BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The 3-401st Army Field Support Battalion invited a well-known personality around here to assist in battalion efforts to prepare Soldiers and civilians who will soon be trading their deployments for the joys and stresses of returning home.
Maj. Edan, visited the battalion on May 3 and her command presence was instantly felt by the 30 or so attending a briefing conducted by staff from the 98th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control.
Edan, a combat stress dog with the 98th Med. Det. CSC, brought out many smiles. She also served as a reminder of home for those who will be completing their missions and returning in the next few months.
"Major Edan offered an opportunity for the Soldiers to experience something that many of them associate with home -- the family pet," said Sgt. 1st Class Julie Romett, 3-401st AFSBn sergeant major. "I also wanted the Soldiers to start thinking about readjustment now before arriving back in the States."
Capt. Matthew Neat, 98th Med. Det. CSC officer-in-charge, and Staff Sgt. Thomas Hewett, non-commissioned officer-in-charge, presented a comprehensive and informative brief on the three phases of returning home and provided tips, resources and ideas to help ease the readjustment for the returnees and their family members.
"I felt it [was] important to have a briefing given by someone who was in theater and deployed as they know what the conditions are here and the challenges we face going home," said Romett. "Many of the civilians appreciated the opportunity to attend and … this briefing may become a quarterly brief. The 98th Medical Detachment also realized the need to find civilian resources to provide in future briefings. It was an amazing turnout for the first redeployment brief given in 3rd Battalion and a lot of positive feedback was received by Soldiers and civilians."
"The brief prepares you for what to expect, it started me thinking and preparing for how to address issues," said 1st Lt. Remilekun Bankole, battle captain. "There were good tips for dealing with children. This is my first deployment as a father."
Bankole said he feels he's better prepared to help his 2-year-old daughter deal with his homecoming.
"It's important if this if your first deployment or your tenth," said Robert Martin, CECOM ESSC manager. "There's always something you can learn to help manage expectations."