Celebrating an Army Discharge at Oxbow on Washington Avenue May 1st

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Fernando Peblo (L) Reunited With High School Buddies Today at Oxbow Brewing on Washington Avenue.  Ian Cloutier is Next to Peblo.  Lula Sargent is on the Right (She Did not Attend High School in New York State With Peblo).  Quinn Nolan is on the Far Right.  Sargent and Nolan live on Munjoy Hill.

The Four Met Under an A-Frame at Oxbow Brewing Today – a Warmish, Sunny, May 1st in Which Governor Mills Has Relaxed Restrictions Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Fernando Peblo has been traveling up and down the east coast visiting family and friends ever since he was discharged from the U.S. Army recently.  Today Peblo was reunited with high school buddies from upstate New York. That reunion happened in Portland at Oxbow Brewing on Washington Avenue where mhn.com met them.

There was a lot to talk about since the three buddies graduated from Hastings-on-Hudson High School in upstate New York in 2012 and went on to attend different colleges pursuing different career paths.

The day that Peblo graduated from SUNY-NY with a BA in Communications, he enlisted in the U.S. Army.  He did that because he wanted to serve the country and to avoid the hassle of looking for a job after college. “My parents were terrified for me.  They were scared I would see combat and die,” said  Peblo.

Three of the five years he spent in the Army, Peblo served in Anchorage, Alaska.  It was at the Joint Base Elmendorf at Fort Richadson.  Doing what, mhn.com asked?   “Most of the time I was in Alaska, I was huddled around a stove in an Artic tent trying to melt snow for drinking water and trying to keep the tent from burning down,” he said.  Ten people occupied it.  “We had to be able to put the tent up in ten minutes.  We did that exercise over and over.  I hated my time in the military, although I wanted to join up originally.”  He was reprimanded on four different occasions for “being detrimental to unit moral.”  In other words, he was not shy about pointing out the stupidity of some of the functions the Army enlisted were expected to perform.

In 2017-2018, Peblo was deployed to Afghanistan for four months.  He was part of a reinforcement group that trained and facilitated Afghan troops.  Of that experience, Peblo said:  “It’s difficult to quantify a different culture, but in the Army you are given a lot of impossible tasks.”  His parting words were:  “The Army is so old fashioned in so many ways. but the changes they are making do help soldiers with mental health issues, sexual harassment and racism.  But there is a long way to go,” he said before the four moved on to meet another Hastings-on-Hudson High School graduate up the line in Gray.

Today, May 1st, marks the beginning of the exit of American troops from Afghanistan – with an ending coming in September 2021.