Monday, May 30, 2005

48th Infantry: Gallery 2

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BY GRAY BEVERLEY

Memorial Day Tribute 2005

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http://oursoldiers.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 23, 2005

SPC MICHAEL MURPHY OF THE HHC 108TH CALHOUN GA. CURRENTLY DEPLOYED TO IRAQ




Friday, May 20, 2005

Spc Jason M Warren/ 48th Brigade/ HHC 148th FSB



My name is Jason Warren. I grew up in Lindale Georgia. I graduated from Pepperell High School in 1991. I still have family that lives in Rome. In fact my Aunt Evelyn Davenport used to work with Rome News Tribune. I just want to say thank you for the stories that you print in the rome news. I am deployed to Iraq and she emails me the articles you print in the paper. Please keep them coming and thank you for the support and God Bless.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Somber flight marks 48th’s entry to battle

Soldiers take different views to last days of freedom

05/19/05
by Gray Beverley/Rome News-Tribune Correspondent

CAMP BUEHRING, KUWAIT — A few days ago, Spc. Steven Teasley of Dalton did not want to see his relatives or anyone else’s.

“We had family day,” said the 45-year-old known as “Flash,” because of how slow he walks. “I avoided everybody.”

Teasley left Monday for Kuwait, and the rest of his 48th Brigade Combat Team is expected here by the end of the week.

For Teasley, saying goodbye to his 11-year-old grandson was tough enough. But he said members of the Georgia National Guard work, hunt and fish with fellow soldiers and their kin.

As a medic, Teasley said, his job is to save lives. If tragedy strikes, he might have to face loved ones afterward.

So when more than 10,000 family members and friends showed up last weekend to bid farewell, Teasley kept his distance.

By Sunday, the families were gone and flights with 48th soldiers started leaving Hunter Army Airfield.

For the hundreds in Teasley’s group, much of the long journey to the Middle East was mum. A motorist near Savannah honked his horn in support of the eight-bus convoy, one of the few sounds to break the silence, and not long before soldiers perhaps got their last whiff of freshly mowed grass.

What made the trip lengthy, apart from about 13 hours in the air, were the many checkpoints along the way, where military orders, passenger weight and the size of carry-on luggage was examined.

“A lot of it’s been sitting around,” said 24-year-old Spc. Jim Hall of Carrollton. “And I just hate sitting around. When you’re busy, it keeps your mind off the people you’re leaving behind.”

Hall said seeing his mother and fiancée “break down” on Saturday and knowing that he couldn’t do anything about it “hurts the most.”

For at least part of the trip, however, soldiers tried to push away the somberness.

Sgt. Robert Waters of Ringgold was among those in Row 18 who sang a spirited rendition of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” before their chartered flight rolled down the runway.

Sgt. Richard Williams of Atlanta donned a flight attendant’s apron and offered water to passengers.

“That was supposed to be his punishment just for messing with me,” said a smiling Julie Sinclair, the apron’s rightful owner. Sinclair, a flight attendant from Atlanta, said she has flown an estimated 80 flights for soldiers in the past year and a half; her apron is covered in souvenir military patches, including the lightning bolt and stripes of the 48th.

“We’re the last civilians that they’re going to see for a long time,” she said. “So we’ve got to make sure they have as much fun as possible.”

Soldiers took photographs of each other and snapped a shot of Brig. Gen. Stewart Rodeheaver, the brigade commander, at a layover in Germany.

Rodeheaver, of Forsyth, said the soldiers are ready for their mission, as evidenced by a successful exercise at the National Training Center last month.

In its 30 days at the NTC, the brigade fired more than one million rounds and did not have a single accidental discharge, the general said. The 48th was the first brigade since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom to make it through the NTC with no one hurt, Rodeheaver said.

The training was accomplished in part, he said, by feeding troops at the maintenance yard, where some 8,000 hot dogs and 15,400 hamburgers were gobbled down in about five days.

It was about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, local time, when Flight 768 touched down in Kuwait. At a rest stop on the way to Camp Buehring, brigade members were able to smoke cigarettes and get a wave of “good luck” from a group of Australian soldiers who had just finished their tour.

“If you look through the history (at) everyone who has their freedom, Americans had to sacrifice for them to get it,” Teasley said. “We’re doing our part, I reckon.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

48th Infantry Brigade leaves for Iraq

Associated Press

SAVANNAH — After five months of training and a weekend of goodbyes with their families, the first wave of the National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade left Sunday from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. The brigade’s 4,300 citizen-soldiers make up the largest combat unit of the Georgia National Guard to deploy since World War II.
The 48th Brigade includes soldiers from across Georgia, including Floyd and surrounding counties, augmented by about 1,600 troops from Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, Rhode Island, Alabama and Puerto Rico.

Families said their final farewells Saturday evening following a formal sendoff ceremony at Fort Stewart. The first wave of 1,780 soldiers departed Sunday, with more flights scheduled through midweek.

When he joined the National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade in November, Pvt. Robert Ingle knew he’d soon be saying goodbye to his family — except his youngest brother, a sergeant in the same platoon.

“I found out they were deploying to Iraq and I said, ‘I can’t let my little brother get all the glory,”’ Ingle, 36, of Americus said Sunday as the 48th Infantry Brigade began departing for a yearlong tour of duty.

The brigade’s 4,300 citizen-soldiers make up the largest combat unit of the Georgia National Guard to deploy since World War II. After five months of training and a weekend of goodbyes with their families, the first wave of troops left Sunday from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.

The Iraq war has become a family affair for the Ingles. Robert Ingle, a dismounted Infantry soldier, deployed alongside his senior-ranking brother, 27-year-old Sgt. Ronald Ingle, a Bradley armored vehicle gunner.

“Thought he was crazy to volunteer to go to war,” said Ronald Ingle, a juvenile corrections officer from Americus. “I was already enlisted, so I didn’t have choice.”
Another Ingle brother, Raymond, left for Iraq with his Marine unit Friday. A fourth sibling, Richard, plans to enlist with the National Guard after he recovers from a knee injury.

The 48th Brigade includes soldiers from across Georgia, augmented by about 1,600 troops from Illinois, Missouri, Maryland, Rhode Island, Alabama and Puerto Rico.
Families said their final farewells Saturday evening following a formal sendoff ceremony at Fort Stewart. The first wave of 1,780 soldiers departed Sunday, with more flights scheduled through midweek.

“I was kind of glad we’ve said our goodbyes, so we can get our heads straight and our minds on our job,” said Maj. Joseph Rohrer, 40, of Black Creek, who manages of a galvanizing plant. “It’s a combat zone, there are people trying to kill us. It’s not something you climatize to.”

In Iraq, the 48th Brigade will serve alongside Fort Stewart’s 3rd Infantry Division, which is in charge of military security forces in Baghdad.

Staff Sgt. Frank Hunter of Hinesville is used to working alongside the 3rd Infantry as a civilian who repairs small arms at Fort Stewart. He’s also no stranger to the Persian Gulf, having served during the first Gulf War with the active-duty 24th Infantry Division.

“The first time we went in we should have taken Baghdad and rid them of Saddam,” Hunter said. “But we didn’t. So now we’re going to finish the job.”
It’s not a job Hunter relishes: “I’ve seen the burning vehicles and dead bodies,” he says, “I don’t want to see that again.”

Six months after he first put on a uniform, Robert Ingle said he’s not worried about the dangers ahead. He’ll have his more experienced brother to help watch his back.
And, he figures, the Army’s probably safer than his civilian job.

“I’ve been a truck driver for the last five years,” Ingle said. “The odds of getting in a fatal accident out on the road are greater than of me getting shot in Iraq.”

48th Infantry: Gallery 1

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BY GRAY BEVERLEY

CALHOUN TIMES | CATOOSA COUNTY NEWS | CEDARTOWN STANDARD | CHEROKEE COUNTY HERALD

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