Teenager adjusts to military life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teenager adjusts to military life

February 9, 2005

Fort Stewart-- Private First Class Emory Newton is not that different from most teenagers, except, that he doesn't drive a second-hand car to work, but a model that's a tad more pricey.

A Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle, to be specific.

As part of the Georgia National Guard, PFC Newton will soon be in Iraq. "I didn't ever think I'd get mobilized in the National Guard, because usually they do homeland security and stuff like that. As soon as I got out of training for the guard, I got orders to go to Iraq. So it kind of took me by surprise," Newton says.

So at the National Guard Training Center, he makes the best of it, and adjusts to life in the barracks. "There's a security light right there that shines in this window so I put a blanket up so it won't get in my face. This is my living quarters here. They're kind of nasty. I really don't get time to clean them up," says 19-year old Private Newton.

"I'm supposed to be getting some pictures from a special girl today."

"I brought a CD player and some country music CDs since I'm a country music fan. When I first started hunting I got this blanket and just kind of kept it. It makes me feel more at home I guess."

And he's brought a little bit of home with him. "This is another thing I carry with me most all the time. Mossy Oak hunting knife." Still, it's not the same.

Does he miss home? "Pretty good deal. I just got a new truck. And when you're at home you can pretty much go and do as you want. You don't have to tell anybody when you're my age, but here, you always have somebody you've got to tell."

And there's something else that might make this teenager a little different than the rest. "They do allow us to have cell phones so we can talk to our mother or father or whoever on a nightly basis."

He cherishes conversations with his parents, but Emory Newton knows this life interruption is a lot more than just an inconvenience. "I get the opportunity to go into a foreign country and help people who don't live like we do. They don't have freedom. When I get through over there, in a year or so, I'm going to feel like a better person."

A person who'll work in a war zone while most his age only study about it.

posted at 2:25PM by dave.miller@walb.com