CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq- Three Soldiers may complain about the traffic back home, but while pulling convoy security and driving down the dusty roads of Iraq during their year-long deployment traffic doesn't seem to faze them.

Sgt. David Preston, Sgt. Desmond McIntyre and Spc. Edgar Fuentes from the California National Guard's Delta Company 1st Battalion, 185th Armor Regiment, said the one thing that helps them through their sometimes grueling schedule, is having each other and building friendships that will last a lifetime.

"We're all really close, they're practically my brothers," said McIntyre, a native of Salinas, Calif., and gunner for the 1st Bn., 185th Armor Regt.

McIntyre and Preston worked together for a couple years back in California, but said once Fuentes joined the unit as part of their vehicle team, he fit in immediately.

Because they are friends outside of their missions, it makes them come together that much more. Especially, when they are preparing to take the road, said Fuentes, a native of San Jose, Calif., and driver for the 1st Bn., 185th Armor Regt.

"We know each other so well that if we have any dangerous situations, we know what the other person's thinking," Fuentes said. "We know what to do at the time, so we don't even have to ask each other."

Preston, a native of San Bernardino, Calif., and vehicle commander for the 1st Bn., 185th Armor Regt., said he is very confident in McIntyre and Fuentes' Soldiering skills.

Even when they're not on the road together, they are watching out for each other, McIntyre said.

Preston said when their deployment first started he felt like a dad who would have to wake up his kids for school. He'd even bring them breakfast in bed sometimes.

Fuentes is quick to point out that Preston is the only one making sure they are well fed.

"If I'm up and we are about to start our daily preparations for a mission and I realize they won't have time to get food then I'll grab it for them," Fuentes said. "We're just always helping each other out."

Although the three Soldiers watch out for each other like Family, they tease each other like Family too, Fuentes said. Because of working and living together, they know just about everything about each other. Whether it's each other's work habits or even just their quirks, he said.

Whether it's the way Preston unravels during a Madden football video game, or how much McIntyre and Fuentes enjoy sleeping, they all tease each other about something, Fuentes said.

They enjoy their very few days of recovery, but they're the first ones ready to hit the road, Preston said.

"Once we get on the road, it's just like a light switch. It just comes and we're ready to work," Preston said.


Story by SPC Kelly Anne Beck

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16