FORT HOOD - Commanding III Corps is in a sense a “Family Business” for Lieutenant General Paul Funk.
He’s a man that everyone wants to work beside and Funk loves what he does.
“55 years. I’ve been in the Army my whole life,” Funk said. “I was born into the Army at Fort Hood.”
Funk said he’s served at Fort Hood four or five times and does not know anything else but the Army.
He has lived on Fort Hood several times – got married there – and his wife used to teach in Killeen and now owns a Yoga studio. Funk’s kids graduated here and being back at Fort Hood is tremendous for him.
“Central Texas is my home so I’m immensely proud of it,” Funk said.
Perched above post, in his top floor office of the III Corps building, he and his team are making decisions affecting nearly 100,000 soldiers as part of the Corp around the globe.
Their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan will be his sixth and working with 60 nations in a joint combined staff in this latest fight against ISIS.
“We’re more than ready for these guys,” he said.
Each commanding general has their own cause they bring to the table. For Funk, it is personal responsibility. It has to start with each soldier personally.
“They outta be held to a higher standard,” he said. “We hold each other to a higher standard because we are the most respected profession in our country and the greatest county in the world and yeah the American people expect more from their soldiers, and we need to deliver that.”
And delivering more than they need to, he said are the military spouses and families.
“Army Souses we don’t thank them enough,” he said.
Funk knows the toll deployments take on a family.
“Take my youngest for example,” he said. “I missed five years of his life because I’ve been deployed so much.”
That’s something he keeps close to his heart – knowing so many families are making their situations work so well during and after deployments. However, coming home is one of the best feelings in the world, he said. Funk even finds himself showing up at welcome home ceremonies from time to time out of appreciation.
“It’s one thing to wear a yellow ribbon on your car,” Funk said. “but it’s another thing to sit down and watch as these young families are reunited and to see the emotion and feel the incredible commitment of these young people.”
Funk knows heroes. He keeps a poster of Matt Lammers in his office for a reason. Lammers is a triple amputee and reminds funk that anyone can overcome anything. Lammers swims several miles a day. He even competed in the Warrior Games at West Point.
There is no substitute for comradery, and on that day, General Funk let him feel that exact feeling again by giving Lammers the patch on his arm.
He celebrates those soldiers and as far as non-military heroes go, along the picture filled wall are nothing but memories.
Photos of Funk in middle in desert storm, his dad, and his father in law.
While leading the largest army installation in the country, Funk keeps it simple. He loves Texas and he loves his truck. Nothing fancy. His wife bought his 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup Truck.
“I’ve drive it for over 10 years and it doesn’t have 100,000 miles on it yet because I’ve been deployed so much but its bright red pickup truck that sitting downstairs,” Funk said.
When Funk asked about political aspirations he said “No”.
Funks Father, Lieutenant General Paul Butch Funk, commanded III Corps back in the 90s.
When asked if the thought he had a lot to live up to he said he thinks he has owned up to it.
“As my dad and father in law would say I think I’ve earned my keep,” he said.
Funk said he never aspired to it and never though he would get that far.
“It is just an honor to be leading this great organization with a tremendous amount of leaders with us down in the trenches supporting us along the way,” he said.
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