Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Warrior Stories commemorates the spirit of sacrifice

(U.S. Air Force photo/Dennis Howk)
Lt. Col. Roger Sherman, 16th Space Control Squadron commander, shares his warrior stories Nov. 9 at The Club. Sherman deployed to Iraq as an electronic warfare officer with the Army in 2007.

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Sacrifice is a word military members know well. Some sacrifice important moments with their families, some sacrifice a bigger paycheck, some sacrifice everything.

Nov. 9, the 21st Logistics Readiness Squadron hosted their second Warrior Stories, just in time for Veterans Day.

Lt. Col. Jim Lovewell, 21st LRS commander, said, “We thought it was a great opportunity to time this event with Veterans Day. We talk about sacrifice; we talk about service before self. We hear about places (like) Iwo Jima, Korea. Those same spirits of sacrifice, people from the revolutionary war on up to the conflicts today, have given a lot and the sacrifice that the folks here have given is no different.”

During the Warrior Stories presentation, six Airmen shared their deployment stories.

“You can no longer look at somebody, the branch of service they’re in, the career field they have and deduce what they’ve done when they’ve been deployed. The rules have been changed,” Lovewell said. “The joint fight is putting people in missions you would have never imagined before.”

Many of the stories shared a common theme, making the best out of a bad situation.

Lt. Col. Roger Sherman, 16th Space Control Squadron commander, deployed as an electronic warfare officer with the Army in 2007.

“I knew I was going to be with the Army, I knew I would be in the middle of nowhere, and I knew it was going to stink a little bit,” Sherman said. “But at that point I made the decision that I was going to decide what kind of experience I was going to have. I decided I was going to leave nothing on the table, I was going to learn as much as I could and I did not want to tell my grandkids or my wife or my son I didn’t really do anything during the war. That was my goal; I was going to go out there and bring it as hard as I could.”

Sherman certainly made the most of his nine months in Iraq. He came up with a system for scrambling communication lines so targets wouldn’t know when U.S. forces were coming. He also helped the Army develop a system for targeting and profiling the most wanted in Iraq so they could be caught.

“It’s all about attitude,” Sherman said. “I went in there and I wasn’t going to be that guy in the fox hole saying, ‘Oh (no), we’re going to die.’ I wanted to be the person who did everything I could.”

Each deployment story was different, but everyone felt the weight of the loss of those who wouldn’t be coming home.

Maj. Charles Holland, executive officer for the Air Force Space Command chief scientist, was deployed to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.

“In the 110 days I was there, 272 people were killed including 199 U.S. (citizens),” he said. “It means a lot when someone doesn’t come home at night.”

Each of the presenters shared that even though they were faced with new experiences they hadn’t always been trained for, they worked together with their peers to solve problems.

The first Warrior Stories was presented by the 21st LRS in February.

“These are stories worth telling. All the speakers you see here, they left their families, they left what’s familiar to them, their country asked them to go out to lots of austere locations, live in the dirt for a long time, do very important missions and come back,” Lovewell said. “I think it’s important we hear their stories and hear, not only how they impacted the mission, but how they impacted the joint operations through the Middle East and other places our nation is involved.”

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