An occasional series of chats with one of our troops.
Sgt. Greg Gemberling
Hometown: Sloan / Age: 27 / 186th Military Police Company attached to the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team
Q: Where have you previously deployed?
A: I’ve been to Iraq twice. (We did) convoy security and detainee (operations). Here, I do a lot more missions than my second deployment, when we did strictly detainee (operations). It’s a little more dangerous here compared to where I was in Iraq. (We have) more exposure. Plus, we were in a pretty big base in Iraq.
Q: You said you have no farming or ranching background. What’s it like to work with Afghan agriculture?
A: It’s a little different. My grandpa had a farm, but I grew up in the city, so it’s all new to me. (We are getting to) help more people and the local government provide for themselves. We’ve seen change since we got here back in August. Compared to the (unit before us), we’ve seen a lot more progress.
The culture’s a lot different compared to Iraq. The way they use the land, they use every flat area possible.
Q: You have two young daughters. How does your wife, Jennifer, feel about your deployments?
A: Pretty nervous, scared. She has learned to deal with it since it’s my third deployment.
I’ve known most of the guys here for a long time. It’s a good group of guys.
Q: Do you hope to deploy again?
A: (My experience here) prepares me for future deployments. . . . I’ve re-enlisted once already.