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Sgt. 1st Class Vernon Defoor, on his fourth combat tour.

Elgin soldier a steady soul despite witnessing world's troubles

ZABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan  Vernon Defoor is a soft-spoken man, a laid-back, relaxed, humble Oklahoman with no desire for the spotlight.

He embodies the terms even-keeled, cool, calm and collected  just the way he always has been, he claims.

For as "normal," as he puts it, as a guy he is, Defoor sure has had his share of stories, as he is going on nearly 30 years of service in the Army.

Three different war zones, and three (currently on his fourth) combat tours in the making; everybody knows Sgt. 1st Class Vernon Defoor, who currently serves as the motor pool sergeant, overseeing the maintenance of artillery systems and vehicles for Battery A, 1st Battalion, 158th Field Artillery, Oklahoma National Guard.

As much as he might want to, he can't deny his "celebrity" status.

"Well, everyone knows me just 'cause I have been in for so long," said Defoor, an Elgin native. "I've served with people who now have kids in the unit, and are just coming in. I know just about everybody."

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