The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

March 1, 2012

Ex-medic tells 'True Burden' of service

DANVILLE -- Everything's fine once a soldier comes home after serving during wartime overseas.

Wrong, says Terry Cropf.

Cropf found he was a different person after serving a year in Iraq as a medic in charge of a troop clinic.

He has included some of his journal, written while serving with the Utah Army National Guard, and details his struggles after his return in the new eBook, "Combat Support: The True Burden of Sacrifice."

It should be available in printed form in May or June. Cropf grew up in Danville and moved back in 2006.

"There were certain things I want to address to bring to light the roles of not just individuals I was deployed with but other roles," he said. "I want to give people credit I served with and supported me in my career," he said, adding he also wrote of the roles of people, including his wife, Shannon.

While he was in Iraq, she gave birth to their youngest daughter and ran their household of four children.

"Everybody takes on some type of role as soldiers deploy," he said. "Coming back is extremely difficult. I immediately went to PA (physician assistant) school and climbed back into the role as a father and a husband."

Shannon Cropf said holidays were especially tough while her husband was overseas. She moved the family from a suburb of Salt lake City, Utah, to Danville in July 2006 while Cropf still was in Iraq. He arrived home that November.

"I had no friends, no job. It was kind of a shock," said Shannon, who is from Utah. They have a son and three daughters: Dylan, 20; Destiny, 18; Dakota, 10; and Daelynn, 6.

"When he came home, he wasn't the same person, although he wouldn't admit it," she added.

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