By Keith Anderson
16th Sustainment Brigade
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — Sgt. Maj. Danny Wood, liaison officer, Task Force 1-151Infantry, 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Indiana Army National Guard, volunteered for this deployment--his fourth--to go with his son, 1st Lt. Andrew Wood, commander, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, to Iraq.
"When I returned home from last year's deployment and found out Andy was deploying with the 76th Infantry Brigade, I volunteered to deploy again to be with my son," said the 56-year-old father of three from Spencer, Ind.. "I had just returned from Baghdad, but he's my only son, and I knew it'll probably be the only time during my career that I could serve with him."
Wood, who has served in the Army National Guard for 33 years, said his wife, Micki, understood his decision.
"If something were to happen to Andy and I didn't come I'd have to live with that," said Wood.
The two of them have a great working relationship, he said, and don't have a problem separating family and work.
"When we're alone I'm Dad, if we're with other staff, I'm sergeant major," Wood said.
Andrew, a married, 33-year-old from Coal City, Ind., said he and his father have a strong bond.
"I joined the Guard between my junior and senior year [of high school]," Andrew said. "My father didn't push me, it wasn't his idea. He, at the time, was a prior-service staff sergeant, and because I joined, he joined around three days later. This has certainly been a bond that most fathers and sons do not have. We are able to relate to one another on issues. It's a special thing."
Andrew said he looks up to his father, a long-time artilleryman and farmer, cattleman and limestone cutter, who cut much of the rock used to repair the walls at the Pentagon after Sept. 11, 2001.
"Most sons want to be like their Dad," Andrew said. "I have tried to emulate him my entire life; he has been my role model."
This work, Sergeant major volunteers to deploy to go with son to Iraq, by SGT Keith Anderson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.