wars or conflicts that we’ve had, America would not be where we are today. With as much bloodshed that took place, every single veteran who participated in sacrificing and giving their lives during these conflicts had a part in shaping the United States. If that’s not celebrated and if we’re not providing our veterans and their families with the resources and the support that they need, we could very well not be able to even have this conversation.”

Throughout the month of November, the Fort Wayne Police Department’s Facebook page is honoring those who work for the department and served in the military.