By Staff Sgt. Nathn Akridge, 31st ADA Brigade PAOOctober 10, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, experienced the grand send off during a deployment ceremony Sept. 5 at Rinehart Fitness Center.
Family, friends, co-workers and veterans from the greater Lawton-Fort Sill community gathered to honor the battery personnel prior to their deployment to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsbility.
The brigade is no stranger to deployments and has battalions currently supporting the NATO mission in Gaziantep, Turkey, and other Soldiers deployed to the CENTCOM region.
The brigade's Soldiers have repeatedly answered their nation's call to duty by deploying to numerous locations located throughout the CENTCOM area of responsibility.
Col. Michael Morrissey, 31st ADA Brigade commander, said he and the command team are well aware of the feelings each of these Soldiers is going through.
"Despite their thorough preparation, despite their intense pride, I'm aware that there are just a few emotions represented here," said Morrissey. "Some are excited, most eager and just want to get after it, others are anxious, sad and maybe even a little angry about separation from their loved ones. These emotions are common, and I think most of us will experience each one."
The commander had a special message of support for the Soldiers and the families of the deploying troops.
"Regardless of these emotions, we commend you for embracing them; if you're a Soldier, for serving your country; if you're a family member, for supporting your loved one," added Morrissey.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Rothermel, the brigade's deputy commanding officer, said the main detachment (Soldiers staying stateside) will work hand in hand with the forward elements to ensure team cohesion and mission success, not only for the deployed Soldiers, but for their families as well.
"It is definitely a team effort to maintain readiness and success," said Rothermel. "The 31st main command team here has a primary focus of support. We are equally focused on the welfare of our families and continuing the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade's stateside mission while our forward elements are deployed, and we will continue with this mission until they return."