OTF Soldier Story for June 7, 2010 - Staff Sgt. Rudy Gomez
Current Unit: A Company, 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion
Current Position: Military Intelligence Analyst
Component: Army Reserve on Active Duty
Current Location: Cheverly, Md.
Hometown: Denver, Colo.
Years of Service: 10
The annual celebration of the Army’s Birthday brings about a reflection on the traditions and legacy of service to country. One of the proudest traditions the Army can recognize is the generations of families that have volunteered to serve throughout the past 235 years. Staff Sgt. Rudy Gomez is just one member in a family that has answered their call to duty repeatedly.
“I just knew I would always serve someday. Everyone in my family has served,” he said. “My grandfather served in World War II fighting in northern Africa, and he received three Purple Hearts during his time. Also, my father and two uncles served during the Vietnam War, and my brother, Alan, deployed for Desert Storm.”
During his deployment to Iraq last year, Gomez’s other brother, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gomez, who serves with an infantry unit out of Fort Lewis, Wash., was stationed near him.
“I hadn’t seen him in over 7 years, but he got stationed less than 2 miles away from me in Iraq. It was great to have my brother there and really made the deployment memorable for me. Even though we were busy, the times we did have off sure made a difference to hang out with him even for a short time.”
While deployed to Iraq with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion earlier this year, Gomez served as a Reserve Forces intelligence manager for U.S. Forces Iraq Intelligence Support Element.
Prior to last year, he had previously deployed to Kuwait and Iraq in 2003 with the 75th Field Artillery Brigade. Although he served in the military intelligence field for both deployments, his mission was different between the two. During his first deployment, he was responsible for providing intelligence support for the headquarters battery, as well as occasionally lending gun support for sight survey teams out on missions. This provided him the opportunity to travel throughout the country and see firsthand the progress that was being made.
Despite having one family member nearby during his most recent deployment, Gomez said it was hard to leave his wife and sons, but he knows his role as a Soldier makes him a better father and vice versa.
“As a Soldier I am used to structure which doesn’t always happen with young kids. However, I think having a family teaches me patience and that having personal involvement helps get people motivated and get things done,” he said.
Although his sons still have several years before they are old enough to join the Army, their father sees interest in following in his footsteps.
“They have talked about it, so we will see,” he said. “I know they are very proud of me and like hearing about what I do.”
While overseas, he connected with his family through phone and email as much as possible and is also grateful for the support his extended family and community provided. He said that despite living all over the country, his family called his wife nearly every day and their local community provided support, such as mowing the lawn and last-minute childcare, while he was away.
Gomez currently serves with the 323rd Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Meade, Md. Since returning from Iraq, he has been assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Belvoir, Va., where he is continuing to recover from injuries sustained during his deployment. He lives in Cheverly, Md., with his wife, Jamie, and his sons, Christian (10) and Brandon (7). In the future, he plans to continue to serve the Army in the military intelligence field.