Kory Wingo, Sergeant First Class, knows the importance of Veterans Day.
“It’s a day set aside for those who wear, or have worn, the uniform,” Wingo said. “We all volunteer knowing the sacrifice that we may have to make one day.”
Wingo has been in the Army National Guard for 18 years, and served two deployments, he said.
Wingo originally joined for college benefits, he said.
“I actually reenlisted for the service to my country and community,” Wingo said. “I got in for one reason, but stayed for other reasons.”
During one of his deployments, Wingo spent time in Afghanistan as liaison.
He returned from that deployment in March 2012.
Wingo relayed information from remote parts of Afghanistan to bigger bases in the country. Additionally, he helped to train the Afghan army, he said.
Wingo spent time in the Khost province and the Fort Operating Base Salerno.
During his time in Afghanistan, Wingo said he began to grasp the idea of why the United States is over there.
“It gives you a greater appreciation of America, that’s for sure,” he said.
“I feel that a lot of times, we take our freedoms for granted,” Wingo added. “When you’ve been to an area that the nation no longer recognizes your freedoms, and wants to take your life for them, it kind of brings everything into perspective.”
Wingo said that often, people who haven’t been in Afghanistan don’t fully understand why the U.S. is over there.
“Once you get there you kind of realize, we’re there as preventative maintenance,” he said. “We’re there to take the fight to the enemy, to keep them from coming to us.”
“It’s an awesome sense of pride to be able to put this uniform on and serve my country like that,” he said. “It’s just a great feeling.”
Wingo recommended anyone considering the military should “shop around.”
“Every branch offers a little bit of something different,” he said.
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