I was born July 31, 1981, at about 6pm, at Santa Monica City Hospital in Santa Monica, California. My family lived in Los Angeles, just off Venice Blvd, in the house my grandparents, Carl Terwilliger and Sylvia Kully had built for them in 1946. In November, 1985, my parents, brother, Chris Terwilliger, and myself, moved to Millville, New Jersey (my mother's hometown). We drove across country, but all I remember of the trip is stopping at Tuscon, Arizona, and Vicksburg, Mississippi. Vicksburg has the most memories, but they consist of the entrance sign just off the interstate and floating a raft I had made out of broken twigs, and watching a barge float down the Mississippi River.
I went back to California with my dad in 1986 so he could finish his Masters at UCLA. All I remember of that trip is the sculpture garden on the UCLA campus.
The first time I remember seeing snow was the winter of 1987. There were piles of snow that seemed to be as tall as the cars. I couldn't decide if it was too cold to play or not. I hope I did enjoy those weeks in 1987, because after that winter it never really snowed again unless there was a blizzard.
Sometime after, we all went back to California for a visit. It's memorable for two reasons. First, it's the only memory I still have of Disneyland, but it also turned out to be the last time I saw my aunt, Elena Terwilliger.
Aunt Elena's death came at the same time my parents' marriage was falling apart, making it even more difficult for my brother and me. My schoolwork suffered, and I went outside less and less. During that time I eventually gave up all the extra things I had been doing, and turned inward, pushing everything away. My parents were finally divorced at the end of 1991.
I found myself reading more and more history, eventually tackling such lengthy books as William Shirer's "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and Will Durant's "The Story of Civilization". Military history had become my favorite, and soon I found myself obsessed with the American Civil War.
In early 1996, my brother and I began Civil War reenacting. My brother, being 12, became a drummer, and I carried a rifle. The group we joined was representing Company K, 6th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, of the famed " Iron Brigade". From 1996 until I left for the Army in July, 1999, all I was doing was waiting for the next reenactment to arrive. Whether there were just a few hundred local reenactors or weeklong events with 100,000-120,000 reenactors (as there were for the 135th anniversaries of Antietam and Gettysburg), my brother and I were in attendance.
On my 18th birthday, July 31, 1999, I arrived at Fort Benning, Georgia to begin basic training. I was assigned to D Company, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment for basic and advanced training. I became an 11M, Mechanized Infantry, at the end of training, and got very lucky - my first duty station was in Germany!
On January 17th, 2000, I arrived at Ledward Barracks, in Schweinfurt, Germany, and was assigned to A Company, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment. In February, 2002 I arrived at Fort Hood, Texas, and was assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry. After being promoted to Sergeant, in 2003, I was reassigned to B Company.
On March 17, 2004, B Company deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, and spent two weeks at Camp Udairi, Kuwait, before arriving in the Green Zone (later called International Zone) in central Baghdad April 2nd. We redeployed to Fort Hood from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, on March 19, 2005, and my unit designation was officially changed to B Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry. On October 25, 2005, my enlistment ended and I left the Army.
First-hand information. Entered by Alex Terwilliger at registration.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Alexander or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 37 markers, haplogroup I-M253, FTDNA kit #463062