Military brat has Army, Fort Knox running through his veins
March 14, 2009
- Military brat has Army, Fort Knox running through his veins
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - For some service members, joining the military was just an option, but for Sgt. Gregory Gayfield Jr., the military is something he just can't seem to escape.
A native of Radcliff, Ky., Gayfield describes himself as being born with combat boots on.
Born in Milwaukee, Wis., the young Gayfield is the son of Gregory Gayfield Sr., a retired Army Sgt. 1st Class and Debra A. Gayfield. Raised much of his younger years in Chicago, he spent most of his life around the Army as his father was stationed at the now-closed Fort Sheridan.
As a young child, Gayfield spent many years in different countries, with Germany being a constant home for his Family. While stationed there, the Family lived at many installations to include Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern, and Carl Schurz. The younger Gayfield considers himself fortunate to have lived in different countries and understands the diverse cultures of the world.
"I was very lucky to have been able to experience different cultures at a young age," Gayfield said. "This prepared me for my own military career, even though I didn't know it at the time."
After many tours in Germany, the elder Gayfield chose Fort Knox as his last duty station before retirement. This allowed the Gayfields to reunite with other Family members and become permanent residents in a large military community.
The younger Gayfield spent his grade school years attending Macdonald Intermediate School and Fort Knox High School. In 1994, he graduated from North Hardin High School and he said the first day on campus at North Hardin was familiar.
"I remember when I started attending North Hardin, I noticed that many of my friends from Fort Knox High were there," Gayfield said. "We had a long standing joke that North Hardin at the time was just Fort Knox all over again, since many former Fort Knox student were now there. They were just like me, in that their parents retired and decided to stay in the area."
This camaraderie between his peers led to Gayfield joining the Army Reserve in 1994 as a food service specialist, after a brief enrollment at Western Kentucky University.
While his life is similar to that of his father, he said he secured a place in the Gayfield Family tradition as well.
"When I joined the Army, not only was I third generation Army, but I was third generation Quartermaster Corps as well," Gayfield said. "My grandfather and my father were members of the Quartermaster Corps. You meet a lot of kids growing up who are fellow military brats, but to be a third generation military brat on more than on level is something special."
His path in the Army led to a life similar to his father, as he now travels the world to different duty stations. To date, he has served at Fort Hood, Texas; Camp LaGuardia, South Korea; and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
After many deployments and PCS moves, the younger Gayfield is finally stationed at Fort Knox where he and his Family consider home. Returning to Fort Knox meant a lot to Gayfield and has allowed him more opportunities in his career.
"When I returned to Fort Knox, my Family was really grateful for me to be there because they would have the opportunity to see me more," said Gayfield. "Being stationed there allows me to help out my parents, and spend more time with my wife and three beautiful daughters."
Gayfield quickly realized that a lot changed since his childhood years. In particular, he noticed the growth of Fort Knox and its surrounding areas.
Buildings that were once on post and shopping centers he remembered as a child has moved or relocated to different locations. He described his feelings while driving on Fort Knox for the first time as being weird because of the many changes. Though different than he remembered, he was able to adjust and accept it as his home.
Now, a member of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Gayfield considers himself fortunate because of the differences from his previous units.
He explained his new unit has given him a chance to experience a different aspect of the Army. With the 3d ESC, he has been able to experience operations from a top level sustainment command. He said he is able to see operations put into actions rather than being the one performing the action. It has been different, but an enjoyable experience.
Gayfield said he makes a conscious effort to spend more time with his Family. "A big goal of mine is to just relax more and enjoys things while I'm stationed here [Fort Knox] since I always seem to be in a big hurry than when I was in this area," Gayfield said. "It's been a good move so far and a great experience."
PHOTOS AND STORY BY SPC MICHAEL BEHLIN, 3D ESC PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
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