By Mr Bryan Gatchell (IMCOM)October 6, 2011
FORT BLISS, Texas, Oct. 6, 2011 -- At the Departure/Arrival Airfield and Control Group at Biggs Army Airfield Sept. 30, more than 200 Soldiers from 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, the "Bulldog" Brigade, waited to deploy. Many slept, others ate breakfast and some talked to each other.
The event marked the first deployment of the brigade, which had only set up two years ago. Spc. Edward Acosta, a Soldier with the brigade, reflected upon the speed with which the new brigade was deploying.
"It's a good way for a brigade to show how it got stood up two years ago and how it can move from pretty much nothing to a deployable unit in a two-year amount of time," said Acosta. "It shows the Army's ability to adapt."
Staff Sgt. Brandon Brouillet described his brigade's mission:
"We're there to support the transition -- handing over the citizens of Afghanistan their country and trying to eliminate the terrorists," he said.
Brouillet has been deployed to Iraq twice; this is his first deployment to Afghanistan.
"It is really important that our brigade steps foot in Afghanistan and makes our mark in history as far as the global war on terrorism," said Brouillet. "Hopefully we can do some good things over there and make things better over there and get everyone back safe.
"We're making large strides," continued Brouillet. "It's good for the American population to see what we're doing, to see the effect we've made, and hopefully we'll be able to pull out in the next few years and move on to more important things."
Spc. Sebastian Chavez, also deploying with the brigade, took a pragmatic view of his deployment.
"We've got to do our jobs, do it well, just come back," said Chavez. "Afghanistan's not well set compared to Iraq when I went, so we'll see what we're going to do this time."
Chavez is a native El Pasoan in the Army for four years, is married and has three children.
"The hardest part about leaving is kissing your kids goodbye, seeing their faces," he said.
While deployment for Soldiers with families can be fraught with emotion, single Soldiers must deal with logistic difficulties, according to 2nd Lt. Steven Steen, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Inf. BCT, 1st AD.
"As a single Soldier, it takes a lot more preparation than someone who has a family here," said Steen. "All they have to do is pack a bag and they can leave. In my case I have had to clear my house, close out bills and store my car and still pack my bags and make sure I was ready to go today."
Steen is optimistic about the mission to Afghanistan.
"When you consider Iraq and the improvements that have happened over there, we expect the same thing out of Afghanistan," said Steen.
Chavez finds motivation in the strength of his team and the strength of the Army family community at home.
"What motivates me is knowing I'm going with a good group of Soldiers," said Chavez. "Everybody's well-trained on what they do, so it satisfies me that everyone's happy, everyone knows what they are doing and family members are comfortable with each other. They've got groups that they stick together, help each other when we're gone."