If there were any singular word that could describe Ronie Corbin, a man who has devoted much of his time to the community both in and out of active duty, it would be selfless.
Corbin grew up in Wrigley, Tennessee on the foundations of hard work and responsibility in his youth. “It was good, because as a child, you learned how to work and to be responsible,” Corbin said with a glimmer in his eye as he thought back to his formative years. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop, after all.”
Corbin enlisted in the military in January of 1986, starting his basic training with the Bravo 82 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Afterwards, he was transferred to Fort Gordan, Georgia as a member of the Signal Corps, taking on the position of 31 Charlie; a Ratt Rig Operator.
Not long after, he was transferred yet again to Fort Hood, Texas, where he joined up with the 2nd Forward Support Battalion, being one of the first units called to action in the onset of the Gulf War.
He spent time in Kaiserlautern, Germany with the 11th Signal Battalion after the end of the conflict.
Soon after, Corbin found himself returning to the states, landing in Fort Polk with the 108th Air Artillery Brigade.
Even after Corbin retired from the military, the veteran found a way to keep himself in service to the community around him. He and several other veterans help shape the youth of tomorrow through the Great Adventure Camping Trip (GACT).
“We take kids camping every year, take them fishing to that Mennonite Pond on the other side of DeRidder,” Corbin said. “Everybody gets to catch a fish, and you can just see the smile on their faces. It gives you so much joy just to see them.”
The goal of GACT is to help strengthen family bonds and to give children experiences in life that they might not find otherwise, something that’s right up Corbin’s alley as a way to continue strengthening the livelihood of the community around him.
“It’s all about giving back, and that’s the very thing I loved about the military,” Corbin said. “The military gives a lot back to the community, and I’m thankful that I still get to do that.”
Even outside of GACT, Corbin enjoys fishing on his own time, though he also has a particular fondness for outdoor cooking. “My son could ask me what we’re doing that day, and the next thing you know, I’ve got the grill all fired up. Fishing and cooking, those are the two big things for me.”
If you ever see Corbin in town, be sure to shake his hand and thank him for his service, both in Active Duty and in the continued service he provides today. His valor in helping secure our way of life is a lofty feat, and the mere fact that he continues to improve and put himself in service to the community speaks volumes about his heroic nature.