693rd Engineer Company cases colors ahead of route clearance mission
October 11, 2012
In preparation for their upcoming deployment, Soldiers of 693rd Engineer Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (LI), cased their unit's colors during a ceremony Tuesday at Monti Physical Fitness Center on Fort Drum.
The company is scheduled to soon deploy to Forward Operating Base Azizulla in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, for a nine-month route clearance mission.
After an invocation and the playing of the national anthem, Maj. Byung C. Kim, battalion training officer in charge, addressed deploying Soldiers, many of whom had friends, Family Members and fellow Soldiers in attendance.
"Yours is a mission that will save lives," Kim said. "Trust in the training you have received, your leaders, and the Soldiers to the left and right of you."
After Kim's remarks, guest speaker Col. James H. Raymer, former deputy commander of the Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, spoke to attendees.
Raymer praised Soldiers of 693rd Engineer Company for their hard work and professionalism ahead of their coming deployment. He also thanked Family Members for their continued loyalty and support.
"Operation Enduring Freedom has been going on for more than 11 years, and the 693rd will help bring an end to it," the colonel said.
The concluding speaker for the ceremony was Capt. John R. Morrow, company commander.
He recognized that a myriad of emotions accompany a deployment -- many of them not positive -- but suggested there can be a positive upshot with any hardship.
"War is a transformative endeavor," Morrow said. "Amid war's destruction, there is an opportunity for growth. It has the power to strengthen those that meet the challenge head-on, endure it well and return with honor."
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the 10th Mountain Division song and the Army song.