As a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve, former campus policeman, Stephen Mosley, is doing exactly what he dreamt of, helping in the military.
“Serving my country is something I always wanted to do,” Mosley said. “Serving in the armed forces is not for everyone, but there is a connection that those who do, have that you don’t see anywhere else.”
Assigned to the 320th PSYOPS, or Psychological Operations Company, out of Portland, Ore., Mosley was deployed to Iraq in 2008 to do face-to-face communication with civilians, gather information and pass along messages to officials from targeted communities.
“I find out what the locals need, like water or power,” he said. “I try and get a feel for what they are thinking and how they feel about the local government, and if they support it or not.”
While in Iraq, Mosley ran into Maj. Byron Duke, an executive officer whose twin sons, Denton and Dextor Duke, play football for UMHB.
“(It) was one of those ‘It’s a Small World’ occasions,” Mosley said. “We were talking about where we were from, and one thing led to another. Now we talk about Cru football when we are together, and we even give each other the Cru hand sign when we pass on the base and during briefings we both attend.”
Freshman Denton Duke said he hadn’t expected his father to tell him he was working with a Crusader employee.
“It was so random and a big surprise,” Duke said.
The student is encouraged by his father and those who work in the service.
“It means a lot to me,” he said.
Duke is more than ready to see his father when he comes home to Granbury, Texas, in a few months.
“We are close,” Duke said. “We are all looking forward to when he gets back. It’s been hard on our mom, too.”
Maj. Duke will be back to the states soon. He is a reminder of home for Mosley , and what he has to look forward to when he returns.
Mosley originally joined the Army as an armor crew member of operating tanks in 1995. He then transferred to the reserves in 2001, becoming a military policeman. The MP unit was shut down, so Mosley transferred to the PSYOPS operations where he currently serves.
Overseas, Mosley loves experiencing other cultures and talking to different people groups.
“I actually enjoy what I do and where I am,” he said. “I get to try new foods and customs. I do miss my wife and son, but I am by no means suffering. I really enjoy serving and will continue to do so for as long as they let me.”
Mosley said the most memorable experience has been observing the Iraqis and their basic ways of life.
“Seeing people who are living in abject poverty and how they manage to get by day by day … really affects the way you see yourself, and you start to really grasp how good your life is,” he said. “Many of them are just barely making it, but when I show up to talk to them, they want to share what very little they have with me. Their hospitality is something I hold in awe.”
Back home in Belton is Mosley’s family, his wife, Eva, and their 16-year-old son, Andrew.
“To be very honest, my family (members) are the ones who make the biggest sacrifice,” Mosley said. “I get to run all over the world seeing new things and having fun doing something I enjoy. My wife, Eva, is the one who has to try and make everything work while I’m gone.”
Eva said it’s the small things she misses the most, like “having someone to come home (and) talk to, having someone to change the oil in the car and open the jar of pickles.”
However, she is learning to make the necessary adjustments.
“Change has always been a part of our lives, and in some aspects that is a good thing,” she said. “My son is 16 this time around, so I can count on him to help out where needed. He shows a level of maturity that most kids his age don’t have, and I do believe Steve’s military service has something to do with that.”
She awaits her husband’s homecoming.
“Missing Steve is a normal part of our day while he is gone, and we send lots of mail telling him so,” Eva said. “It’s like that itch that you want to scratch, but you can’t. I am very proud that my husband is able to serve our country and fight to protect our freedom. As much as I miss him when he is gone I believe our time together is blessed because we both cherish it so much more.”
Stephen Mosley, no matter if he is stationed in Iraq or Texas, enjoys serving others and is thankful for his work in either country.
“They pay me to ride a bike and walk outside and talk to people,” he said of his UMHB police work. “I have a job that lets me get out and provide a service to a community of people that I look forward to every day.”
Of the military, he said, “I have risen high enough in rank in the Army where I get to avoid most of the mundane tasks, but I still get to work with my soldiers on the ground where I belong.”
Even with his love for new opportunities and drive to serve people, Mosley never imagined he’d become a policeman at the university or in the Army Reserve.
“If you asked me if I wanted to be a cop back when I was 18, I would have laughed,” he said. “That was the last thing I wanted to be. There was a long series of being in the right place at the right time, talking to the right people that brought me where I am today.”
Mosley worked for the Belton Police Department for five years before being employed by the university.
“No one calls 911 because they are having a good day,” he said. “It’s hard to keep smiling through all the crap that goes on in the world. It does, however, allow you to see a part of our society most people have no idea exists.”
Lt. Pat Duffield was Mosley’s overseer at the city police department. She is now his supervisor at UMHB.
Duffield described Mosley as the manpower or the go-to person.
“He always says to the chief, ‘I’m here for you,’” Duffield said. “That’s what kind of man he is, what kind of officer he is and what kind of father he is. He is just a really good guy and … when there’s no one to work a shift, he’ll say, ‘I’m here for you.’”
Duffield has worked with Mosley and known him and his family for many years. She said no matter where he is, he will do his assignments with a good attitude.
“He’s not afraid of new things, and he’s not afraid of challenges or working hard,” Duffield said.
Mosley is expected to return to the states in August or September. He is looking forward to eating at Jaliscos in Belton, spending time with his family and catching up with friends.
“I miss the university and all the friends I made there. It’s a great place to work, and I consider myself very lucky to be there,” Mosley said. “The people there are great. The students are fun to work with. There are some great personalities at UMHB, and I will enjoy coming back.”
Students, faculty and staff have noticed his absence and are also anticipating his return.
“When he left, there was definitely a void in the life of the department,” campus police Chief, Gary Sargent, said. “Stephen (is) a well-liked guy, and he advanced the department in building strong relationships within the community. He is always looking on the bright side, smiling and laughing.”