Faces From the Front for May 11, 2009 - Sgt. 1st Class Trevino L. Copeland
Current Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad
Current Position: Supply Sergeant
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Baghdad, Iraq
Hometown: Lincoln, Neb.
Years of Service: 18
Every time his country has called upon him to serve, Sgt. 1st Class Trevino L. Copeland has answered without hesitation. Now in his 19th year of service, the 36-year-old supply sergeant has deployed a total of seven times. With three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan since 2001, Copeland has witnessed first-hand many of the changes in the current conflict.
The Lincoln, Neb., native says he witnessed some of the heaviest fighting in the war during his deployment to Fallujah, Iraq in 2003-2004.
"There is a big difference from back then till now," he said. "The Iraqis are taking the lead and we are just here to assist them."
The Army experience has required a personal commitment and sacrifice from Copeland. The multiple deployments have tested him but being a Soldier and serving when his country needed him most is something Copeland says he takes great pride in.
"For the country's freedom, this is just a small sacrifice for a better and secure future," said Copeland. "To be involved in this generation's most significant events, and look back one day and say that I was a part of it really makes me proud."
As a supply sergeant, Copeland works with local national vendors in Iraq to ensure his unit has all the necessary equipment it needs to be combat effective. He is responsible for ordering and accounting for thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
Prior to becoming a supply sergeant, Copeland was deployed as an infantryman in support of Operation Desert Storm where he served with the now inactive 24th Infantry Division. Copeland also deployed in support of efforts in Bosnia while assigned with the 1st Armored Division. He joined the Army in July 1990 and had a brief break in service before rejoining the Army in 2000 and becoming a supply sergeant.
Following his deployment, Copeland plans to retire from military service. He hopes to pursue a bachelors degree and continue serving his country as a civilian. Copeland added that leaving the military will be tough because he considers the people he serves with every day like his family. During his spare time in Iraq, Copeland likes to read and play basketball with his fellow Paratroopers.