1st Battalion 22nd Infantry


Alpha "Gators" - Letter from the Commanding Officer


The following letter was written by Captain Troy Parrish,
the Commanding Officer of Alpha Company, on the eve of the departure
of Alpha "Gators" for their second tour of duty in Iraq, December, 2005.



My name is CPT Troy S. Parrish. I have been the commander of A Company, 1-22 Infantry since June 2005. Many of you have probably not met me or heard my name since you are new to the Gator Family or because you are more distant from the daily ritual that is the U.S. Army. I would like to personally welcome you to the unit. I will be providing frequent updates to the families of our deployed soldiers while we are gone that will give you some knowledge of our activities. I am sure you will also hear of many things from your soldier, but maybe not as much about the entire company. My goal is to provide you and your families accurate and up to date information as often as our mission permits.

We are in the final days of preparation for our deployment to Iraq. Your soldiers have worked extremely hard to prepare themselves and the Gators for going overseas for the next year. It goes without saying that I am very appreciative and proud of their hard work and focus on the upcoming mission. The cost has been time away from family and friends and plenty of stress for all. We have spent countless hours on rifle and machine gun ranges, prepared and shipped our Bradley Fighting Vehicles, packed, inventoried, and repacked our personal equipment, and cleaned each and every piece of military equipment imaginable. We have attended classes and briefings, prepared numerous reports and signed thousands of pieces of paper, and still try to go home before it’s time to go to bed.

The key to maintaining high morale for all of the Gators will be communication from home. Our soldiers need to know that all is well at home and that they can focus on their mission. From my first year in Iraq, I found that letters, cards, and care packages were the perfect reward for their hard work. Support and encouragement from loved ones really do go a long way. We will provide a unit mailing address as soon as it becomes available. I expect that we will have internet and phone access, though not daily and maybe even less than weekly. You can be assured that your soldier will be given opportunities to correspond with you, and I expect everyone to take advantage of it. It is just as important for you to hear from your soldier as it is for them to hear from you.

Your soldiers will be challenged with difficult decisions each and every day while we are in Iraq. In all that we do, safety is most important. I will do everything in my control to ensure that everyone is cared for and safe during their daily missions.

Thank you again for all your support to your soldier and the Gators. Their service and your commitment to them mean a great deal to me. The difficulties of being a military spouse or family member do not go unnoticed by myself. When you get our mailing address, please feel free to send a quick note to me with concerns that you may have. I will attempt to address each one of them. Mrs. Melissa Cummings is our Family Readiness Group leader and will also be supporting the soldier’s families from Fort Hood, TX. She will provide you contact information in the near future. Best wishes to you in the coming months, and Happy Holidays.

CPT Troy S. Parrish

Commander, A Company, 1-22 Infantry



The above is used with permission from the Alpha Company Family Readiness Group Website.
Heartfelt thanks to Webmaster Melissa Cummings.


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