Rudy Vaca – Still Serving
This is my GERBER. There are many like it but this one is MINE.
I am Rudy Vaca and I am an American Soldier. I am a Major in the US Army and I was commissioned as an Engineer Officer back in 2003. I am currently serving as an Operations Officer assigned to the 416th Theater Engineer Command in Darien, IL. I joined Team Red, White and Blue in February 2014 as a way to connect to my community and fellow veterans. I’m not a very social person but interacting with people through physical activity/challenges suits me well.
Joining the Army as an Engineer and knowing the duties and hazards of my chosen profession I knew that I needed a multi-tool with specific capabilities for my line of work. I purchased the Gerber MP600-D.E.T after I was commissioned and began using it while I attended the Engineer Officer Basic Course in Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. This tool was built with Combat Engineers in mind as we are well trained to use demolitions. This unique tool has some of the normal accessories in a multi-tool with the addition of blasting cap crimpers, wire cutters and a punch for priming explosives. These are the tools needed to prime explosive charges.
This tool has lasted through multiple demolitions ranges and combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. It has also served me well outside the military on various camping trips and adventures throughout Europe, the Pacific Rim and throughout the US. My Gerber has seen the world and endured the harshest of conditions for over a decade.
During my deployment to Iraq, my Gerber was always with me and part of my kit. So, without thinking about it, I carried it with me on my way back from Iraq and it was almost confiscated from me at the airport. Explosive residue was on my Gerber from its use in priming explosives in Iraq and was detected as I went through security. Luckily, I was in my uniform and they allowed me to keep it. My Gerber has never failed me and I’m glad I made the purchase over 10 years ago.
Over the last decade millions of Americans have served our country. Gerber has dedicated itself to these men and women by developing mission-essential, life saving gear for the battlefield. Today, that commitment is sustained developing new iconic tactical tools, rooted in experience, for those who continue to serve – in the military, in the community, or as ambassadors to the greater good. #StillServing