Many people in the Basin know DPS Trooper John Barton as just that. But that's not his only job. He is also a master sergeant in the United States Air Force. Barton recently returned from Afghanistan after being deployed for six months. Barton tells Big 2 News Afghanistan is completely different in person from what people see on TV. While Barton was in Afghanistan he was in charge of the law and order mission for the southern part of the country.
"Once you get there then you hear the sounds that sound different, the smells, the environment, the people, it's all different," said Barton.
However, Barton said the country's landscape reminded him a little bit of West Texas. He said he felt like he was in El Paso.
"Your seeing basically like some of the areas you would in West Texas. Seeing some mountains out to the sides," he said.
But that wouldn't last long. Reality soon sunk in.
"Whenever you start having your rocket attacks and your taking small arms fire, you like well I'm not back in El Paso I'm over in Afghanistan," Barton tells Big 2.
Every Saturday Barton would go to a school located in a flea market in Afghanistan and teach Afghan kids how to play games and sports.
"They would learn some of our customs, and we would learn some of their customs. I mean they are just like the kids you get over here," explained Barton.
Barton is now working on making a transition from military life to civilan life. But he said Afganistan has changed his life forever. He no longers takes little things for granted nor holds grudges.
Barton also says he is thankfull for all the support he has recieved from friends and family.