1st Battalion 22nd Infantry


Regulars depart for Iraq - March 12, 2008

Early departure

Posted on: Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 3:14 AM

By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD – Spc. Brandon Miller left for his first deployment early Tuesday morning with goals.

The 21-year-old combat engineer wants to return from war with the rank of sergeant.
He's been in 18 months now and wants to make a career of the Army.

He joined to see the world and to serve his country, and the learning and training came quickly.
It's a job he can be sure of. Plus, not too many people can say they love their jobs, he added.

Miller, a soldier in the 4th Infantry Division's Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment,
1st Brigade Combat Team, left Fort Hood on Tuesday with about 600 other soldiers.
Most of those were from the 4th Infantry, but a few came from units across post.
The 1st Brigade is expected to be fully deployed by the end of this week.

March 12, 2008
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division make their way through the thick fog to their airplane bound for Iraq
as they start their 15-month deployment in the early-morning hours Tuesday.
Photo: Herald/David Morris

Miller likes the respect he gets being a soldier and the knowledge that he is doing something good, he said.
He looked at what his high school classmates are doing and said that nothing has changed with them.

"How many can say they came back a veteran at 21?" Miller said.

Any time he goes back to his hometown of Seagoville, a town of more than 10,000 southeast of Dallas, he is encouraged.
He gets handshakes and good words from people who tell him they wish they had the courage to do what he does.

But there are hard parts to the job, Miller said, and the hardest is being away from his family.
He has a mom, dad, brother, sister and a niece back at home. She'll turn 2 years old in May,
the same month as his and his father's birthdays.

Miller's nephew is deployed to Afghanistan now with a Fort Sill unit. The nephew is only a few months younger than him,
and he tells his friends that his uncle is really just his cousin, Miller said with a smile.

The specialist said his parents were nervous about him deploying, but they support everything he does.
They are very pro-military, he added.

Though this is Miller's first deployment, he hasn't asked a lot of questions – he hasn't had to.
The noncommissioned officers in the unit let their soldiers know what to expect, Miller said.

"They make sure we're always squared away," he said.

He said he's never had to ask questions.

"That's what I like about this unit – everybody takes care of everybody."


March 12, 2008
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division sleep any way they can at the Larkin Terminal
on West Fort Hood as they prepare for their 15-month deployment to Iraq.
Photo: Herald/David Morris






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