Joshua "Blue" Carlson Gamma Kappa, #535


I was in the Army for 8 years. I was trying to make it a career but ended up breaking my neck in 2004. The Army didn’t catch it until 2006 when I had surgery done to my C-1 to C-3 vertebrae, which fused them to the base of my skull. I got medically discharged in December 2007. Right now I live in Platteville working with doctors outside the VA, and getting the nerves in my neck burnt so I don’t feel any pain. I never thought I’d go to college, but when I moved to Dubuque, IA, my stepmother told me about UWP. I’ve been in and out of school since 2008. Just trying to control my chronic neck and back pain. I am hoping to get back into UWP for Fall 2018 so I can finish my degree. I’ll have two years left.

Joshua "Blue" Carlson and his service dog, Renegade

Your military career is a big part of your life, what or who inspired you to join the military?

I joined the Army on November 22, 1999 when I was 17. The reason why I joined was to follow in my father’s footsteps.

What do you remember most vividly about your time as a TKE?

I still go to the house and hang with the guys to see what the younger generations have for us. But I miss is the crazy nights with Spencer "Stylez" Harris; we had a great time.

Back Row: Trevon Anderson, Tyler Ungerecht, Owen Kalbacken, Zachary King, Gannon Butler, Jacob Maroszek, Adam Holt, Jacob Hopp, Will Sarau Front Row: Jeff Cheely, Jacob Carlson, Bailey Tran at the 2017 Fall Banquet

What was the process like to get your service dog, Renegade, and what is your favorite activity to do with him?

The process of getting a serve dog is actually a lengthy one, especially for Renegade. He had issues with men; let’s just say he didn’t like them. So I first had to get that fixed. The best way to do that was take him to the TKE House. I thought it was going to take awhile, but actually that worked fast. He got over his fear of men, and then had to do some other training. My doctor had to write a letter for me to the VA so they could approve him to be my service dog. My favorite thing to do with him is taking his select toys outside to play, and our walks; which we have to get back into because of winter. He doesn’t really play much unless we are outside. He’s a weirdo, but he’s my weirdo.

Blue's Service Dog, Renegade

What was your best day in TKE?

Best day was becoming a TKE, but it was different for me. I missed my banquet since I had to immediately move to Colorado to help my mother. But, that’s a whole story in itself.

  1. Salty or Sweet? Sweet
  2. Beach or Mountains? Mountains
  3. Beard or Clean Shaven? Definitely BEARD
  4. Summer Olympics or Winter Olympics? Summer Olympics
  5. Tacos: Hard Shell or Soft Shell? Soft Shell
  6. Bath or Shower? Shower

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