246th QM Co. deploys to Afghanistan
February 21, 2012
Aguadilla, PR- Troops assigned to the 246th Mortuary Affairs (MA) Company, US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, departed to a mobilization station in the Continental United States, 29 Jan, as part of their process to mobilize to Afghanistan.
"Like all my troops, I am motivated and ready to do our job," said Maj. Federico Martinez, commander of the unit, based in Aguadilla, PR.
The mission of the 246th MA Company is to provide logistic support in the preparation and transportation of fallen soldiers in combat.
The group of soldiers included many who had been mobilized previously, in support of the War Against Terrorism.
Sgt. 1st Class José Hernández, a Moca, PR native with 21 years of service, was one of the previously mobilized troops.
"This is my third mobilization. I have been to Iraq and Afghanistan before. This would be the second time I will be deployed in Afghanistan," said a proud Hernández.
"The mobilization process for the 246th has been excellent. We have been in preparation for over a year. I feel that we have covered all areas and, since we have a very good group of soldiers, I know that we will return safely," added Hernández.
Many family members and friends showed up to the airport to say goodbye to the troops.
"I am kind of sad, but I am sure they have been well trained," said Diana Borrero, Sgt. 1st Class Hernandez' wife.
Edith Sosa, Staff Sgt. Cynthia Lozada's mother, expressed she was feeling mixed emotions.
"First of all, I am very proud of my daughter because she is serving the nation and that is what she likes to do. But being away from my daughter is also sad," said Sosa who came with her grandchildren, Roderick Keith (14) and Christian Louis (8) to farewell her daughter.
Col. Miguel A. Isaac, US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico's (1st Mission Support Command) Deputy Commander, addressed the soldiers, minutes before boarding the plane.
"There are many things happening at once in a war theater. But if you have confidence in your training and your leaders, I know you will not have any problems. Go with the confidence that we will take care of your families," said Isaac.
The 246th MA is the first US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico unit to be mobilized in 2012, when the Army Reserve forces in the island celebrate their 90 year anniversary.