Anyone who has ever come in contact with Cory Foster will tell you that he is a no-nonsense kind of guy, who will never lie to you, and will tell you exactly what he thinks about a given topic.
That’s part of his charm and it has defined him as a member of the community.
Foster, 48, enlisted in the United States Army in 1989 and took advantage of the opportunities that it afforded him.
“People like to talk about their glory days, how great they were or how great things were when they were in high school,” Foster said. “My glory days were in the Army. You get to do so much and experience so much for free that would normally cost civilians thousands. You want to jump out of a plane, that’ll cost you a couple hundred bucks, you can do it for free in the army.”
Foster spent a total of 14 years in the US Army, serving in Operation Desert Storm before he returned back to states.
“I took 18-months off a drove a garbage truck in Seattle but everyone there who was my age seemed so aged already,” Foster said. “Like they were 23-year olds in the bodies of 40 or 50-year olds and I didn’t want to become that so I went back to the Army and decided to make it a career.”
Foster was stationed and deployed all over the world including places like Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bosnia, Somalia, and Korea.
While stationed in Germany in January of 2002, Foster was hospitalized with Guillain–Barré Syndrome, a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system, which left him essentially paralyzed.
The official cause is still undetermined, but there was reason to believe the syndrome was caused by either a poor reaction to a vaccine or possibly consuming undercooked chicken.
After being transferred to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C., Foster, who is not one to be deterred by anything began walking again in June of 2002, and was released from the hospital on November 30, of that year.
Upon release from the hospital Foster, who still in the Army was put on reserve duty due to neurological damage that was done to his body during his 11-month fight in the hospital.
Foster officially retired from the Army in 2005, but that isn’t where his adventure ended, but where he began utilizing the skills he acquired in the military in everyday life in Shoshone County.
“When you join the military, it’s not a get rich scheme,” Foster said. “But if you stay in the military and work hard, once you decide to get out you can use the skills you gained to create good opportunities for yourself.”
Foster has had several different jobs since retiring, but one thing has always happened at those jobs.
He has always found his way to the top.
“When I worked underground, I was there just few months and I was asked to be a supervisor, simply because I was honest, I wasn’t afraid to take charge, and not afraid to hurt anybody’s feelings,” Foster said.
From there, Foster has found success working for Shoshone County as their emergency manager, and also at the Wallace School District transportation department where he has gone from bus driver to his current position as transportation director.
Foster isn’t a guy who walks around thinking his military service makes him better than anyone else, in fact his least favorite part of being a veteran is people coming up to him and saying, “Thank you for your service,” he didn’t do it to be thanked, in fact he is more thankful for the opportunities that it has given him.
“It’s not for everyone,” Foster said. “But for those guys who go into it with the right mindset and they work hard and stay out of trouble it can be the most rewarding thing they will ever do, both while they’re in and even once they are out.”