FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Soldiers and Families with the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team "Raiders" attended a unit pre-deployment fair on Fort Carson, April 4, to receive information and gain resources necessary for a successful nine-month rotational deployment.

The purpose of the fair is to help prepare Soldiers and Families for 1st SBCT's deployment to Afghanistan in support of 4th Infantry Division.

"The pre-deployment fair brings together agencies and resources from across Fort Carson and the surrounding areas into one spot which makes it easy for Soldiers and their Families to get the knowledge and resources they need to help get through this upcoming deployment," said 1st Lt. John Eagen, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, 4th Infantry Division. "A Soldier that knows that everything is taken care of at home is focused at the task on hand."

The Raiders will replace 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, which is currently deployed to Afghanistan.

1st Lt. Mikal Koss, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st SBCT said a variety of agencies from across the Fort Carson installation supported the event to prepare the Families to be resilient and self-reliant throughout the Soldiers' deployment.

"The big focus of this is support and resiliency," said Eagen. "Just preparing the Families as a unit to deal with things that come up back home so it doesn't cause stress on the Soldier and helps mitigate stress in the family as a whole."

Long ago events such as pre-deployment fairs weren't available to Soldiers and their Families.

"When I started 18 years ago I wasn't aware of the resources the installation had to offer," said 1st Sgt. Matthew Olson, 1-38 Inf. Regt., 1st SBCT. "I think this is a good opportunity for spouses to see all the activities and resources available to them while their spouse is deployed. This event gives the young Soldiers and their Families a sense of community."

He said that a lot of his Soldiers didn't understand or know the valuable information that the agencies offer to them and their Families until he sat down and explained it to them.

Many of the spouses attending today's event said that they are grateful to have Army support programs to help while their Soldiers are away.

"I feel that this has gone very well," said Jennifer Larson, Brave Company, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 1st SBCT, Family Readiness Group Leader. "We have had a great turn out and it has been very beneficial to the Soldiers and their Families."

Feeling confident that their Families will have support while their gone, many Soldiers are excited about the upcoming deployment.

"I am glad that my wife will have all the resources available to her," said Simon Dechenne, HHC, 1st SBCT. "It brings peace of mind while I get ready for my first deployment."

Additional photos from the pre-deployment fair can be located at https://www.flickr.com/photos/129816646@N07/albums/72157695365888125