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ADA Troops Set to Deploy

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FORT SILL Okla_ Less than 24 hours after a crowd welcomed several Fort Sill soldiers home from a tour of duty in the Middle East, another crowd gathered on post to say goodbye.

The deployment ceremony was for the members of the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade. They will be deploying to Southwest Asia at the end of the month.

Troops are deployed out of Fort Sill frequently. Many times, what these troops give is overlooked. 7News spoke to personnel Wednesday who say whether it's their first deployment or if they've gone overseas several times, they stay committed to the cause of their country.

Wednesday was all about honor and pride, as ceremonies were held to celebrate the ADA troops preparing to deploy. Sergeant Francisco Flores is from Frisco, Texas and said he's been prepared for this moment for years.

"I'm definitely excited," Flores said. "It's something I've wanted to do, something that we all kind of look forward to complete."

When asked about his family, he said being away will make the journey difficult, but it's his top-notch training that will keep him sane.

"I'm sure they're a little nervous, watching the news and whatnot, but I always assure them that we are trained," Flores said. "We'll always be the safest we can be."

Wednesday marks Captain Ben Powell's second deployment. His first trip overseas was nearly eight years ago, but this time is different. His new wife and daughter are now constantly in the forefront of his mind. He said it's his passion for serving his country that keeps him driven each and every day.

"While I can't exactly say I'm anxious to deploy and leave my wife and daughter behind, I am looking forward to serving my country again and do what I signed up to do in the first place," Powell said.

"It'll definitely be difficult," Powell's wife Roxie said, "Especially being a new mom and being a single parent but I think we'll be ok. We have a lot of support in the army and a lot of support with family."

"I took a lot of pride in being an enlisted soldier and being a noncommissioned officer before I became an officer," Powell said. "I think it's going to ultimately make me a stronger leader in the future."

According to army personnel, these troops with the 31st ADA Brigade will be shipping out sometime in the next couple of weeks. As for SGT Flores and CPT Powell, they say they'll be utilizing social media like Facebook and Skype quite a bit to stay connected with their families who are home supporting them.

 

 

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