Lessons from a firefight

Larry Perino learned about empathy and humility during his military service

Larry Perino, business solutions manager for Navy Federal Credit Union, served 25 years in the U.S. Army.

t was perhaps the scariest 15 hours of his life, but Larry Perino took away valuable life lessons from the hours he spent guarding and protecting a downed helicopter.

Perino deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993 as a rifle platoon leader with Bravo Company Third Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment as part of Task Force Ranger. During Operation Gothic Serpent, Somali forces attacked two Black Hawk helicopters, and Perino’s unit became involved in a 15-hour firefight.

“I was as scared as I’ve ever been in my life,” says Perino, business solutions manager at $144.5 billion asset Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Va. “You had a mission to do, and we had to stay focused because you realized, no matter how scared you were, we were all scared.”

That experience, upon which the film “Black Hawk Down” is based, affected not only the rest of Perino’s Army career, but also his civilian life.


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