Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Wolford
Cindy Burnham  /  AP
Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Wolford poses with his son's GI Joes in Fayetteville, N.C. Wolford will model for a new line of figures based on a new Army-sponsored video game, in which players will be able to "play" Wolford.
updated 12/26/2005 5:44:56 PM ET 2005-12-26T22:44:56

The questions were unusual for Sgt. 1st Class Jerry Wolford: Did you play with GI Joe action figures when you were a child? What if you could be one?

"Usually, it is not something good when the sergeant major calls a platoon sergeant into his office," said Wolford, 29, of Oakland, Ore.

This time, it was good. Wolford, who used to own about 200 action figures, will now become one.

He will model for a new line of figures based on the sequel to "America's Army," an online video game released by the Army in 2002 as a recruiting tool.

The "America's Army: Real Heroes" sequel allows players to fight as actual decorated soldiers, such as Wolford. The game will feature nine soldiers, including a woman, said Lori Mezoff, a spokeswoman for the game venture.

The soldiers also will be used to create a line of action figures based on the game.

Wolford, as a member of the Fort Bragg-based 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, received a Silver Star for a firefight in the southern Iraqi town of Samawah. According to the award citation, Wolford put himself in harm's way to help the wounded, redistributing weapons and equipment and coordinating fire for the machine guns.

"I didn't think my actions stood out above anyone else," he said.

Game developers may incorporate a mission that mirrors Wolford's experience, but no decisions have been made on how the characters would be incorporated.

Each action figure will feature a biography card and a brief narrative on how the soldier earned the medal. Wolford hopes his character shows leadership.

Production on the video game and the action figures is slated to begin early next year, Mezoff said.

Wolford and his two children are looking forward to the process, but Wolford has some concerns about what he will look like as a plastic figure.

"I hope they don't make me look like a freak," he said.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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