By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterSeptember 20, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 20, 2012) -- Families and friends came together at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum to say their farewells to about a dozen Soldiers of the 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group who deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait Sept. 15 to provide additional airfield oversight for an earlier deployed unit, according to Lt. Col. Terry Meyer, rear detachment commander for the 164th TAOG.
"They will join the 164th TAOG headquarters already deployed where they will provide maintenance, standardization, safety and technical expertise to air traffic control units and expeditionary airfields throughout the Army Central Command area of operations," he said during the ceremony. "Standing before you and sitting next to you are the Soldiers and Families who start their journey today to advance this proud history [of this unit] and answer the call of our great nation."
The Soldiers that deployed consisted of Soldiers from all three of the 164th TAOG units on Fort Rucker: Headquarters Headquarters Company 164th TAOG, 1-58th Airfield Operations Battalion and the 597th Ordnance Company, said Meyer.
One of the Soldiers that deployed was Sgt. Adam Pressley, of HHC 164th TAOG, who was originally slated to deploy in July but was allowed to stay behind to be with his wife, Karen, for the birth of his son.
"Mentally we had to prepare very quickly because my orders came down within a month, so we had to do everything really fast," he said, adding that he's proud to have the opportunity to serve his country.
"I was originally stationed in Germany … and my unit left twice [to deploy], and I had to stay behind," he said. "I actually felt disappointed that I couldn't go with my unit, and to be able to [deploy] twice with this unit now gives me a great sense of pride … to be able to go and be the Soldier that I'm supposed to be."
Since this isn't the Pressley's first deployment, Karen said certain aspects of deployment get a bit easier, but it's still a tough situation to go through.
"The feelings go both ways," she said. "It's easier when you get the news [that he's deploying], but at the same time, you know what's going to happen and it's going to get frustrating and you're going to get lonely. We've had our deployments pretty spaced apart, though, so I think I'll be ok."
Grisela Castillo, wife of Pfc. Bernardino Castillo, said that the deployment is going to be tough on her, but that she was mentally prepared for it when her husband joined the Army.
"We already knew when he signed up that [he was going to deploy], so I've just been kind of preparing myself for when it was going to happen," she said. "It's just something you've got to deal with [as an Army spouse] and you just have to think that things will get better and he'll come back to us soon."
The Castillos plan to stay in contact with each other during the deployment through emails and video chats.
"Hopefully technology doesn't fail us and we can keep in contact," said Grisela. "There's nothing you can really do but try to make the best of it, so you might as well think of the good things."
CW2 Trask Preston, Air Traffic Services Standardization Element officer in charge, said that it's part of his job to make sure his Soldiers make it through the hardest parts of deployment.
"The hardest part of deployment for a lot of Soldiers is being away from their Families, especially when the holidays are coming up," he said. "It's our responsibility [as leaders] to make sure that we're going to keep them as safe as we possibly can … and make sure that everything goes smoothly so that we can get them back safely."