Company H of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment participated in a weapons qualification for the M4 carbine November 14th on Fort Drum. The company, a forward support company, recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan with other members of the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team in July.

While in Afghanistan, the unit was responsible for various jobs focusing on the support of their fellow Soldiers, including setting up forward arming and refueling points, material handling support, and the screening of personnel and vehicles as they entered Bagram Airfield.

The biggest thing that 1st Lt. Donovan Briggs stressed to his Soldiers while they were in Afghanistan was that they always needed to be ready and prepared for an attack at any time.

"We know that the enemy is out there, and on any one of these missions, something could happen, and we have to be able to defend ourselves," said Briggs, the executive officer of Company H.

When you're on deployment, you always have to keep your eyes open and your guard up, said Spc. Joshua Prunty, a food service specialist with Company H.

"We're family out there...and you want to keep your family safe," said Prunty, a Topeka, Kan. native.

Family is also a central element for Thanksgiving, which is quickly approaching this time of year.
The food service specialists of Company H are preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner at 2nd Brigade Combat Team's dining facility, the Commando Café, which is open to everyone on post.

"We know we're going to get more Soldiers coming to eat on the holidays than we generally do on a normal day," said Briggs. "Soldiers can see the people in other battalions that they may have spent a year with on deployment and haven't seen since. It's a great time."

The dinner will be Tuesday before Thanksgiving so that Soldiers can enjoy time with their fellow servicemembers and a meal on the holiday with their families.