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Pitcher brings experience from Iraq

Friday, January 18, 2008  
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By Guest Writer

Lori Woodfin

Some students choose Oklahoma Christian University only after they visit the campus, meet professors, faculty members and other prospective students. 

Jeremy Pitcher, however, did not visit the campus as a prospective student but chose Oklahoma Christian while he was serving in the U.S. Army.

In March of 2002, just two weeks after Pitcher turned 17 years old, he joined the U.S. Army. 

Pitcher said he was “born” into the military because his father served for more than 20 years. 

He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on Feb. 22, 1983 while his father was stationed overseas.

“I started off with MLRS, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, then, I got into public and governmental affairs.” Pitcher said. 

At one time, Pitcher was a marine deputy for the Cass County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan and a part-time firefighter for the Howard Township Fire Department in Michigan. 

He also served as a recruiter for the National Guard and assisted in teaching at many army schools.

Pitcher served overseas in South Korea twice and once in Baghdad, Iraq for 13 months. 

In Iraq, he worked for Multi-National Force Iraq, serving in the Strategic Effects division.

Now, Pitcher is in service with the Oklahoma National Guard working in public affairs.

“I lived at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and I worked out of what is now the Iraqi Parliament building,” Pitcher said.

While in Baghdad, Pitcher had many opportunities.

“I was one of probably a dozen non-Westerners at the seating of the Iraqi Parliament, which is big,” Pitcher said. “That’s the first freely elected government they’ve ever had in their history.”

While in Baghdad, Pitcher met President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Rice and former Prime Minister Blair.  Pitcher also met the ambassadors to Iraq. 

“I’d say the biggest thing, the thing I take away most, is being able to work with the Iraqi government,” Pitcher said.

Pitcher said working with their Secretary of Defense was interesting since no one in Iraq had ever served in the position. 

Pitcher also had the opportunity to meet international soldiers.

He met soldiers from Georgia, Latvia, South Korea, Australia, Poland and many other places.

“Sitting down and talking with these guys from foreign countries about their views and how their country views the war was pretty interesting,” Pitcher said.

Toward the end of his service in Iraq, Pitcher started thinking about and making plans for his future. 

“I was sitting in the Iraqi parliament building one night looking on the Internet trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I got back and I saw this school,” Pitcher said.

Pitcher had never been to Oklahoma Christian and didn’t know anybody at the university.

He had only been in Oklahoma one time for training at Fort Sill. 

When Pitcher returned from Iraq, he continued his service with the Michigan National Guard.

During this time, he had the opportunity to help coordinate events surrounding the funeral of President Gerald Ford.

Throughout his life, Pitcher has had many opportunities and has seen history unfold firsthand.

“I’ve gotten to travel so much and see so many different things and meet a lot of people,” Pitcher said. “A few of my experiences will even go down in history books.”

Pitcher started his first semester at Oklahoma Christian in the fall of 2006.

He plans to graduate in 2009 with a degree in political science and a minor in international studies. 

After graduation, he plans to pursue a masters degree in international affairs.

“I want to work for the U.S. government in some capacity,” Pitcher said.

John Osborne had Pitcher in his oral communication class and enjoyed his participation.

“One of the things I liked about Jeremy was that he wasn’t shy about sharing his opinion, and that lead to some good dialogue in our class,” Osborne said. “Pitcher chose interesting topics which encouraged interesting discussions.”

Osborne believes Pitcher has a different perspective than most students and also believes he will make an impact during his time in college.

“I think he really adds a lot to our campus community and can make a positive contribution,” Osborne said. “Because of his experiences in the military and serving in Iraq, I think he can provide some unique perspectives to students and faculty.”

Pitcher is a member of Oklahoma Christian’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America, and he is also interning with the House of Representatives this semester.

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