SSG Nelson Reyes joined the Army on the 2nd of July of 2002 when he was 18 years old. He completed Basic Training, Advance Individual Training and Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia. On the 15th of December 2002, he reported to the 2nd Battalion of the 9th Infantry (Manchu) in Camp Casey South Korea. While in South Korea, Reyes successfully completed Air Assault School and (2) Manchu Miles, which involves marching 25 miles in full combat gear across Korea’s mountainous terrain. On the 15th of January 2004, he reported to 2nd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. Later that year he served in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and earned the Combat Infantry badge for actively engaging the enemy in ground combat. In 2006, he transitioned into the New York State National Guard and reported to the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment. In 2008, he served in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom where he assumed the duties of Security Forces (SECFOR) for a remote base located in the Kunar Province.