Army married couple reenlists together
March 29, 2010
CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq -- Married-couple Spc. Samuel Baker, a communications system support specialist and Pittsburgh native, and Sgt. Raquel Baker, an automated logistics specialist and Temple, Texas, native, both with Headquarters Company, 15th Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), reenlisted together here, March 17.
The reenlistment, which was Samuel's first and Raquel's second, came after two years of marriage and was broadcast to Joint Base Balad, Iraq, via video teleconferencing so other Soldiers in their unit could watch.
Both previously said they would not reenlist, but after careful consideration and prodding from leaders and peers, they changed their minds.
Even Command Sgt. Maj. Clarence Miller Jr., a Pensacola, Fla., native, and the battalion's senior noncommissioned officer, played a part in convincing them to reenlist.
"You and me talked a lot about me getting out," Samuel told Miller at the reenlistment ceremony. "I guess you won."
The couple began dating during the unit's last 15-month deployment to Iraq from 2006-2008 and married shortly upon returning, Raquel said.
"They were the couple that nobody knew was a couple," Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hutton, a Honolulu native, and the battalion's supply noncommissioned officer in charge, said.
Hutton said she met the two during the unit's last deployment and became close friends with them. She also explained that she was one of the voices trying to convince the pair to stay Army, citing the weakened U.S. economy as a primary reason.
After much discussion between themselves, friends, and leadership, they decided to reenlist, primarily for the travel, Raquel said.
Where are the couple going next'
"It's not locked in for sure yet but it looks like Frankfurt, Germany," Samuel said.
Raquel, who partially joined the Army to travel, said she was upset when she received orders to go to Fort Hood, Texas, where the 15th Sustainment Brigade is stationed only minutes away from her hometown. She said they both were excited about the move.
"It's a new adventure for us," Raquel explained.
"This is going to be the first big adventurous thing for our marriage," Samuel agreed.
Although the Bakers agreed that they liked being together through deployments, they said sometimes it's good to have a little space. At the beginning of the deployment, the two shared a room but were later temporarily separated as Samuel went on a three-month-long mission to Joint Base Balad. He said he flew to Q-West just to reenlist with his wife.
The Bakers agreed that a little time apart occasionally could be a good thing.
"It gives us a chance to learn to miss each other," Raquel said.
They said there were good and bad things about always being together.
"It's difficult at times because you're both in the Army," Raquel explained.
"[But] not all couples are as fortunate to be together."
Hutton also believed the couple was fortunate.
"There's nothing better than having your spouse around when you're deployed."
She thought for a moment and added, "If all else fails, they'll always have each other."