A normal weekend that I spend in Chattanooga usually involves getting together with a group of friends and having a few cold ones and just hanging out. However, this weekend was not my typical weekend to Chattanooga. I did meet up with some friends for some adult beverages on Friday evening, but Saturday morning was the biggest difference of my normal weekend.

From the middle of September 2009, I have known that January 8th, 2011 would be a hard day. It was not as hard as I had originally expected, but it was hard none the less. I returned to the 230th Sustainment Brigade after volunteering for a deployment to Iraq and was notified that the unit had been sourced for an upcoming deployment. I would complete my mandatory stabilization period about six months before the unit deployed. That meant that I would be deploying again. As fate would have it, I received a promotion in April of this year and transferred to a different unit.

I don’t get to see my friends from my former unit often, but I do consider some of them to be close friends. It’s a difficult task to watch some of your closest friends board a bus en route to the airport to continue the process of deployment, but it was harder watching them say goodbye to their family that they won’t be able to see for a long period of time. I’ve been in their shoes and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone, but it is part of what we do.

My heart goes out to the soldiers of the 230th Sustainment Brigade as they begin the next chapter in their deployment. Good luck to all, represent our state well, and God speed. Until we see each other again, take care!

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