News: Soldiers, childhood friends reacquaint in same unit
Story by Spc. Bradley Wancour
FORT POLK, La. - Being the newest addition to any Army unit can be difficult, but for one lucky soldier, an old friend softened the shock of being introduced into his new working environment.
Pvt. Victor Gutierrez, an armor crewmember, arrived at Fort Hood and was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry division. He met a familiar face upon arrival: Pfc. Kyden Isom.
Isom, an infantryman with Company D, has known Gutierrez since their eighth grade year in their hometown of Delta, Colo.
“I moved to Colorado the summer before eighth grade and that’s when I met [Gutierrez],” Isom said. “We were wrestling teammates, weightlifting partners and good friends all throughout high school.”
Isom had planned on joining the military after graduation for a long time.
“I’ve always planned on joining the military,” Isom said. “I actually talked Gutierrez into joining when we were in our junior or senior year.”
At first, Gutierrez was hesitant, but with more research, the military became more and more of a possibility.
“Isom had been talking to me about joining the Army ever since my sophomore year, but it didn’t sound like the job for me,” Gutierrez said. “But the more I researched it, the more it seemed like fun.”
Isom said there was never a question what job he was going to choose – his heart was set on infantry.
“I like being outdoors and shooting, so [joining the infantry] seemed to line up and fit perfectly,” Isom stated.
Gutierrez chose a different path by selecting a career in the armor field.
“Isom kept telling me to go infantry, but as I looked more into [joining], the recruiter described being an armor crewmember to me, and I decided to go for it,” Gutierrez said.
Despite having chosen different jobs, and leaving for basic training on different dates, years later they still ended up not only in the same unit, but the same platoon.
“It was pretty crazy [to end up in the same unit],” Isom said. “I thought it was pretty cool that he was coming to the same post. Then, it turned out he was in the same battalion, and then he moved to the same company. It was crazy how everything lined up.”
Gutierrez was glad to see his old friend, and for more than just the sake of the reunion.
“I was pretty excited [about being in the same unit],” Gutierrez explained. “I was new and he had been at Fort Hood a little while, so it was nice to have a buddy who could show me the ropes a little bit.”
With a scheduled deployment to Afghanistan on the horizon, their friendship will only strengthen.
“[When we deploy] I know I have at least one person for sure who’s got my back,” Gutierrez added. “He is one of those friends that comes through for you when you really need him.”