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  • NG Deployment

    Just in case anyone knows these guys.

    [URL="http://www.stripes.com/"]http://www.stripes.com/[/URL]

    [B]Town braces for change as Guard unit readies for tour [/B]

    [B][/B]

    By Kevin Maurer and Mitch Weiss, The Associated Press
    HAMLET, N.C. — Christian Tyler knew exactly how to get ready for her first day of school: She slipped into her uniform, poured a bowl of Apple Jacks and plopped down on the living room couch to watch cartoons and wait for her dad.
    The 9-year-old knew nothing about what was to come next.
    Christian’s father, Jobel Barbosa, is preparing to leave home this month to train for a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
    "I’m scared," she said softly. "I don’t want him to go."
    There are roughly 100,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve on active duty, weekend warriors who leave home to fight on battlefields half a world away. In 2009, they will include the 76 soldiers of Company E, 120th Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard.
    Each deployment shrouds the soldiers, their loved ones — and especially in places such as Hamlet, their communities — in uncertainty.
    "When you pull all of them out of here, it’s not like this community will become a ghost town. But it has a ripple effect in a small town," said longtime Hamlet Police Chief John Haywood, who grew up with many of the men in the company.
    Once the largest city in Richmond County, the roughly 6,000 people who surround the mostly empty downtown have seen better days. Many of the manufacturing plants Hamlet served in its heyday as a railroad hub have long since closed, replacing high-paying jobs with spots behind the fast-food counter or cash register at Wal-Marts in other towns.
    The National Guard Armory, on the eastern edge of town, is used for meetings, or to teach classes or even throw a party. But not for Company E. It’s the spot where they took their first steps toward Iraq.
    For most, that meant call after call to Sgt. 1st Class Brian Webb, who runs the armory day-to-day. Webb patiently answered each question. But the constant calls cut into the time he was able to spend with his wife, Jackie, and the couple’s three children as the day to leave for training drew near.
    "I worry about them all the time and I feel guilty about leaving. But there’s nothing I can do," said Webb, 38, as he sat on a couch and watched his 2-year-old, Alivia, play with her toys.
    Then his cell phone rang again, and he left the room to take the call.
    "I am going to repeat the worst year of my life, but this time with a 2-year-old," said Jackie.
    When Ryan Guinn, 34, is at the armory, he bounces around with a manic energy and talks to his fellow soldiers about anything that pops into his head. Anything but his third tour.
    "I know it’s coming. I don’t want to talk about it," he said. "Why? It’s depressing."
    At home, he’s quiet and attentive. He helps his wife, Jennifer, set the table or gently rocks their daughter while he reads her a book.
    When Iraq does come up, it’s often because his wife’s fears appear suddenly while she’s watching TV or changing a diaper.
    "Nothing is going to happen," he tells her. "It’s much safer."
    It doesn’t help much. She knows five members of the 30th Heavy didn’t come home from the brigade’s last tour.
    That same anxiety haunts the home of 36-year-old Staff Sgt. Jason Jones. A few weeks before Company E left for training, after he and his wife Ronda had their latest silly fight — this one was over where to place a framed map of Iraq — the couple raced to Myrtle Beach to get away.
    Poking in the kitschy shops on Ocean Boulevard and collecting seashells with their 2-year-old daughter, Rileigh, didn’t shake the feeling.
    "She likes to wait there for Jason to come home," Ronda, 31, said of her toddler. "When she hears anyone coming to the door she says, ‘Daddy.’ What happens when she hears the door slam and Daddy’s not there? What do you tell her? What do you say?"
    On her first day at school, Christian Tyler still had dad to look out for her. Even so, she frowned more with each step down the hallway to her new class.
    "She’s here because I’m going to Iraq," Barbosa explained to his daughter’s new teacher, Marie Hackbart.
    "I understand," she replied. "My son is returning in eight days. Do you want to say goodbye?" she asked the girl.
    Christian reached out to her father. They embraced and began to cry.
    "I love you, Daddy," she whispered.
    "I love you, too. You’ll be OK. You’ll be OK."

  • #2
    That's a sad story. My daughter just turned 11 months today and she is too cute for me not to be around. When I see stories like this, it makes me think twice about my enlistment contract.

    Comment


    • #3
      reply...

      Sad for sure.....

      Myself I have 4 little ones the oldest being 6 the youngest being 1 month. But I joined knowing what will be and I honor that to the fullest.

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=88m Soldier]Sad for sure.....

        Myself I have 4 little ones the oldest being 6 the youngest being 1 month. But I joined knowing what will be and I honor that to the fullest.[/QUOTE]

        88M here as well. I see your join date is December. Did you got to basic and AIT yet?

        Sorry WO1 Sir, kinda off topic.:)

        Comment


        • #5
          reply...

          No lol I joined in Dec.......

          April of 09 I go to BCT @ Sill.

          Comment


          • #6
            [QUOTE=88m Soldier]No lol I joined in Dec.......

            April of 09 I go to BCT @ Sill.[/QUOTE]

            I go to Ft. Knox in April. I'll probably see you at Leonard Wood.

            Comment


            • #7
              reply...

              Yep see ya there....

              Hall.

              Comment


              • #8
                more news on this

                [B]For guardsmen, deployment upends Christmas[/B]



                By Kevin Maurer and Mitch Weiss - The Associated Press
                Posted : Saturday Dec 27, 2008 10:44:38 EST
                HAMLET, N.C. — It was still October when Jennifer Guinn hung her family’s stockings — six red ones with the owner’s name printed across each white cuff.
                There was a Christmas wreath on the front door to greet Halloween trick-or-treaters, and the Guinns’ four kids helped trim the tree with sparkling white lights — two full months before Santa was due.
                With her husband, Staff Sgt. Ryan Guinn, due to spend most of December training with his National Guard unit for an upcoming yearlong deployment to Iraq, celebrating the season as a family meant celebrating on the military’s timeline.
                “We knew that once he left he wouldn’t be able to enjoy the tree for long,” Jennifer Guinn said. “He wanted time to be able to enjoy all the lights ... while he was here.”
                For the 76 soldiers of E Company who will deploy to Iraq in April, and their families, this year’s Christmas is a holiday upended by pre-deployment training. Instead of spending time with family and friends, they practiced gunnery at Fort Stewart, Ga.
                The Associated Press is chronicling the company, their families, and Hamlet, the town they’re leaving behind, as the North Carolina National Guard’s 30th Brigade Combat Team leaves for a 12-month tour in Iraq. The empty seats at Hamlet’s dinner tables and church pews as Christmas approached served as a preview of what awaits.
                For Jennifer Guinn, it meant buying Ryan a different kind of Christmas present: a GPS unit with maps of Iraq. His mom got him a new sleeping bag. “It won’t do any good buying him clothes he can’t wear,” Jennifer said.
                Ronda Jones got her shopping done early because she had to. As the E Company’s family readiness leader, she spent most of December helping other wives sort out pay issues and update insurance forms, while keeping everyone updated on the unit’s schedule. Her phone hasn’t stopped ringing since her husband Jason, a staff sergeant, left with the rest of the unit for Fort Stewart.
                “It has really been a good thing for me to stay extra busy,” she said, the work keeping her mind off of her husband’s absence.
                The unit did get a short break for Christmas. They arrived Tuesday for a welcome-home party at Hamlet’s National Guard Armory, where the families mingled and ate pizza. Santa was there to hand out presents.
                “Be smart. Be safe,” Sgt. 1st Class Brian Webb told the company as they headed home with their families. “We have a long way ahead of us and we need everybody.”
                Spc. Jobel Barbosa wanted this Christmas to be something his family would remember while he’s in Iraq. But standing inside Wal-Mart with holiday music blaring, Barbosa faced a harsh truth: he didn’t have enough cash for the 23 people on his list.
                The diesel engine mechanic left his job after E Company was mobilized, then his car broke down and he bought a used SUV for his girlfriend and their 1-year-old daughter to get around in while he’s gone. He gets a check from the Guard, but its not enough to cover both the last-minute expenses and put Christmas presents under the tree.
                At Wal-Mart, he and girlfriend Regina Ward put gifts back on the shelf, including a silver ring with four birthstones — representing the month he and his siblings were born — that Barbosa wanted to give to his mother. But at $100, it was out of the question.
                “It just tore me up,” Barbosa said. “I want to give her everything. She’s been my rock. She’s always been there for me.”
                That includes taking care of his 9-year-old daughter, Christian Tyler, while he’s serving.
                Barbosa’s mother, Rosa Lamourt, recently found a letter Christian wrote to Santa Claus, filled with requests for high-end electronics: an XBox 360, video games, an iPod. But she’s been out of work for 10 months and like her son, has no money for presents.
                “She’s expecting this big Christmas, so what do I tell her?” Lamourt asked. “I’ll just have to search through my old stuff. ... I think I might have a watch I can wrap up and give to her. I just don’t know what else to do.”
                [COLOR=#0066cc][/COLOR]

                Digg


                [URL="http://www.armytimes.com/xml/news/2008/12/ap_30th_deployment_christmas_122508/122508_christmas_guard_30th_800.JPG"][IMG]http://www.armytimes.com/xml/news/2008/12/ap_30th_deployment_christmas_122508/122508_christmas_guard_30th_800.JPG[/IMG][COLOR=#0066cc] [/COLOR][/URL]
                Gerry Broome / The Associated Press Staff Sgt. Ryan Guinn packs his bag as his wife Jennifer attends to their daughter Kylee in Hamlet, N.C., on Dec. 1. The Guinns decorated for Christmas early because he and other soldiers in Company E of the 120th Combined Arms Battalion in the North Carolina National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team were leaving for training in preparation for another tour of Iraq.
                [URL="http://www.armytimes.com/xml/news/2008/12/ap_30th_deployment_christmas_122508/122508_christmas_guard2_30th_800.JPG"][IMG]http://www.armytimes.com/xml/news/2008/12/ap_30th_deployment_christmas_122508/122508_christmas_guard2_30th_800.JPG[/IMG][COLOR=#0066cc] [/COLOR][/URL]
                Gerry Broome / The Associated Press Staff Sgt. Ryan Guinn, seen with wife Jennifer and daughter Kylee in Hamlet, N.C., and other soldiers in Company E of the 120th Combined Arms Battalion in the North Carolina National Guard's 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team are preparing for another tour of Iraq -- Guinn's third.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE=Leo925]That's a sad story. My daughter just turned 11 months today and she is too cute for me not to be around. When I see stories like this, it makes me think twice about my enlistment contract.[/QUOTE]

                  Stories like this are the crap end of the job but...
                  Not to sound liek a cold hearted bastard... Evryone singed the contract.. Wars are not occupied by single men and women with no family..
                  I have a baby girl due in Feb and am more than likely being deployed shortly after..It kills me but its my job and i signed the paper well knowing of what could happen

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Leo925]That's a sad story. My daughter just turned 11 months today and she is too cute for me not to be around. When I see stories like this, it makes me think twice about my enlistment contract.[/QUOTE]

                    I can understand how you feel...but for many of us Duty/Honor/Country come before even family, before Holidays, Birthdays, and Children growing up. Because if we do not focus on Duty/Honor/Country...the rest are subject to going away as well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=LT_77]I can understand how you feel...but for many of us Duty/Honor/Country come before even family, before Holidays, Birthdays, and Children growing up. Because if we do not focus on Duty/Honor/Country...the rest are subject to going away as well.[/QUOTE]

                      I don't know if it comes in front of family period, but in front of being there for every birthday/school play/etc. To be sure it's a sacrifice in many many ways, even if you are single, but that's the price of service. In my personal belief system, everyone has a calling from God, and this life of service as a professional soldier is mine. The sacrifice is my cross to bear. And, in doing my job, I get to smoke the enemies of my country, protect fellow troops on the ground, and do something more exciting than most of society. I wouldn't trade that. I couldn't. I wouldn't be myself anymore if I did, and it'd kill me slowly.

                      [i]These deep thought moments brought to you by the Army National Guard.[/i]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=dnall]I don't know if it comes in front of family period, but in front of being there for every birthday/school play/etc. To be sure it's a sacrifice in many many ways, even if you are single, but that's the price of service. In my personal belief system, everyone has a calling from God, and this life of service as a professional soldier is mine. The sacrifice is my cross to bear. And, in doing my job, I get to smoke the enemies of my country, protect fellow troops on the ground, and do something more exciting than most of society. I wouldn't trade that. I couldn't. I wouldn't be myself anymore if I did, and it'd kill me slowly.

                        [i]These deep thought moments brought to you by the Army National Guard.[/i][/QUOTE]

                        I just vol for another deployment.. Someone asked me.. Stefhan why would you leave everything.. your home daughter etc when your not TOLD to go.. My response is this and has been this.. Someone has to do it.. Im not going with my unit but those in the uniform are my brothers and my sisters.. Im a better soldier than i have been at anything ive done in my life.. I love my job and im **** good at it

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=dnall]I don't know if it comes in front of family period, but in front of being there for every birthday/school play/etc. To be sure it's a sacrifice in many many ways, even if you are single, but that's the price of service. In my personal belief system, everyone has a calling from God, and this life of service as a professional soldier is mine. The sacrifice is my cross to bear. And, in doing my job, I get to smoke the enemies of my country, protect fellow troops on the ground, and do something more exciting than most of society. I wouldn't trade that. I couldn't. I wouldn't be myself anymore if I did, and it'd kill me slowly.

                          [i]These deep thought moments brought to you by the Army National Guard.[/i][/QUOTE]


                          Let me clarify, of course family is first, but I will not hesitate for even a second given the calling to bear arms and defend.....family/small children/life issues all taken into consideration.

                          In this case, the military is trump.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=dnall]I don't know if it comes in front of family period, but in front of being there for every birthday/school play/etc. To be sure it's a sacrifice in many many ways, even if you are single, but that's the price of service. In my personal belief system, everyone has a calling from God, and this life of service as a professional soldier is mine. The sacrifice is my cross to bear. And, in doing my job, I get to smoke the enemies of my country, protect fellow troops on the ground, and do something more exciting than most of society. I wouldn't trade that. I couldn't. I wouldn't be myself anymore if I did, and it'd kill me slowly.

                            [i]These deep thought moments brought to you by the Army National Guard.[/i][/QUOTE]

                            I agree that everyone has a calling from God as well. I have been in sales (or business as a whole - now I am w/ my family owned company -so we all wear 10 diff. hats) since I graduated from College in 2000.

                            W/ that being said - I hate it. I have been doing it because, well, I am good at it (to a point) and I make **** good money. But I have never felt personally fulfilled. I always wanted to serve my country and, well... let me put it this way: ever sat in church and felt like the sermon was directed at you? Well, I have....

                            For better - I am here now to serve. I just want to be the best soldier/officer I can be. People ask me all the time why I did this when I have a 15 month old... all I can say is that when I look at him... I am doing this for him. It was not that hard of a decision. I know there will be sacrifices that I am not even aware of, and that I have NO experience to write about or even imagine what it will be like actually leaving...

                            Just my $0.02 worth...

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