By RACHAEL TOLLIVER
When Fred Minnick joined the Oklahoma National Guard, becoming the bourbon industry’s foremost spirits tasting expert was not on his mind. In fact, “bourbon” wasn’t really part of his vocabulary. But a 2003-2004 deployment to Mosul, Iraq changed all that.
Minnick, who attended Oklahoma State, joined the National Guard in 1996 to help pay for college.
“I always wanted to serve—as a kid who grew up loving my GI Joe’s I think I was influenced by that,” he explained.