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Minnesota National Guard
Local Soldier serving as a medic in Iraq paints picture of deployment

WILLMAR - Spc Darren Revermann of Willmar feels his work as a combat medic in Iraq is worthwhile, but he's still looking forward to coming home and getting back to college Revermann, 21, a 2004 graduate of Willmar Senior High, is serving at Camp Adder The camp is on Tallil Air Base in south central Iraq It is one of the military's major re-supply points

Revermann serves with Charlie Company of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor of Sauk Centre, part of the First Brigade Combat Team of the 34th Infantry Division He has completed one semester at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and plans to go back to school after he returns home In a telephone interview Wednesday arranged by the National Guard, Revermann said he works with other members of the Minnesota National Guard in escorting supply convoys that leave regularly from the base

In his role as a medic, he accompanies convoy escort missions

If someone is injured, he tends to them If it's needed, he'll see they are sent on for more care

When his medic skills aren't needed, he performs the same role as other Soldiers in escorting the convoy and providing security "I do whatever I'm asked," he said

So far, he's been fairly lucky "I haven't seen things other people have seen," he said Mostly, he's treated things like sprained ankles and hands slammed in doors

Other Soldiers will often check with him about minor ailments, he said, and he'll offer his opinion as to whether they should seek medical care or "just suck it up"

Revermann said he has an irregular schedule, gone for several days at a time with a convoy and then having a day or more off

Temperatures at this time of year are in the 50s and 60s during the day, and it's cool enough to break out the cold weather gear at night, he said In the summer, it wasn't unusual to have a 125-degree day where "you just sweat walking out the door"

Revermann arrived in Iraq in early April as part of a deployment of 2,600 Minnesota National Guard troops for what was scheduled to be one year of service

That means he may have just a few months left to serve in Iraq However, they haven't been told when they might be leaving, and even if they know, they aren't supposed to say, he said

Revermann said there's no way to know how President Bush's new plan for the war will affect the Minnesota Soldiers who are already serving there

He said he probably wouldn't watch Bush's speech Wednesday evening, which would be early morning in Iraq "There are a few people who will, and I'll get feedback from them," he said

Revermann grew up in Willmar He's the son of Robert and Valinda Revermann, and he had a message for them and for friends and family back home

"I'd like them to know I've been staying safe; nothing too extreme is going on," he said

"I feel I am doing something that's worthwhile," he said "The missions we are on are necessary to keep things moving"

Actually, his folks usually know what he's up to, because he's able to call them when he wants It takes about a week for a letter to get home, so he doesn't write very often If he wants to talk to someone back home, he just goes to the base's call center where he can pick up a phone and talk for up to a half hour Sometimes he has to wait in line, he said, but it's never too long

Revermann was able to come home on leave in August, but he spent the holidays away from home "It was not as rough as I thought it was going to be, but I missed being home," he said

"People back home sent us all sorts of stuff," he added "There was always candy and cookies around"

Revermann said he enjoys getting a box from the local Blue Star Mothers chapter about once a month and packages from other groups as well

"We think about everybody, and we enjoy serving our country," he said in closing

By Linda Vanderwerf, West Central Tribune

Source: www.wctrib.com

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