SHERWOOD, Wis. (WFRV) – From joining the ROTC based off of a suggestion from a friend on his rugby team at UW Oshkosh, Major Nicholas Berger didn’t know he would continue on a path in the Army until this very day.

“I was always in a team environment, so it just felt like a natural environment for me,” Berger recalled.

“I was doing ROTC, signed the contract, came home, said, ‘Hey Mom and Dad, I joined the military.’ Up until my first deployment, my mom would send out a letter during Christmas saying, ‘Oh, Nick’s still playing GI Joe.’ It wasn’t until I told her that I was getting ready for Afghanistan that it really dawned on her and she kind of changed her tune,” said Berger.

Hurricane Katrina support with Task Force Wisconsin, and deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s all led Berger to his current position with the Army Reserves as a Commander in the Civil Affairs Unit.

He’ll take his unit to Poland in May.

“The whole slogan about winning hearts and minds, it’s kind of been overused, but we’re really over there on behalf of the countries to help out in whatever way, shape, or form that we can,” Berger said.

Because that’s really what it’s all about for Berger, leaving the world just a little better than he found it, for his fellow soldiers, and for those like his three sons.

“You know, all of that has kept me going, really. You know I’ve got three boys. They’re a handful, and if they want to go down the path of the military, I’d be honored, but I don’t want the United States to be in a position where they have to be in the military to take care of the country,” he said.

“So, whatever I do now, hopefully in the long run benefits the country,” said Berger.