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On a Mission; Sgt. Jeremiah Andrefski ’04

Sgt. Jeremiah Andrefski’04 (left) of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, recently returned from a 14-month tour in Iraq.
Photo courtesy of Sgt. Jeremiah Adrefski

When you ask him about Iraq, Sgt. Jeremiah Andrefski ’04 says not to believe everything you see in the news. “They portray all the negatives,” Andrefski says. “But there’s a whole lot of good over there.”

He should know. Andrefski recently returned from a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq. Andrefski’s
Iraq tour was with the 82nd Airborne Division, an infantry division. Their mission, as stated on the official web site: “Within 18 hours of notification, the 82nd Airborne Division strategically deploys, conducts forcible entry parachute assault and secures key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interests.”

However, much of Andrefski’s actual mission focused on reconstruction efforts and assisting the Iraqi civilian population. “We helped establish schools, soccer fields, sanitation crews, and trained the local police,” he says. “The whole culture is completely different than ours. We take things for granted here.”

But, Andrefski adds, there was also plenty of adventure to be had, like jumping out of an airplane. “How crazy is it to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” he jokes. And the weather was an adventure in and of itself. “In the summer, it got up to 120F, but I also saw snow there,” he says.

Andrefski enlisted is the U.S. Army after graduating from Albright. “I was going to enlist after high school, but chose the opportunity to go to college,” he says.

But while attending Albright, he didn’t really think about the Army. He focused on his studies in education and history, and played for the Lions football team. “Football really helped prepare me for the structure and discipline in the military,” he says. “I chose enlisted over OCS (Officer Candidate School) because I wasn’t sure I’d like it.” Knowing he made the right decision to enlist, Andrefski recently reenlisted for an additional four years.

Being in the Army also fits well with his long-term goal of working in Washington, D.C., in the intelligence community. “It’s [the Army] a good experience, especially if you don’t know where you want to go after graduation. It’s a great resume builder, and there are a lot of jobs and opportunities in the military. I’ll be attending OCS next year. The pay is good, and there are no benefits like it anywhere else. It’s a good life, but I do miss my family,” he says.

Andrefski is currently stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He is married to Lisa M. (Cutler) Andrefski ’05, and they have a 14-month-old son, Dene Austin Andrefski.

– Julio Bermudez ’08

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