Antonio Baez

Oberlin College Library


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00:00:31 - Birthplace and Early Life

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Partial Transcript: Please begin by telling me where you were born and where you grew up.

So I was born here, in the city of Lorain Ohio, born in St. Josephs, 1984, to Maria and Jose Baez.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez speaks about his childhood and early life in Lorain Ohio, recalling memories of his family, neighborhood and childhood friends.

Keywords: Family; Financial struggles; Neighborhood

00:07:51 - High School and Young Adulthood

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Partial Transcript: Could you tell me a little bit about your time in high school, and then also when did you start thinking about the military or when did that become an option for you.

So high school was pretty interesting, in all of school I was, every grade I was kicked out of school.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez speaks about his teenage years and time in high school in Lorain. He recalls getting in trouble with law enforcement, problems with drugs and alcohol, and a short time in a juvenile detention center. He talks about meeting his girlfriend in high school, getting pregnant with their first child, and their decision to keep the baby and get married.

Keywords: Drugs and Alcohol; Juvenile Detention; Marriage; Pregnancy

00:14:34 - Military Enlistment

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Partial Transcript: Reverse a little bit, what caused me to join the military is my brother was in the military. I didn't really want to do it but after I had my son, I was like, you know, this would be a good chance for me to get out of this environment.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez talks about the process of his enlistment and his decision making process. He describes the long hours he worked at the Elyria Foundry while completing his high school diploma. He talks about his decision to join the military, his experiences with recruiters, and consulting his brothers in the military for advice along with his wife and mother.

Keywords: Delayed Entry Program; Elyria Foundry; Enlistment; Family in Military; Recruiter; Steel Mill

00:21:59 - Entrance into the Marines and Basic Training

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Partial Transcript: Well I'd love to hear about your initial moments in the military and these decisions that you made, the advice of your brother, how that helped you entering.

Yeah, so, with his advice in mind, we were all pretty extroverted in terms of we never really cared about other people's decisions or opinions of us because of how we grew up. You know, everyone was always pointing their fingers, so all of us built this tolerance and reactive responses to stuff like that. So what that means, and I'm trying to explain it, is when I went to the recruiter, they did exactly what he told me they were going to try to do, like "hey, yeah, you can just do this, and because of your record you're not going to be able to do this." And I'd already heard it from him, so I'm like, well that's not going to happen, this is what I want. That's more of that attitude, I'm going to do this, or I'm not going to do it, so if you want me there it is, other than that I gotta be at work at two.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez recalls his first days in the military at basic training and the hardships that he endured. He talks about the environment and culture of boot camp and the ways enlisted members of the military are broken down so that they can be reformed into soldiers.

Keywords: Boot camp; Cleveland MEPS; Discrimination; Drill Sergeant; Military police; Parris Island; U.S. Marines

00:33:01 - Transition into the Military and First Base Assignment

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Partial Transcript: Well I'd love to move on to after basic training, what were your, where did you go first after you graduated basic training?

So I graduated basic training, you have to go through and infantry school that teaches every marine how to be, just like we were talking about, every marine how to be an infantry person. So it doesn't matter if you're a book person, an accountant in the marine corp, you learn how to shoot your weapon, you learn battle drills, how to respond and attack enemy forces, how to move, how to low crawl, how to go through rooms, how to go through tunnels, how to use different weapon systems, and how to just be a marine. Every marine is a rifleman, that's their quote.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez talks about his life after graduation from basic training; in infantry school and as a military police officer on his first base assignment. He talks about his experiences responding to calls and incidents on base. He discusses the effects of PTSD that he observed in soldiers returning from combat and their families that remained on base.

Subjects: Camp Johnson; Camp Lejeune; Deployment; Infantry School; Military families; Military police; PTSD; U.S. Marines

00:42:32 - Deployment to Kuwait and Iraq

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Partial Transcript: So when I finally get the opportunity to deploy, it was uneasy because I have children, I already had my son. So I'm like, man, what am I going to do with, where do I send her, does she go back with my parents? Because we moved to North Carolina together, do I send her home? Does she stay here? and then she becomes like all these other parents that have lost their mind because their husbands are gone.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez speaks about his time in Kuwait and Iraq while deployed with the Marine Corp and his experiences in combat. He describes his interactions with locals and how he was taught to hate the local civilians by the military.

Keywords: Combat; Deployment; Iraq; Kuwait; Mental Health

00:48:51 - Position at the Pentagon

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Partial Transcript: So fast forward, returning home I was provided an opportunity. I'd seen an email come across on my military email that said they were looking for infantry or an MP to go work in DC for the office of legislative affairs. And that job entailed working for a one star general. And I was like, that will get me out of this grind the same thing all the time.

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez speaks about the time he spent working at the Pentagon for the office of legislative affairs and how he was offered this opportunity. He talks about the the generals and other officers he worked with and the levels of security clearance he was granted which made him privy to a great deal of classified information and conversations.

Keywords: Office of Legislative Affairs; Return from deployment; Separation from family; Washington DC

00:57:33 - Life After Active Service

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Partial Transcript: Fast forward we decide to call it quits and move back home, and when I moved back home I had a void so I decided to join the reserves, the Marine Corp had just got hit, Brook Park had just got hit with a bad, while they were deployed they lost a lot of guys, a lot of guys were killed in that unit so the moral was...

Segment Synopsis: Antonio Baez speaks about his time in the reserves after leaving active service, and reflects on the impacts of military service on the rest of his life.

Keywords: 82nd Airborne Division; Discipline; Respect; Service; Suicide; U.S. Army Reserves