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Silver Eagles case their colors

Email   Print   Share By Sgt. 1st Class Chris Bridson, 4th Sust. Bde.,13th ESC Public Affairs
July 18, 2013 | News
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Maj. Anthony J. Weilbacher, commander of the 15th FMSU, 4th STB, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC, joins with 1st Sgt. Michelle Hurt to furl the company colors during a ceremony at Fort Hood, July 2. Sgt. 1st Class Chris Bridson, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC Public Affairs
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Capt. Edward Boncek, executive officer for the 15th FMSU, 4th STB, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC, receives a hug from 81-year-old Elizabeth Laird, affectionately known as “The Hug Lady,” prior to boarding his flight at Robert Gray Army Airfield to Afghanistan, July 11. Laird, has been giving Soldiers a hug at Fort Hood for almost 10 years and rarely misses a flight. Sgt. 1st Class Chris Bridson, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC Public Affairs
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Soldiers from HHD, 15th FMSU, 4th STB, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC form up for a deployment ceremony in the Abrams Physical Fitness Center, July 11. Sgt. 1st Class Chris Bridson, 4th Sust. Bde., 13th ESC Public Affairs
Over the past 12 years, more than 2 million United States Army Soldiers have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, many on more than one occasion. These numbers recently increased as more Soldiers deployed from Fort Hood.

During a particularly hot Texas afternoon July 2, Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 15th Financial Management Support Unit, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) held a colors casing ceremony in preparation for their deployment to the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan.

“It seems like just yesterday we were nine months out developing our road to war,” said Maj. Anthony J. Weilbacher, commander of the 15th FMSU. “It’s been quite an adventure getting here, and we still have a short way to go. … I am extremely humbled to be a part of it, and I look forward to all the great things that we’ll accomplish down range.”

After the ceremony, the Soldiers of the 15th FMSU gathered around to promote their most senior enlisted Soldier deploying, Sgt. Maj. Austin McLaughlin, who was joined by his wife, Brenda, and children, Andrew and Kelsea.

Nine days later, in the early hours of July 11, Soldiers, Families and friends of the 15th FMSU, 4th Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) gathered at Abrams

Physical Fitness Center for a deployment ceremony.

From the most senior enlisted unit member to the most junior, each of the 25 Soldiers understood exactly what their role would be, and they were ready for their mission in Afghanistan to commence. Spc. Norris D. Grant has only been in the unit for 41 days, but knew that he has a very important part to play down range.

“I will be working on the Vendor Services Team. So, everything that comes in as far as vendors, I’ll get the contracts first and make sure they don’t have any errors. If they do, I’ll send them back for corrections so they get paid correctly,” Grant said.

Since he is deploying to a potentially hazardous environment, Grant is nervous about what lies ahead, but at the same time excited because of the lasting memories he will take from the experience.

“Definitely, (it will be) something to tell my grandkids one day. Hey, I went to Afghanistan,” he said.

During their deployment, the 15th FMSU will be covering a large area of operation, overseeing all financial transactions within the Regional Command-South region. With just 25 personnel, it will be vital that there are no mistakes.

“We had the opportunity to do some technical training at Fort Dix, N.J., where we got certified, and we did a lot of internal training before that,” said 1st Sgt. Michelle Hurt, the first sergeant for the 15th FMSU. “Our team is experienced and most have deployed at least one time before, so I think everyone’s ready to do the mission.”

A big part of Soldiers getting through a deployment is knowing that their Families are taken care of, and that they have people they can rely on, if needed. The Army has a plethora of programs designed to help a Soldier’s Family if any problems should arise, but sometimes a friendly face is the best support of all.

“We have established a very good FRG (Family readiness group) that has been meeting on a regular basis. We have had quite a few FRG functions recently and have had some really good turn outs for those meetings,” Hurt said. “Also, the Soldiers themselves are a pretty tight-knit group and most of the Families are actually friends already.”
 
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