Albany fireman will fight more than fire - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany fireman will fight more than fire

^ Fireman D. J. Turner ^ Fireman D. J. Turner
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February 10, 2002

Albany-- An Albany firefighter is preparing for battle, but this time it's not against fire. Lieutenant D. J. Turner's Decatur-based reserve unit expects to deploy soon to Fort Lee, Virginia. This isn't the first time Turner has been called to duty--but, he doesn't feel the same this time around.

Teaching these second graders fire safety is something Albany Fireman D. J. Turner does well. But, it's not what he does best, "I came here to save lives. I have to go into a house and save someone and if I can't make it out, well I've done my part. That's what I've come here to do."

Now, Lt. Turner has another job to do, "Had a list with my name and about 10 other people from my unit on it that said we have to go to Fort Lee for a year." Turner has been told to prepare himself for at least one year of active-duty--a similar call he answered more than a decade ago, "I was called up in 1990 for the Gulf War, on November 28th."

This time around, he has more concerns, "To be honest with you I don't really want to go this time, but if I have to..." Lt. Turner fears this war will last much longer than the Gulf War and will carry a much larger price, "The worry is the great loss of life--that's my thing."

But, one thing is greater than his fears of war, "I joined in 1974 wanting to go to Vietnam. Everyone said you are crazy, well that's always been my thing. I believe every man should serve his country." And that belief, he says, will carry him through the next year.

Turner thinks he will serve as a supervisor in the Petroleum Company, but he says it's unlikely he'll be called to duty overseas.

Posted at 5:40 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com