Husband and wife reenlist during mass reenlistment
July 4, 2008
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Stability and benefits are two of the many reasons Soldiers serving in Iraq elected to stay in the Army July 4, during the largest reenlistment ceremony of deployed Soldiers the Iraq theater has seen at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory.
More than 1200 service members reenlisted July 4 in a ceremony that was administered by Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Forces - Iraq.
Job stability and medical benefits are important to many young Soldiers, who are thinking about starting or have families to support back home.
For Sergeants Ryan and Erika Lowe, starting a family with the stability and benefits the Army provides was a major consideration the husband and wife team reflect upon when deciding to reenlist.
"We talked about starting a family and we think the military is the best way to do that," said Sgt. Ryan Lowe, a military police squad leader, 64th Military Police Company and native of Alaska.
The Lowe family, who met in the first few years of their military careers, said it was a joint decision for both of them to reenlist during the ceremony July 4.
"The Army really is trying to keep good Soldiers," said Sgt. Erika Lowe, who serves as a Police Transition Team team leader, with the 401st Military Police Company and native of Texas.
The 401st MP Co. is on their final month of a 15-month deployment, in which, they carried out PTT operations in the Baghdad area while training Iraqi police to take over responsibility for the rule of law.
The 64th and 401st MP Companies are deployed from Fort Hood, Texas and are currently deployed at Camp Liberty, Iraq.
"We were very lucky that both of our companies were co-located and we thank our command for allowing us to be together while we were deployed," said Lowe (Ryan), who elected to stay in Iraq to be with his wife after he already completed a 15-month tour serving on a security team for the 89th Military Police Brigade's command group.
Ryan Lowe is currently on his 23 consecutive month in country.
"I thought it was a good opportunity to save money, have some stability and we got to stay together," said Lowe (Ryan), referring to the reasons he extended his tour to be with his wife.
The young family has been in the Army for a combined seven years and say they enjoy getting the chance to travel all over the world while serving their country.
"What other job could you see all the places in the world we have seen," said Lowe (Ryan), who is reenlisting with his wife to be stationed together in Brussels, Belgium for their next assignment with NATO.
Beside stability, benefits and the ability to travel all over the world the Lowe's said they love being non-commissioned Officers and that is another reason they elected to stay in the Army.
"I like working with Soldiers and seeing them grow in their skills as military police," said Erika.
"Building up Soldiers is a great experience and just being an NCO is one of the reasons why I elected to stay in," said Ryan.
In addition to the Lowe family, 25 other Soldiers from the 18th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad reenlisted during the ceremony.
During the mass reenlistment today, Petraeus thanked all the Soldiers for their service and sacrifice for their country and added, there is no where else he would rather be but spending the nation's birthday with the best Soldiers in the world.
Petraeus also mentioned that this ceremony is telling and sends a message out to the world about American service member's dedication to their country; friend and foe.