FORT SILL, Oklahoma (April 8, 2022) — Signifying the completion of another successful deployment to the Republic of Korea, 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery “Red Dragons” uncased its colors in front of family, friends and fellow Soldiers Thursday.
During the nine-month deployment, the battalion integrated with the 210th Field Artillery Brigade where they operated as the ready battery. The team also executed multiple live fire exercises while honing their warfighting skills with weapons qualification and physical fitness, said 75th Field Artillery Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. John Black.
The Red Dragons proudly entered the Rinehart Fitness Center to thunderous applause and cheers and a plethora of posters, including one held by Chloe Montalvo.
Chloe, a toddler, who was unaware she was holding a sign that read “Get out of my way, I get my daddy back today,” thought she was in the gym for a poster contest. Little did she know her father, Sgt. Jorge Montalvo, would come marching through the doors.
“We wanted it to be a surprise for her,” said Chloe’s mom, Ashley Montalvo. “(Chloe) was so little when he left, and we’re excited to have him home.”
Montalvo had little to say as he lifted his daughter into the air for a few moments. The two just held each while Chloe touched her father’s face with both hands and smiled.
For others, like Red Dragon’s Command Sgt. Major Raymond Franklin, the return was bitter-sweet. In a few months, he will retire
“It feels great to be back and I was ready to come home,” Raymond said. “This was my last deployment, and I am retiring in October after 30 years.”
Raymond’s wife, Cheryl, said she is excited to begin a new journey but is also looking forward to their oldest son joining the Army team.
“We’re moving to Evansville, Indiana,” Cheryl said, “and then our oldest son in planning to join. So hopefully by May or August, he’ll be the next family member on a mission with the military.”
Col. Dave Norris, 75th Field Artillery Brigade commander welcomed the battalion back and offered his congratulations on a successful deployment before releasing the Soldiers to their loved ones.
“Job well done,” said Norris. “The professionalism and reputation of the Red Dragons is stronger now than ever. Great job and welcome home.”
The uncasing of the colors is an Army tradition that symbolizes the return of a unit to its home installation.