INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (March 9, 2016) – Hoosier veteran Tim Carter’s grandmother told him to enlist. It was a decision that positively changed his life.

Tim spent nearly 10 years serving our country during the Iraq War.

What Tim witnessed and what he learned has lasted a lifetime.

Carter says he’s had two calling in his life, both to serve. his first was in the Army, enlisting at just 19 and the second is his career.

A life dedicated to others, but getting there was what Tim calls an unreal but grateful experience during the Iraq War.

Tim Carter traveled back in time reading the war letters he wrote to his wife Crystal while serving in Iraq as a Staff Sergeant in the Army.

For Tim, the letters are a reminder of the horrors of war, but also a reminder of how thankful he is to be here today.

“He’s such a great person. We’re very proud of him,” said Tim’s wife Crystal.

Tim did 3 tours in Iraq, served in the Indiana National Guard and now he’s serving others here as an administrator at American Senior Communities American Village on the city’s North side.

“It’s something I think I was called to do. To serve and serve others in this setting and get to build those relationships and know the people here and honor them at this time of their life,” said Carter.

Tim graduated from Ben Davis, served our country for nearly 10 years, earned a Master’s degree and now works here at American Village.

“It’s not work, it’s purpose. It’s fulfilling my purpose,” Tim exclaimed.

“He loves it. I can’t see him doing anything else. He just loves it because he’s helping people and just getting to serve,” wife Crystal said.

Tim felt that calling to serve while in basic training when the September 11th attacks shook the nation and the world.

“For those Americans who had to go through that heartache and pain, I now can fight and be a voice for them,” said Tim.

He was placed with the 3rd Brigade 3rd Infantry Division out of Fort Benning, Georgia.

His job was to refuel equipment in the field and to protect the tanker.

In Iraq, Tim drove a truck hauling 2500 gallons of diesel fuel.

Tim served tanks by following along in a convoy.

“That tank can only go 100 miles before somebody’s got to fill it up, so where’s the truck? The truck is right behind him and he’s engaging the enemy with big gun fire.”

What Tim says he experience in Iraq was unreal.

He wears a bracelet every day after losing a comrade to an IED.

While serving out his final 3 months in country, his compound was attacked regularly.

He suffered concussion injuries from a rocket propelled grenade that hit the compound.

Tim was thankful to return home to Indianapolis in 2006 a husband and father, but also a hero.

“He is a hero. He’s still a hero because all the things he does is for everyone else. He doesn’t even realize. In those letters all he was worried about was his family happy,” said Crystal.

Tim is grateful for his experience and he’s on a mission to give back.

“Everywhere we go, if he sees a soldier, he says thanks for your service and finds out what they did and appreciate them,” said Crystal.

“It changed my life dramatically,” said Carter.

Tim also serves young people by mentoring though the Center for Leadership Development and through Project Mister.

He’s also a proud father of three.

View All CBS4 Investigates