Meet Sgt. Wing

Check this out: More than 1.5 million men and women volunteer to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces! Just imagine how many different types of people, with unique backgrounds and interests, come together to serve and protect the United States.

We wanted to learn more about what life is really like for an active-duty soldier stationed overseas. We caught up with Darren Wing to get the scoop. Darren is a sergeant in the U.S. Army and is currently serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. In a few places below, btw added information [in brackets] to help explain some terms.

Meet Sgt. Wing

btw: Who are you?
Darren Wing

btw: Where are you stationed?
Sgt. Wing:JSS Istiqlaal. We are northeast of Baghdad about 15 miles outside the city. JSS stands for Joint Security Station.

btw: What is the weather like where you are?
Sgt. Wing: It gets up to about 100 degrees right now.

btw: What branch of the military are you in?
Sgt. Wing: I am in the U.S. Army.

btw: What unit are you assigned to? What is its mission?
Sgt. Wing: I am assigned to the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment. Our mission is a partnership between coalition forces [the multi-national military forces working together in Iraq] and Iraqi security forces.  Together we work to maintain security throughout the battle space.

btw: What is your rank? What are your duties?
Sgt. Wing:My rank is sergeant. My duties are to serve as a personal security officer and provide close-proximity security for our squadron commander.

btw: What does that mean? Do you follow him around all day, kind of like the Secret Service does for the President?
Sgt. Wing: To a certain extent, yes. When we go out on a mission, my job is to make sure our squadron commander safely arrives from point “A” to point “B,”

btw: Why did you join the military?
Sgt. Wing: I joined while I was in college. I was like a lot of kids out there. I got into a college and wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. Plus I think I was kind of needing some adventure. The war had been going on about a year, so I think I figured I would do my part. I stepped up to the plate!

btw: Have you found the action and adventure that you were looking for?
Sgt. Wing: I would say so. Even with the ups and downs, it is a good experience.

btw: How long have you been in Iraq?
Sgt. Wing: My first tour started in October 2006. We deployed knowing we would be there a year. During the next summer, around the five-and-a-half to six month mark, we found out about the surge [2007 increase in troops] and more units were coming over. Plus all units on the ground in Iraq had been extended regardless of how much time you had left.

My second tour started in February of this year. We did a little time in Kuwait though. We should be here around 12 months.

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