By Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea, 3rd BCT PAO, 82nd Abn. Div., MND-BApril 22, 2009
BAGHDAD - Today's Soldier in Focus is Sgt. 1st Class Trevino L. Copeland, a supply sergeant, assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad. Copeland, a native of Lincoln, Neb., joined the Army in July 1990 and enlisted as an infantryman.
Copeland is currently serving on his seventh deployment and fifth deployment since 2001. His last five deployments have all been with the 82nd Abn. Div.'s 3rd BCT. This is his third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Prior to becoming a supply specialist, Copeland was deployed as an infantryman in support of Operation Desert Storm where he served with the now inactive 24th Infantry Division. Copeland also deployed in support of efforts in Bosnia while assigned with the 1st Armored Division.
For this 36-year-old paratrooper, the Army experience has been a sacrifice. The deployments have been hard on him but being a Solider and serving when his country needed him most is something Copeland takes great pride in.
"For the country's freedom, this is just a small sacrifice for a better and secure future," said Copeland. "To be involved in this generation's most significant events, and look back one day and say that I was a part of it really makes me proud."
Copeland had a brief break in service before rejoining the Army in 2000 and becoming a supply specialist.
As a supply specialist serving in Iraq, Copeland is responsible for ordering and accounting for thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Copeland works with local national vendors in Iraq to ensure his unit has all the necessary equipment it needs to be combat effective.
Copeland has seen the change in security and the recent gains across Iraq over the past few years. The Lincoln, Neb. native witnessed some of the heaviest fighting in the war during his deployment to Fallujah, Iraq in 2003-2004.
"There is a big difference from back then till now," he said. "The Iraqis are taking the lead and we are just here to assist them."
Copeland's family has a history of military service. His grandfather served during World War I, where he was seriously wounded and had his leg amputated. His brother also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Following his deployment, Copeland plans to retire from military service. He hopes to pursue a bachelor's degree and hopes to continue serving his country as a civilian.
Copeland added that leaving the military will be tough because he considers the people he serves with everyday like his family.
During his spare time in Iraq, Copeland likes to read and play basketball with his fellow paratroopers.