Salute the Troops

Honoring those who fought, fight, and will fight for all of us

Published in the July 2018 Issue July 2019 Feature DT Staff

Andrew Phillips

It’s a 2005 Dodge Cummins and if you talk to Cam [Hulse, of Adrenaline Performance in Shelley, ID], it’s probably one of the most taken care of, coveted rigs. I’ve had a little bit of hardship in my life. When we finally got that truck, it took forever where we could financially get to where we could afford it, because I ended up breaking my back in four places, we had huge medical bills. Finally picked this truck up and just love them. I’ve had a Cummins before and they’re just great trucks. Over the years as I can afford it, we’ve maintained and tried to start fixing it up a little bit. So Cam has done almost all of the work to it. It’s got one of his stage 5 transmissions and we’ve got his traction bar setup, air bags, some motor work, a Smarty programmer, intake, BD exhaust manifold, free-flow exhaust, S&B filter. I upgraded it to the 2008.5 and up T-style steering in the front. Other than that, it’s pretty much just the stock appearance, you know, a leveling kit. I use it to pull my enclosed trailer and the toys around. 

I’ve got the most wonderful boy in the world. He’s 20 now, but he’s autistic. It’s pretty neat; at one time they said he’d never walk and at 4 he was riding a dirt bike, so that’s how we got into the diesels. We always had pickups. I pulled him around dirt biking and now he’s got a RAZR. He’ll never legally drive, but we’ve got a RAZR we pull around with it. Also, I’ve always been a motorhead, pulling cars when we can and things like that. The truck is just exceptionally clean. It’s always in the garage or shop. I’m not a guy who can go out and afford the new 2018s and stuff like that, so I’ve really tried to keep this truck maintained and as nice as I can. The paint is just amazing. It would just be nice to fix it up

That’s what we use it for: all the recreational stuff here in Idaho. We’re going to pull up to camp or basic four-wheeling stuff. And my hunting trips, because I am a gun guy. We go to Wyoming over by Gillette to a big ranch over there with some friends. We pull a big trailer over there with it. It’s kind of my work horse when I need it. I don’t necessarily daily drive it. I try not to drive it on short trips, but everyday real stuff, yeah. 

I started out in ’88. I actually went to work for the laboratory in Los Alamos, NM. I went to work security there. I worked on just the regular line and worked there for a couple of years, then put in for the SRT team, which is the DOE’s version of SWAT. I went through tryouts and was accepted and worked through that. I worked there almost 15 years, and in conjunction with that, I would work with Albuquerque PD SWAT. It’s been an amazing opportunity because I’ve gotten to train with Delta, SEALs, PJs, the whole gamut. While I was in New Mexico, I was on the guard force SWAT team for almost 15 years, then I moved to the live fire range for a time, where I was a firearms trainer and instructor. Shortly after that I ended up moving back here because I got a job at the INL. I went out to work at the live fire range as a range master. We would train all the new recruits coming in and all of the special response teams for anything from breaching tactics to shoot house to close-quarter battle to regular firearms and qualifications. I worked that and had full certifications. One other thing that I acquired when I was in Los Alamos was a full armorer status. What that is, is I actually work on all the weapons systems too. So I’m fully certified by different manufacturers and factories. So every few years I’ll have to go back, so to speak, to Remington or Barrett and keep my certs up so I can rebuild and work on the firearms and stuff that we currently have. It’s an amazing job.

It’s been an honor to collect the stories of these brave men and women. Without their sacrifice, and that of millions of others throughout our nation’s history, we wouldn’t be here. Heroism is something that few truly possess, and to put one’s life on the line every day is truly awesome. So to those who have served, continue to serve, and will serve in the future, we thank you.

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