Soldier comes home for the Fourth

TROY — Major Scott Shoop has dedicated the past 29 years to the military, which has taken him to other states such as Texas and North Carolina and overseas for work or deployment.

However, the native Trojan made a special visit home with his family for the Fourth of July.

Shoop’s mother, Linda Webb, said her son became interested in war history and making model planes when he was around 8 years old.

“He loved to build airplanes, and he learned a lot about the wars,” she said. “You can ask him anything about any World War and he knew everything about it.”

Shoop agreed the interest in the military and wars started young.

“I always grew up watching war movies,” he said. “The era of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, all the normal American heroes.”

Upon graduating high school in 1986, he enlisted, which he attributes to the desire of young men to try and succeed at something new.

“My cousin had joined the infantry, and it seemed like something I wanted to do,” he said. “I think a lot of young men want to test themselves, so I wanted to test myself.”

Webb said her son returned after four years in the Army and went to work at ABF Trucking. After that he went to college and re-enlisted in the Reserves.

“He learned how to fly helicopters, and he loved it,” she said. “Something was going on in Iraq and he said ‘I should be there, Mom. I should be there with my guys.’ He missed it.”

Shoop went on three tours. The first two were in Iraq for eight and 15 months respectively, and the last tour was 12 months in Afghanistan.

The climate in the Middle East was arid, with daily temperatures in the summer being around 120 degrees Fahrenheit while winter months were 80 or 90 degrees. He said the Iraq tours were more dangerous than Afghanistan.

“One of my scariest experiences was being in a near-helicopter crash on Christmas Eve 2006,” he said. “We flew into a sandstorm. There was a flight of eight helicopters and we almost had an air collision with the helicopter in front of us.”

More recently, he lived in Poland, where he met his wife Magda, and in August 2014 they welcomed their son Connor. The family now lives in Fayetteville, N.C.

Shoop said he plans on retiring soon and shared the lesson his years in the military taught him about dedication to oneself and others, honor, respect for others and discipline.

“Mainly what it teaches you is discipline,” he said. “Understanding that hard work and effort will lead you to success.”

Webb said her son was always driven and hardworking in the military, making his goal to work up the ranks a reality.

“He always set his goals for what he wanted,” she said. “He’s done real well.”