Written by Devon Boen
Staff Sergeant Nufry Boysun was a Husky driver in Afghanistan and received three coins honoring his work. A Husky is an army vehicle that is used to detect and locate improvised explosive devices underground. Before he left Afghanistan, he was told he was the best Husky operator in the country at the time of his service.
Boysun grew up near Vida and attended high school in both Wolf Point and Circle. Since graduating, he has split his time between working for the McCone and Roosevelt counties’ road departments and serving in the Army National Guard.
He decided to join the military when he was 31 in 1985, but he was not deployed with his 260th Engineer Company until 2005 when he was stationed in Fort Richardson, Alaska. Boysun was a military police officer.
Boysun said the work was difficult. He and others in the company had to settle domestic disputes and other issues on the base, but he said it was a good deployment overall.
After he returned in 2006, he continued working in the National Guard and for the road department simultaneously. In 2010, he found out he would once again be deployed, but his journey would take him much farther the second time around.
He and the 260th found out they would be deployed to Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. To prepare, they travelled to Fort Bliss, Texas.
“We did training for our route clearance mission. We got to use some of the equipment that we would be using over there (in Afghanistan),” Boysun said.
Working in the Texas heat helped the 260th prepare for the boiling temperatures they would face in Afghanistan. Boysun said summer temperatures topped 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boysun said he had never done route clearance before and admitted it was slightly intimidating. But he immediately stepped up when he was chosen as the lead vehicle.
“Whenever I went on a mission, I was the lead vehicle. I was the first vehicle down the road, so if I didn’t find it, I either got blown up or somebody behind me would,” Boysun said.
With such an immense responsibility on his shoulders, Boysun quickly learned how to detect an IED.
“I would notice big changes in the color of the dirt or disturbances. Maybe they would pile rocks up,” Boysun said.
Boysun said an alarm would go off in the Husky vehicle alerting him that an explosive was underground nearby. In that situation, they would have a Buffalo vehicle come and dig it out of the ground.
Boysun personally located 14 IEDs and received an honorary coin for his first, fifth and 10th find. The company found 30 total and ran over eight.
During his time in Afghanistan, he kept in touch with his wife, Sherry, and the rest of his family via Skype and his morale was kept up with care packages.
But none of that could compare to actually being with his family in person when he finally returned home in March. He said his family including his wife, children, mother, brothers and nieces and nephews were there to welcome him home.
“Everybody was happy,” Boysun said. “Everyone was excited. It was really good.”