A working cowboy serves as an example of our brave men and women in the military.

Tim Stout ropes horses on the JA Ranch in 2007.
Tim Stout ropes horses on the JA Ranch in 2007.

I met Tim Stout in 2007 on the JA Ranch, photographing a story for the May 2007 issue of Western Horseman. He was the wagon boss on the legendary West Texas outfit. At the time, I had no idea that he had already served our country, joining the U.S. Army in 1993 and deploying to the border of North and South Korea.

I lost track of Stout but ran into him last May in Abilene, Texas. “Where have you been?” I asked. Stout told me that he had recently returned from Afghanistan, serving once again in the U.S. Army.

“When I saw all the fighting going on over there, it bothered me, so I re-enlisted,” he says. “I didn’t feel like I had done enough. I guess you have to be deployed in the military to understand that feeling. I felt like I needed to do more.”

After rejoining in 2011, Sergeant Stout was deployed to Afghanistan at the beginning of 2012. He led a team that cleared out improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and he carried out 100 combat missions.

“It was a tough time, I’m not going to lie,” he says.

Sergeant Stout was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.
Sergeant Stout (middle) was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

Thankfully, Stout returned home safely. Today, he is back to cowboying, working on the Muleshoe Ranch in Gail, Texas.

To Sergeant Stout and all the other brave men and women who have served our country and fought for our freedom, we sincerely thank you.

Today, Stout works on the Muleshoe Ranch.
Today, Stout works on the Muleshoe Ranch.

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