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Local promoted to two-star general
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For most of his life, Les Carroll has served his country.

The Covington resident spent most of his time in the Army Reserves and has deployed for the Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan.

He and his wife Linda have been residents of Covington for 31 years and have raised their children here. With their youngest child Emily, 16, they are preparing to leave Covington for their next big adventure in Fort Bragg, N.C.

In July, Carroll will be officially promoted to two-star major general. It has been a long army career for Carroll who has been serving on active duty for the past eight years.
"People usually start out on active duty and they finish up in the reserves. That has been almost backwards for me," said Carroll.

Before this new chapter of their lives was even a thought, Carroll served as Brigadier General. He was given command of the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command at Fort Sam in Houston, Texas. His command was deployed last year to Afghanistan on July 4, 2011.

Carroll has a true Fourth of July memory of when he and his command made a maintenance stop in Shannon, Ireland. When they were called back to the plane, they heard a roar of cheering and clapping.

"As my soldiers passed down the aisle, a big tour group from Ohio that was in the terminal stood up and started cheering, in Shannon, Ireland of all places on July 4th," said Carroll. "It was really kind of poignant that American patriotism goes where you go and you feel it."

It seemed as though this moment was exactly what Carroll needed before he arrived in Afghanistan to start a very challenging year for him and his family.

"Afghanistan is beautiful from 20,000 feet, but from six feet it's very nasty," said Carroll.

Carroll and his command were in charge of bringing all supplies to soldiers in the fight, such as ammunition and food. Carroll tells of soldiers rebuilding schools and mosques and providing school supplies to school kids in Afghanistan who have never had anything. Carroll said while he was there, the atmosphere is not what many people might think.

"Afghan people are very supportive and they want peace. They understand that that is what we are trying to give them," said Carroll. "People say that Afghanistan is 2,000 years and 30 minutes behind everything else. It's a unique culture and still very tribal based."

Despite the distance and the challenges throughout the years, his wife Linda, glows with pride every time her husband speaks. She said this has always been their life and she is very happy that he has been able to do what he loves to do.

Their children never fail to be supportive, she said.

With Carroll's new position as two-star major general, he said his first job will be as chief of staff of a very large staff for a four-star general.

"Kind of like an office manager on steroids," said Carroll.

The Carroll family has never moved and while there is a little trepidation, because of all the support they have received from the city of Covington, they are excited to begin their new chapter in Fort Bragg.

"It's going to be real nice that I get to continue to serve my country," said Carroll. "This time I get to take my family with me."