Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for March 8, 2010 - Staff Sgt. Miriam Mountain and 1st Lt. Robert Mountain

Staff Sergeant Miriam Mountain and First Lieutenant Robert Mountain

Staff Sgt. Miriam Mountain
Current Unit: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Current Position: Intelligence Analyst
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Iraq
Hometown: Lawton, Okla.
Years of Service: 17

1st Lt. Robert Mountain
Current Unit: 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
Current Position: Infantry Platoon Leader
Component: Active Army
Current Location: Iraq
Hometown: Odenton, Md.
Years of Service: 2.5

Two and a half years ago, 1st Lt. Robert Mountain III decided to join the Army, following the example set by several members of his family, including his mother, Staff Sgt. Miriam Mountain.

"I am extremely proud to see Robert follow not only in my footsteps, but also in the footsteps of his father as well as his grandfathers, who both retired from the Army," Staff Sgt. Mountain said.

"I wanted to continue their legacy and simultaneously fulfill my desire to serve my nation," 1st Lt. Mountain added. Today 1st Lt. Mountain is serving alongside his mother in Iraq; both are members of the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.

1st Lt. Mountain is currently serving at Contingency Operating Site (COS) Hunter, as an infantry platoon leader. Mountain is responsible for leading 25 of his fellow Soldiers in conducting patrols, providing security for COS Hunter and Joint Security Station Condor, and in advising and training the Iraqi Army to conduct security missions.

"It is a great mission and the role we are playing has allowed the Iraqi Security Forces to stand on their own and secure their country," Mountain said of his Soldiers' accomplishments.

Meanwhile, near Nasiriyah, at Contingency Operating Base (COB) Adder, Staff Sgt. Mountain serves as an intelligence analyst, reading security reports and analyzing them to determine if there are pending threats to the base's security.

Although the mother and son pair are not stationed at the same location in Iraq, they are able to keep in touch through email and phone calls, and have had the opportunity to visit each other on two occasions.

"We frequently email one another and I try to give her a call on a weekly basis. I know that she worries about me, so I try to alleviate that as much as possible," 1st Lt. Mountain said.

While any deployment is challenging, the Mountains have found comfort in serving together. "It's really cool," 1st Lt. Mountain said of his deployment with his mom, Staff Sgt. Mountain. "It makes being deployed much easier for both of us."

Throughout their deployment, the Mountains have noticed the positive impact their service has had in Iraq, and they are proud to have been a part of improving the lives of Iraqi citizens.

"My most rewarding experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom has been witnessing first-hand the positive economic effects the U.S. has had in Iraq," Staff Sgt. Mountain said. "COB Adder alone employs over 600 local nationals, who, for the most part, live in the city of Nasiriyah in Dhi Qar Province. Along with the economic benefits, the U.S. Army has rebuilt schools and businesses in the immediate cities. Better economic opportunities coupled with educational opportunities for Iraq's future generations are critical in the development of Iraq, especially in Dhi Qar, where the illiteracy rate is higher than any other part of the country."

In May, the Mountains will return home where Staff Sgt. Mountain's other sons, Jermaine and Quinton, anxiously await their arrival. 1st Lt. Mountain plans to attend the Captain's Career Course in August, and Staff Sgt. Mountain will prepare for her retirement from the Army.

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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