Promotion part of welcome home for 597th Maintenance
June 10, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- When Spc. Brandon Littierre returned home from a six-month Middle East deployment May 30, he planned to spend time with his wife of five years, Jennifer, and their two children, Elijah, 4, and Chyanne, 3.
Instead, he found himself getting a few new responsibilities after he was promoted to sergeant by 597th Maintenance Company Commander Maj. Jack Stewart at Fort Rucker's Knox Army Heliport June 3.
Littierre was unaware of his promotion until he saw Jennifer arrive during the unit's formation.
"I had no idea anything was going to happen," he said. "It was a great moment and I'm really happy she was here for it."
Littierre has been in the military for six years and said he plans to work even harder now that he's advanced in his career.
"I'm just a Soldier ready to take on the role and do the job well," he said. "Everything's challenging, but this is a great unit and I like working with all of them."
His wife assisted in the promotion ceremony and expressed her feelings on his return home.
"It's such a good feeling to have him home," she said. "It was surreal seeing him step off the plane."
Littierre and the seven other 597th Maint. Co. Special Repair Activity 14 team members maintained and repaired air traffic control equipment throughout the Middle East during their deployment, according to 1st Sgt. Charles Bodner.
"We ran a lot of missions between Afghanistan and Iraq," Littierre said. "It was really challenging, but we worked together to make sure we completed our mission."
All of the unit members planned to spend as much time with their Families as possible, but for some, making the transition back to life in the U.S. was a little difficult.
"It feels nice to be here, but it's also a lot different from where I was," Staff Sgt. John Ryan said. "Over there, we were always together, but here everyone has other things to do so it makes it a little harder to make the transition."
Ryan spent a full year in the Middle East rather than the unit's usual six -month rotation.
"I bought a house in Enterprise just before I left and I still don't have any furniture for it," he said. "That's one of the first things I'm planning to get."
Spc. Susan Pickett described her first deployment as something very different for her. Up to now she had only heard stories about deployments, but now has some stories of her own to tell.
"It was a pretty cool experience," she said. "I finally got to see what everyone was talking about and getting to do my job (in the field) was great."
Pickett also recently found a place to live in Enterprise, but it isn't ready yet. Fortunately, she made other living arrangements for now.
"I'm going to stay in the barracks until my apartment is finished," she said. "It's great I've got a place to stay while things are being finalized."