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ARLINGTON, Va. — Six months ago he was a sailor, but now David Guevara is a soldier in training, ready to head back to Iraq.

Guevara is the 1,000th member of another branch of the service to join the Army through the “Blue to Green” program, which has allowed members of the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to switch to the Army since 2004.

Now an Army specialist, Guevara is now participating in a four-week training course for servicemembers to learn Army life and is slated to graduate Feb. 9, he said Tuesday in a phone interview.

Afterward, he will head to Fort Campbell, Ky., as a combat medic, he said.

Guevara, who left the Navy in 2006 after eight years, said he received a $2,000 bonus to join the Army, but his major reason for switching services is the Navy made it much harder for him to advance from E-4 to E-5.

“I love my job, I love to help people,” he said. “I became a corpsman because I wanted to help injured Marines, or anybody, and the Army offered me the same job and I jumped right on it.”

He said the transition to the Army has been easier on him than other sailors because he worked with Marines for three years, serving with them during the initial invasion of Iraq.

Still, some aspects of Army life are a change, such as how often soldiers drill, Guevara said.

Guevara said he knows that as a soldier he will likely be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, but that won’t deter him.

“I knew I was going to go with the Army, and that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.

However, his wife was initially worried about him going back downrange, Guevara said.

He assured her he would have some help if he did go back.

“God took care of me the first time I went to Iraq, and God is going to take care of me the second time I go there and maybe the third and fourth time,” Guevara said.


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