Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for October 18, 2010 - Sgt. Amber Scott and
Sgt. Christopher Scott

Sergeant Amber Scott

Sgt. Amber Scott
Current Unit: 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Current Position: Training NCO
Component: Active
Current Location: COS Marez, Iraq
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Years of Service: 7

Sergeant Christopher Scott

Sgt. Christopher Scott
Current Unit: 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division
Current Position: Truck Commander
Component: Active
Current Location: COS Marez, Iraq
Hometown: Hillsboro, Ore.
Years of Service: 7

Sgt. Amber Scott met her husband, Sgt. Christopher Scott at Army Basic Training in 2003 and the couple was married within the year. Back then neither would have guessed that they would go on to serve two combat tours together.

“Being a dual military couple has its ups and downs,” Amber explained. “Deploying with your spouse is definitely one of the ups. When one of us has issues at work, we can talk to each other about it and know that the other person really understands as opposed to a civilian spouse who may not fully grasp what is going on because they haven't experienced it. The downside is that we have to leave our kids during deployments.”

While having two Army careers under one roof is not always easy, the Scotts are committed to making it work.

“I would have to say that my wife and I are beating the odds stacked against married couples who meet in Basic Training,” Christopher said. “Anyone in the Army will tell you these marriages never last, but we are and will continue to last.”

The pair, who previously deployed to Iraq together in 2007 are currently serving at Contingency Operating Station (COS) Marez in Iraq. Amber serves in several roles including working as a company training noncommissioned officer (NCO), communication security NCO in charge, and battalion Facebook NCO.

“Acting as the company training NCO means that I am responsible for ensuring that all Soldiers receive the proper training per the battalions’ guidance and the Army's standards,” Amber explained. “This is important because without all of the training that is required of Soldiers, they would be unprepared for deployments, field problems, and everyday Army life.”

Amber ensures her fellow Soldiers receive various types of training ranging from cultural awareness and nutrition classes to the Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the Army (SEDA) training course, which teaches Soldiers to identify espionage behavior.

Amber is also charged with monitoring the encryption placed on the radios used by the Soldiers in her battalion. By ensuring the radios are securely encrypted, Amber guarantees that all information being transferred through the devices remains protected. Additionally, she keeps her battalion’s Facebook page up to date with photos and current information so the Soldiers’ families back home are kept informed.

“I upload photos from all of the companies in the battalion each week to their respective albums, as well as post newsletters from the company commanders each month. This is important because it provides the families back home with an up-to-date source of information. They can see what we are doing each week and many will see their Soldiers in action,” Amber said. “While a Soldier may be too busy to do this on their own, I ensure that the photos are there each week. It is a great moral booster for those families who utilize the page.”

While much of Amber’s work is done in an office, Christopher, on the other hand, is constantly out on missions. As a truck commander, he is responsible for providing security to convoys.

“Without security for convoys, supplies and equipment would not get to checkpoints and joint security stations, and Soldiers would not be able to live and conduct daily operations away from contingency operating stations and forward operating bases,” Christopher said.

The Scotts have found that while serving this deployment together makes their time in Iraq less difficult it also creates unique challenges for them.

“Him being here has made this deployment easier because it’s like having your best friend with you all the time. To have that relationship with you physically and emotionally during a deployment is amazing,” Amber explained.

The couple, who have two young children, have struggled to balance work and family life during this tour. They rely heavily on the support of their family to help them in raising their children while they are serving abroad.

“My mom and dad keep them while we are deployed. My sister and brothers are also in the area and help my parents out. Without a very supportive family like we have, we wouldn't be able to do it. We need to know that when we leave for a 30-day field problem or a 15-month deployment that our kids will be taken care of,” Amber said. “It's hard to leave them and completely uproot them each time. But they are great kids and they understand what we are doing.”

To ensure their children are aware of what their parents are working on and know they remain at the forefront of their priorities, the Scotts are adamant about maintaining regular contact with their little ones.

“To keep in touch, we call once a week on the weekends to talk to them and we write them letters and cards about once a week as well. We usually include a photo of us or a drawing or stickers. We also try to keep our Facebook pages updated with photos so my parents can show them to our kids,” Amber said. “For each holiday, we send a package to each of them so it's like celebrating the occasion with us.”

The pair is slated to return home to their family this fall. They plan to spend time some hard-won time reconnecting with each other and with their children before traveling down to St. Petersburg to visit with Amber’s family for the Christmas holiday.

“My husband and I plan on taking our kids camping for the first time once we get back. We also are taking a cruise in December, which is a tradition for us. We take a cruise after each deployment.”

Telling the Army Story: Community Relations

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