An Iowan's Experiences as a National Guard Squad Leader in Afghanistan

Staff Sergeant J. Winkowski was among the Iowa soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in late 2010. In this clip, Winkowski describes why he felt being a combat leader in Afghanistan was the job he was born to do.


Staff Sergeant J. Winkowski: “Yeah, I always say that I felt like I was born to do this and that - that didn't resonate fully with me until I was an actual combat leader on the ground in Afghanistan, you know, in - in the fighting – and that's really when that came to light. And I kind of found that it was something that I loved - loved to do.  Something that I felt that it came natural to me.  Something that I was born to do and I just really, really enjoyed it and it is actually something that I would love to do for the rest of my life if I really could without any consequences.”

“But I think going back to the sacrifice that my family has made throughout all of this is that - that's really the burden on America - on America's families is that when the service member serves it is really the family that sacrifices and so I just think that is a tremendous amount of sacrifice for the families, the wives, the children, etc., that we do when we serve or when we deploy.”

Excerpt from "Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan," Iowa PBS, 2011