Why I Serve: Supply Soldier molded by three Iraq deployments
November 19, 2007
CAMP TAJI, Iraq - It would be easy for one 1st Air Cavalry Brigade Soldier to forget what it is like to live in the states.
Since February 2003, Sgt. Janeice Capers, a 1st ACB Property Book Office clerk has deployed to Camp Taji three times.
The Army changed virtually overnight while the Pittsburgh native was in advanced individual training - the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks occurred two days before she graduated from her advanced individual training.
"I was in the (Post Exchange) getting my uniform done for graduation when I heard the news," Capers said. "It was a pivotal moment. I thought to myself, 'I joined at the wrong time.' I knew there would be a lot of adapting and changing."
Having just completed basic training and her AIT training, she felt she was ready for those changes, she said.
"Something I embraced at Basic was just rolling with it and adapting to the changes," she said. "My mom (Jannie Pressley) was extremely supportive. I'm the youngest child, so she was worried about me joining the Army, but she was proud of me and she knew I would do really well."
Capers said she originally enlisted in the Army to get an education and to be employed.
"Later, I decided I wanted to stay in the Army and I reenlisted," she said.
That decision led to three deployments to Iraq - all at Camp Taji.
Some good has come from the deployments, however. She became engaged to her husband, Spc. Daniel Capers - also from 1-227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, on her first deployment. The two have deployed together all three times.
"I knew that the deployment was coming (after 9/11)," she said. "I didn't know what to expect. My mother was really nervous about it, but at the same token, she offered a lot of encouragement and prayers for us. I think that deployment molded me into what I am today. I'm not afraid to make changes in my life. I felt that I was more confident this time around and had a better understanding of what our mission would be."
She dedicated herself to completing that mission, said Sgt. 1st Class Tammie Solomon, the logistics noncommissioned officer in charge for 1-227th ARB. Capers had been assigned to 1-227th ARB until moving to the brigade Property Book Office during this deployment.
"She is the most articulate, organized and neatest person I know," said Solomon, who hails from Franklin, La. "She did everything I expected from her. She never failed a mission. Any mission I ever gave her, she completed."
Her mission, though conducted behind the scenes, plays a vital part in the brigade's success during the deployment.
"There are so many different moving pieces within the supply section, and I think that we are the pulse of the unit," she said. "Without us, there would be nothing - no boots, no ammo. I feel proud of that - that we contribute to the mission."
Her family - including her half brother, Ramon Mayo - has been supportive of her during the deployments.
"(Ramon) was in 4th Infantry Division, I think during Desert Storm," she said. "He always emails me and tells me I'm his hero. I'm his little sister, so he kind of dotes on me."
Despite spending more time in the past four years at Camp Taji than at home, a warm, infectious smile greets those who enter her office. Although she plans to get out of the Army next year and pursue a degree in computer science and a career as a film editor, she said she will continue to be grateful for the growth and the friendships the Army has provided.
"Since I have been here with this brigade, I have met some of the most amazing people," she said. "They have made such a big impact on my life. Their support and encouragement make me feel more secure in taking this next step into the civilian world."