Volume 1, Issue 5

T he h

Published in the interest of the Soldiers and families of the 1st Cavalry Division Rear Detachment


America’s First Team

F ronT

October 2007

More ‘Wagonmaster’ troopers return home ...

October 2007

Coming Soon
Happenings and goings on...
Sunday, Nov. 4 Daylight Savings Time Ends Wednesday, Nov. 7 Prayer Breakfast 7 a.m., Ironhorse II DFAC Saturday, Nov. 10 Killeen Veteran’s Day Parade 11 a.m., City Hall Sunday, Nov. 11 Veteran’s Day Thursday, Nov. 15 Memorial Ceremony 1:30 p.m., Memorial Chapel Tuesday, Nov. 27 Purple Heart / Volunteer of the Month 10 a.m., FHCCC Wednesday, Nov. 28 Town Hall Meeting 6:30 p.m., FHCCC


A look inside this issue ...
Coming Home
Fort Hood, Reserve units return Page 3 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Home Front News

First Team welcomes home band, personnel troopers Page 4 Grey Wolf spouses prepare to reunite with their Soldiers Page 5 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Family First

Houston cheerleaders compete to raise money for Wagonmaster’s FRG Page 6 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Baghdad Brief

First Team

Red Dragons provide medical care Page 7 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Ironhorse troopers celebrate 100 days left Page 9 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

On the cover ...

Helpful Info

Phone numbers and resources Page 10

Kari King gives her husband, Sgt. Charles King, a kiss after a welcome home ceremony Oct. 22 at Fort Hood’s Cooper Field. King, a driver for the 15th Sustainment Brigade’s command sergeant major, returned to Fort Hood after 15 months in Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert J. Strain, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

1st Cavalry Division Rear Detachment Commanding Officer Rear Detachment Command Sgt. Maj.

Col. Larry Phelps
Public Affairs Officer

Contact The Home Front at (254) 287-9400, DSN 737-9400 or email robert.j.strain@us.army.mil. Editor, The Home Front The Home Front is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of The Home Front are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Army or the 1st Cavalry Division. All editorial content of The Home Front is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office.

Sgt. Maj. William Wallace Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl

Sgt. Robert J. Strain Sgt. Cheryl Cox, Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, Spc. Shejal Pulivarti, Cheif Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton
Contributing Writers

Rear Detachment Public Affairs NCOIC

Sgt. Robert J. Strain

October 2007

Coming home


Fort Hood, Reserve units return home
Story and Photos by Sgt. Robert J. Strain 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
When Soldiers come home from a deployment to Iraq, nothing will stop their families from meeting them at the welcome ceremony, not even the weather. With temperatures dipping into the mid-50s and the wind blowing at nearly 20 miles-per-hour, hundreds of family members from the 1st Cavalry Division, the 3rd Signal Brigade and the Army Reserve’s 952nd Engineer Company waited patiently Oct. 22 for their Soldiers to walk across Fort Hood’s Cooper Field. Many of the family members waited until the buses carrying their troopers arrived at the field before coming out of the warming tent set up outside the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters building, but dozens of families, bundled in winter jackets and blankets, braved the wind and cold to make sure they were where they wanted to be when their loved one walked across that field. Cheryl Mason and Sami Pinal, the mother and fiancé, respectively, of Sgt. Greg Mason, with the Army Reserve’s Paris, Texas-based 952nd Engineer Company, were one such family, driving in from El Paso to be at the ceremony. The cold weather took Mason by surprise, with temperatures in the 70s in the days prior to the return. “It was so hot when we drove in,” the

El Paso natives Sami Pinal and Cheryl Mason bundle up under a blanket to keep warm Oct. 22 at Fort Hood’s Cooper Field while waiting for Sgt. Greg Mason, with the Army Reserve’s 952nd Engineer Company, to return from a year-long deployment to Iraq.

El Paso native said. Mason considered herself lucky that she had a blanket in the car, and used it to keep herself and Pinal warm while waiting for her son to arrive. “We are looking forward to having him home,” Mason said. She explained that once he comes back home to El Paso, she hopes that he will go on to college and get his degree. Mason said that he joined the Army Reserve following high school and was getting ready to go college when his unit began doing more training at their headquarters in Paris, and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin,

Calif. “Once they started going to NTC, I knew Iraq was next,” she said. When he deployed last year, Mason and Pinal kept in touch with him through instant messengers and by sending a lot of care packages. Pinal, also of El Paso, said that she also plans to go to college, and that they plan to get married after they both finish school.

Watch your First Team events Live!
You can now watch the 1st Cavalry Division Town Hall and Purple Heart / Volunteer of the Month Ceremonies live from wherever you have internet access.

on the day of the event!

Just visit

October 2007

home FronT newS


First Team welcomes home band, personnel troopers
Story and Photos by Sgt. Robert J. Strain 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
Under a cool, cloudy Central Texas night, a plane landed at Fort Hood’s Robert Gray Army Airfield, but this was no ordinary plane. This plane didn’t carry your usual airline passengers, and it wasn’t coming from Houston or Dallas, but from Bangor, Maine, carrying nearly 70 Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s Band and the 15th Sustainment Brigade’s Detachment B, 15th Personnel Services Battalion. These troopers, who were welcomed home by rear detachment Soldiers and eager family members during a late night ceremony Oct. 15, were the first large group of the division’s Soldiers to return from their deployment to Iraq. “Tonight, at long last, we welcome the returning heroes of the Bravo Detachment of the 15th PSB, and the busiest band in the Army, the First Team Band,” said Col. Larry Phelps, the rear detachment commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, during his short speech. The band, which had been deployed since October 2006, played more than 1600 missions all across Iraq, four times more than any previous band during Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom, said Phelps, a native of Greenville, Ala. He said that the 15th PSB Soldiers provided critical personnel services support to hundreds of units and thousands of Soldiers. “They have done everything imaginable to support their customers,” Phelps said. “They are our heroes.” Before releasing the troops to their anxiously awaiting loved ones, Phelps asked everyone to remember the First Team troops still serving in Iraq. “Before we rush this field and let these troopers know just how much we’ve missed them, and just how glad that we are that they’re home – I would ask each of you here with us tonight to keep the troopers still down range in your prayers,” Phelps said. Once Phelps’ remarks were complete, the Soldiers were released to their families for three days off to relax before starting their reintegration processing. Even though the Soldiers had been traveling for nearly 36 hours, all of them were excited to be home. “I’m really happy and really tired,” said Spc. Jeffrey Van Curan, a French horn player with the band. Several members of Van Curan’s family came out to the late night ceremony to welcome him home, including his grandfather, mother, sister and his fiancé, Kim Butler. Van Curan said that he is looking forward to just sitting around the house, enjoying life and playing with his Siberian Husky.

Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Division’s Band and the 15th Sustainment Brigade’s Detachment B, 15th Personnel Services Battalion are greeted by Greenville, Ala., native Col. Larry Phelps, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division’s rear detachment, and Troy, Ala., native Sgt. Maj. Brad Wallace, the First Team’s rear detachment senior noncommissioned officer. Approximately 70 troopers returned to Fort Hood Oct. 15 from Iraq.

October 2007

home FronT newS


Grey Wolf spouses prepare to reunite with their Soldiers
Story and Photos by Sgt. Robert J. Strain 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
The 1st Cavalry Division’s 3rd “Grey Wolf” Brigade Combat Team rear detachment held a Reunion Workshop Oct. 9 at the Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier and Family Readiness Center to prepare the unit’s spouses for what to expect when their Soldier returns here from a 15-month deployment to Iraq in the next few months. The workshop, which was the fourth of nine put on by the brigade, featured speakers from several of the post’s support organizations available to Soldiers and their families, including Army Community Service, the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and Military Family Life Consultants. Cherie Cain, who is a Grey Wolf spouse and is with Army Community Service Mobilization and Deployment, talked to the other spouses about expectations and concerns, both from the Soldier and of the Soldier. Several of the spouses hoped they would be able to just turn over the kids to their newly returned husband and take a vacation, or just go to store alone – without the stroller, car seats or diaper bags. But, according to Cain, a native of Hudson, Fla., the Soldiers will have things they want to do as well, and everyone’s expectations need to be realistic and things need to be taken slow. “Be patient, take your time, and ease into it,” Cain said. Cain also explained that a major concern was how the Soldier would fit back into the kids’ lives without stepping on any toes. Because a lot changes in a child’s life during the course of a deployment, she has had the spouse at home send a copy of the kids’ daily routine to her husband in Iraq, so he would know how he fits back into that new schedule when he comes home. With all the changes that will be happening when the Soldier comes

Bennington, Vt. native Lori Carpenter (center), the 3rd “Grey Wolf” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division’s family readiness support assistant, Bloomville, Ohio, native April O’Neill (left) and Manning, S.C., native Kizzy Young (right), the family support readiness assistants for the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment respectively, talk to spouses about what to expect when their husbands return home from Iraq later this year during a reunion workshop Oct. 9 at the Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier and Family Readiness Center at Fort Hood, Texas. The Grey Wolf Brigade troops will be returning to central Texas in the next few months.

home, it is important to keep some stability in the schedule for the kids, Cain said. She explained to the spouses that communication with their husbands and kids about what things will be like when he returns from deployment will make the transition back into home life a lot easier. The message about communication being vital was echoed by Waterbury, Conn., native Cpl. Matt Kowalewski, a mental health technician at the Fort Hood Resilience and Restoration Center. “Change is a big thing, and communication is going to be the biggest thing,” Kowalewski said. “Things have changed while [the Soldier] was away.” Kowalewski said if there were problems at home before the Soldier deployed, then they will still be there when he comes home because separation doesn’t solve any problems. “Separations don’t solve problems,

people solve problems,” Kowalewski said. He explained that the first 90 days after the Soldier returns home is known as the honeymoon period, because nothing matters, he will just be glad to be home and the family will be glad to be home. After the honeymoon period, the little things that have changed, like leaving the cap off the toothpaste or leaving the last little piece of toilet paper on the roll, may cause people to get angry, Kowalewski said. “Communication and active listening will help solve these problems,” Kowalewski said. Kowalewski also explained that a there are a number of normal, involuntary reactions to the stresses of deployment that returning Soldiers may experience. Things such as feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, easily irritable or depressed, having flashbacks or trouble sleeping are all normal ways

See GREY WOLF, Page 8

October 2007

Family FirST
best time would be during a pre-game ceremony at the Westfield High School homecoming game where the rival schools would be playing each other. “For all the hard work that the schools put into raising the money for us, we wanted to give something back and add a little more competition,” said Ingram, originally from Gary, Ind., but who calls Atlanta home. “We decided that both schools would receive two battalion T-shirts to hang on the wall, a certificate of appreciation with a plaque, Wagonmaster pins and 1st Cavalry Division flags. But we wanted to the schools that raised the most money to get something special.” At the game, as buckets were being passed through the stands for additional donations, each school presented them with the totals they had raised. “At that time, Klein Forest had raised $1812.06,” said Medlock, “and Westfield has raised $2000. Following the presentation additional funds were 

Houston cheerleaders compete to raise money for Wagonmaster’s FRG
Story by Sgt. Cheryl Cox 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
The Family Readiness Group coleaders accepted a gift of nearly $4,000 from the cheerleading squads of Klein Forest and Westfield High Schools during a Homecoming Game held Oct. 12 in Houston. As the time approached for the Soldiers of Company B, 15th Brigade Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade to return from Iraq, the fund raising efforts of Houston cheerleaders were about to kick into high gear. “The mother-in-law of one of our Soldiers is a secretary for the Klein Forest athletics department,” explained Nikki Medlock, currently of Killeen, Texas, one of the unit’s FRG co-leaders and the wife of Capt. Glen Medlock. “When she heard about the girls looking for a fundraising project she suggested raising money for the FRG.” In the days and weeks to come, that small suggestion turned into a competition between the cheerleaders of rival schools. “The two schools that raised money for our unit, Klein Forest and Westfield High Schools, are rival schools in Houston,” said Leslie Ingram, also an FRG co-leader and the wife of Staff Sgt. Darren Ingram. “They each had two weeks to raise as much money as they could for the Soldiers, before the money would be presented to us.” During the competition, the girls received pictures of the Soldiers from the day they left for Iraq and letters from the Soldiers. The cheerleaders at both schools collected donations during lunch, and parents and local Houston businesses donated money for the Soldiers and their families. Then came the task of deciding when the money should be presented to the FRG. It was decided that the

given to us – but the outcome of the competition was not affected.” While each school showed their amazing fundraising skills, there had to be just one winner for the competition. Since the cheerleaders of Westfield had raised nearly $200 more than Klein Forest, their school also received two company t-shirts and an American flag which had flown over Baghdad. The funds that were raised will go toward the welcome home and Christmas parties planned for later this year, said Ingram. “This year the Soldiers will get a free pass on the parties,” said Ingram. “No one will have to pay out of pocket for the parties or farewell gifts.” Ingram and Medlock both said they are hoping to maintain their new found relationship with the schools in Houston, starting by donating to the booster clubs at each school later in the year.

Soldiers and family members stand with the cheerleaders of Klein Forest and Westfield High Schools before they revealed that they were able to raise nearly $4,000 for the 15th Sustainment Brigade’s Family Readiness Group in just two weeks of fund raising. The money was presented to the FRG at a homecoming football game between the two Houston-area high schools Oct. 12.

October 2007

Baghdad BrieF


Red Dragons provide medical care for displaced Iraqis
Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim 2nd BCT Public Affairs
BAGHDAD – For some 150 “squatters” who call Janeen’s “Green Camp” home, there is very little the local government does for them because they are not formally recognized as residents. Soldiers from Battery A, 3rd “Red Dragons” Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and their attached 422nd Civil Affairs team out of Greensboro, N.C., got together to help more than half of the displaced Iraqis living in the Green Camp with medical aid and medicine for their ailments Oct. 10. For Ghanin Hasan, who lives with his wife, mother and 2-year-old son, Mohamed, the visit meant a lot. “I’m grateful for the Americans and the Coalition Forces for getting medical help,” he said through a translator. “I hope we can keep the Americans helping us, with not only medically, but also for security reasons. It’s useful here because most of us here are very poor.” The team of physician’s assistants and medics saw cases from knee injuries to inner organ problems, treating patients of all ages, according to Sgt. Robert Simmons, a medic with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3-82 FA who hails from Fayetteville, N.C. “I saw a 15-day-old infant whose eyes are still yellow,” said Capt. Leon Richardson, a physician’s assistant with HHB from San Antonio. As the team of PA’s and medics took care of the people inside a makeshift clinic in a resident’s home, the rest of

Capt. Leon Richardson, a physician’s assistant with 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, sees a 15-day-old infant during a combined medical engagement in Janeen’s “Green Camp” in Baghdad, Iraq Oct. 10.

the Soldiers played with children outside. “Even though I’m supposed to be the (civil affairs) guy, this unit does a great job of what we call CMO, or Civil Military Operations,” said Maj. Wes Stewart, a member of the 422nd from Virginia Beach, Va. “They are always out and always talking with people.” Capt. Jesse Wood, HHB, 3-82 FA, said helping those in need is the big reason why the battalion’s Soldiers enjoy doing what they do. “It’s just good to see the effort you put into it,” said Wood, of Blackwell, Okla. “I think they appreciate us getting everyone together and helping out as much as we can.” Richardson said that’s what the “Red Dragons” are about: helping those who can’t take care of themselves. “This is an awesome feeling that we are here for as a medical provider,” Richardson said. “We are fortunate to help those who are less fortunate … fortunate to wield the American spirit in taking care of people who can’t take of themselves.”

ABOVE: Capt. Jefferson Rodieck, a physician’s assistant with Company C., 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, examines two-year-old Mohamed Ghanin during a combined medical engagement in Janeen’s “Green Camp” in central Baghdad, Iraq Oct. 10. RIGHT: Soldiers play with many children outside a makeshift medical clinic during a combined medical engagement in Janeen’s “Green Camp” in central Baghdad, Iraq Oct. 10. More than 80 displaced Iraqis living in the camp were seen and treated during the operation.

October 2007

wrapping up
Sources of help for Soldiers include Army Community Service, mental health professionals, Army One Source, and unit chaplains, he said. Also included in the workshop was an overview of what will happen to the Soldiers when they return and how the families will be notified. According to Sgt. Maj. Geoffrey Harris, a Deland, Fla., native and the senior noncommissioned officer for the brigade’s rear detachment, the rear detachment will call every spouse or other designated family member and let them know when their Soldier’s welcome home ceremony will be on Cooper Field at the division headquarters. Harris said to arrive at least an hour and a half prior to scheduled ceremony time, in case the flight arrives a little bit early. After the short ceremony, the Soldiers will be released for a threeday pass, but must remain within a 150-mile radius of Fort Hood. Maj. Jason Kniffen, the Grey Wolf rear detachment commander, told the spouses that after the Soldiers return from their pass, they will begin a half-day schedule of reintegration processing and classes, a few of which are open to family members, before they are allowed to take leave. Kniffen, a native of Clyde, Texas, told the spouses to encourage their Soldiers to take the leave, because training starts after the allotted leave period, and they may not have an opportunity to take leave again.


GREY WOLF, continued from page 6 –––––––––––
people cope with deployment and reunion. They may also have difficulty talking about their experiences, especially with someone who has never been deployed, Kowalewski said. “I can ask you a hundred times, ‘What’s childbirth like?’” he said to the ladies in the audience. “I’ll never know.” Some of the indicators that a Soldier needs to seek professional help might include: excessive drinking, using illegal drugs, going on a spending or gambling spree, reckless driving or engaging in excessive risk-taking behaviors. “The clearest sign that a normal reaction may be more serious is when it starts to interfere with normal living,” Kowalewski said.

Eye on Baghdad

An AH-64D Apache from Company B, 1st “Attack” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, flies over a residential area in the Multi-National Division-Baghdad area Oct. 12. The Apache crew was conducting a reconnaissance mission to keep an eye out for enemy mortar and anti-aircraft systems. (U.S. Army photo by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Daniel McClinton, 1st ACB)

October 2007

FirST Team
ground in theater October 2006 and was originally scheduled for a 12month deployment. A three-month extension was announced in late April. The still-motivated soldiers socialized and played games while enjoying the plethora of food at the party. “Positive events, such as this party, are a good morale builder,” said Fort Walton Beach, Fla., native Spc. Andrew Dubay, an infantryman for a personal security detachment attached to HHT, who spends most of his time in Iraq providing security outside the wire. Many of the Soldiers said they find solace by keeping in touch with their loved ones and relaxing on their limited time off with fellow troops. Participating in events the morale, welfare and recreation center provides, going to the pool and playing spades are a few things that help them


Ironhorse troopers celebrate 100 days left
Story by Spc. Shejal Pulivarti 1st BCT Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division celebrated what they hope signifies their final 100 days of their 15-month deployment during a party here Oct. 6. The fall party marking their first year here and approximately 100 days left to the end of the deployment also recognized their continued hard work. The evening had a sense of the tropics as they closed out the summer season. The hall of the HHT troop area was widely decorated with palm trees, colorful balloons and streamers to fully accomplish the tropical atmosphere. The Ironhorse Brigade set boots on

stay upbeat. “The additional time away from family is hard to cope with, but I understand that the extension enabled the surge and it helped bring more stability,” said Master Sgt. Jason Swain, noncommissioned officer in charge of intelligence for the Ironhorse Brigade, who hails from Del Rio, Texas. The Soldiers said they look forward to returning home and reuniting with loved ones. “It doesn’t matter what I do, just being with my wife and daughter is enough,” said Swain. Dubay, who recently reenlisted for another six years, plans on getting married and going to Ranger school once he returns home. Ironhorse troops anticipate being back in the states by mid-February next year.

St. Louis native Maj. Craig Hickerson (left), commander for the 1070th Psychological Operations Detachment, attached to the 1st “Ironhorse” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, discusses future plans upon returning home with Capt. Alejandro Restrepo, chief of operations for the 1st BCT during the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop’s “100 Days Left Party” at Camp Taji, Iraq Oct. 6. HHT Soldiers celebrated the beginning of the end of their deployment after being extended three additional months. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Raymond Kokel, 1st BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)

October 2007

helpFul inFo
287-8657 288-5003 287-AFAP 286-6600 287-VOLS 287-CARE 287-CITY 288-2089 287-6070 286-6774 288-7570 288-2862 288-5155 287-4ACS 287-4471 630-6218 630-6240 383-2571 383-3684 383-1631 288-2794 287-2286 618-7443 288-2863 287-4471 618-7584 286-6774 702-4953


Army Community ServiCe ContACtS
ACS Volunteer Program Army Emergency Relief (AER) Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Army Volunteer Corps Child & Spouse Abuse 24/7 Hotline Consumer Affairs Office Employment Readiness Branch (ERB) Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Family Assistance Center (FAC) Financial Management Classes FRG/RDO Classes Information, Referral & Outreach (IRO) If you do not know who to call Lending Closet Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC)

FAmily reAdineSS ContACtS
1st Cav FRG Assistants
Division Team Leader
254-291-902 Carol Livengood

Wendy Edwards

1st “Ironhorse” Brigade

Laurie Siegel

2nd “Black Jack” Brigade

Lori Carpeneter

3rd “Grey Wolf” Brigade

Mobilization & Deployment New Parent Support Program (NPSP) Parenting Classes Relationship Enrichment Program (REP) Relocation Readiness Program Stress/Anger/Conflict Management Classes Victim Advocate Crisis Line

Jenny O’Rourke

1st Air Cavalry Brigade

Charles Lyons

15th Sustainment Brigade