By Spc. Monica Smith, CAB Public Affairs, 3rd IDOctober 31, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- Somewhere near 1 a.m. the preflight meal was served in the Trustcott Air Terminal: Spaghetti and Krispy Kreme doughnuts.
The Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment ate their meal, gathered items from the USO tables and talked with one another comfortably as they awaited the beginning of their deployment to Tikrit and Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 21.
With Soldiers like Spc. Omar Arnold, who has deployed twice before, the lack of anxiety is logical.
"There's a good number of people in my platoon who have deployed before," said Arnold, a wheel mechanic with Company E, from Pensacola, Fla. "The attitude is, 'Here I go again. I'm going to go do what I do best.'"
Arnold previously deployed with the 4th Infantry Division to Tikrit for a year, and with the 172nd Stryker Brigade to Mosul for a 17-month tour, however, this tour brings about new challenges.
"I'm recently married so now I have a Family and now it's different," he said. "I'm not worried about me. I'm really not nervous. Obviously there are some concerns about my Family - if they are going to be okay. But, as for me, I'm not the least bit worried."
Purple Heart recipient Spc. Djuan Harrington agrees and said the deployment is what each individual makes of it.
"Everybody is different," said Harrington, also a wheel mechanic with Co. E. "For me personally I wouldn't be nervous. It's something I have to do. I just do it. I do what I have to do and come back to the Family."
Still, like Arnold, Harrington, from Lake City, Fla., did face other difficulties. Considering Harrington's Purple Heart from his previous deployment with 4th ID at Camp Taji, Iraq, Harrington says it was most difficult to leave his Family.
"No one wants me to leave," said Harrington. "But they're proud of me. My mom tells me 'I'm so proud of you' all the time. I'm not doing anything special."
As 1/10 Avn. deploys to join the 10th Mountain Division's Combat Aviation Brigade to support the Multi-National Division North area, both Harrington and Arnold say their previous experience allows them to help other Soldiers who are on the eve of their first deployment.
"People ask you, 'How is it' How is the weather' How will the missions run'' And I feel a little bit more prepared because I've been deployed before," Arnold said. "It's good though because I can help the new Soldiers, help them ease their minds, help them not be so uptight or nervous about being away from their Families."