Local news- Press Release
☷ Sanitation District No 1 Kentucky - World at His Fingertips 18 January 2022★★★ ( news )
Sanitation District No 1 , state Kentucky ( By Press Release office)
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FT . WRIGHT , Ky . - John Steinbeck once wrote that people don’t take trips – trips take people .
Trips have taken Demetric Simmons around the world and back again . At just 28 years old , the SD1 Systems Analyst has visited six continents and 35 countries . He traveled the globe as an Army Sergeant , doing everything from keeping an eye on Kim Jong - un in Korea to keeping an eye out for IEDs in Afghanistan .
“I’ve been fortunate with my military experience , ” he says . “I always wanted to travel , but you don’t really see it happening a lot of times . I was fortunate with my placements in the military to be able to do that . ”
Demetric joined the Army through its delayed entry program when he was a junior at Dixie Heights High School . He says he joined because he took a look at his future and realized he didn’t have money for college . “I didn’t want to go into debt , ” he says , “so the G . I . Bill seemed like a good way to get a good start in life . ”
Just three weeks after his graduation in 2011 , he was in South Carolina for Army bootcamp , where he signed up as a geospatial imagery intelligence analyst . Then he spent 36 weeks training in Sierra Vista , Ariz . , before his first tour of duty , stationed at Camp Humphreys in South Korea .
“I really enjoyed my time in Korea outside of the Army life , ” he says . “I wasn’t expecting that . I was actually upset at first when they sent me to Korea . I was like , ‘Oh man . This is like Vietnam!’ I was 18 , so I didn’t know anything about Korea . But it’s a great country . I really liked it . ”
It was an interesting time to be in Korea . Kim Jong - un had just taken over as Supreme Leader of North Korea , and North Korea was threatening to withdraw from the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War , causing increased tension in the region .
“I was doing active reconnaissance , ” Demetric says . “I would pretty much fly on a plane like eight nautical miles south of the North Korean border and we would actively be collecting intelligence on them . Pretty much making sure they weren’t invading . ”
After Korea , Demetric decided he needed a little more adventure in his life , so he went to Airborne School at Fort Benning , Ga . , and became a paratrooper .
He then spent three years in Italy as a member of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team ( Airborne ) . This was a Quick Reaction Force ( QRF ) trained to deploy anywhere in the world within 72 hours if needed .
“That was a more battle - ready role than when I was in Korea , ” he says .
Fortunately for him , the United States hasn’t conducted a paratrooper invasion since the start of the Iraq War . “So the closest thing to combat I’ve actually seen was in Korea doing my missions , ” Demetric says . “Because we could see on radar when they would aim their missiles at us . ”
Demetric left Italy in 2017 , to return home and go to college . He got a job at the Internal Revenue Service in Covington , but he needed to move . He’d take furlough from his job to attend classes at the University of Tampa .
In 2018 , he started contracting work at Wright Patterson Airforce Base for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency ( NGA ) . In November of that year , Demetric decided to take a deployment job as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan .
“That’s when I experienced the most combat stuff , ” he says . “A lot of indirect fire , vehicle bombs that would hit our base . But luckily I never got into where it was direct fire and we were shooting at each other . ”
Demetric says that when COVID - 19 hit , he was forced to take a break from travelling . Which for him meant moving to Zagreb , Croatia , to study at the abroad campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology .
“When I lived in Croatia , I got my visa to go to there , but as an American , because we were a high - risk country at the time , I couldn’t travel outside of Croatia , ” he says . “That limited some of my activities , but I traveled a lot inside Croatia . But not as much in Europe as I wanted to , living there for a year . ”
In that role , which he has held since November 2021 , one of the areas Demetric will be focused on is creating online forms – an area of emphasis for SD1 in 2022 .
He’s also earning his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from Thomas More University ( to take advantage of what he calls “a lot of self - discovery - type credits , military credits and tech credits ) , and hopes to graduate by the end of the year .
He then plans to earn a tech - related Master’s degree and a Master of Business Administration .
But when Demetric thinks back to some of his favorite places he’s visited – standards like Sydney , Australia and Edinburgh , Scotland and not - so - standards like Medellín , Colombia , where Pablo Escobar once built one of the world’s most powerful drug cartels – it’s easy to see that his travel days aren’t over .
“Colombia is nice , ” he says . “I was there in 2017 and it’s pretty good there now . I had a good time . ” He laughs for a moment and adds , “And no cocaine was involved . ”
More recently , he spent three weeks in Singapore training mixed martial arts , a hobby he’s had since high school . Demetric says he considered fighting , but due to the ongoing pandemic , he has no future plans to do so .
He says he hopes to revisit Poland later this year to visit an Army buddy . “If Omicron isn’t horrible , I’d like to go back there and see more of Eastern Europe that I didn’t see my first time around . ”
Other destinations on his wish list: Antarctica ( so he can check off that seventh continent ) and Saint Petersburg , Russia .
“Antarctica is a little pricey , ” he says . “Maybe in my retirement days , when I have a little more saved up . ” As for Russia , Demetric says he’s afraid with his military background that he would get captured and interrogated . So that’s not on the list at the moment .
So for now , he says he gets his excitement from learning new things every day from Aaron Angel , Alen Dzaferagic and Doug Wells .
“I’ve seen some of the interviews , and I’m going to sound like a cliché , but of all the jobs I’ve had , I really do like the environment here . My coworkers have been so welcoming . And characters like John [Warndorf] keep it interesting , I will say that . I’m having a good time . ”
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