News: Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail of bullets; postal soldiers deploy to deliver morale
Story by Sgt. Scott Akanewich
BELL, Calif. - Soldiers of the 376th Human Resources Company, 371st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, were honored during a deployment ceremony for the unit at Rickenbacker Reserve Center in Bell, Calif., April 6.
One of the troops standing proud before family and friends was Spc. Antoine Dwight, 376th HRC, postal specialist, who along with his brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, will deploy to Afghanistan.
“I’m very excited about the experience and to serve my country,” said Dwight, a San Diego native, of his maiden voyage overseas after enlisting five years ago. “I have confidence in our leadership having prepared us properly, so we all come back safe and sound.”
The mission of the 376th in theater will be to provide human resources command-and-control, as well as postal support to all individuals and units in an assigned area.
On hand to see the soldiers off was Lt. Col. Richard Williams, 371st CSSB, commander, who didn’t mince words about what these troopers were about to undertake.
“The day has finally come for these great Americans to go into harm’s way to do what is right,” said Williams to those gathered in the assembly hall. “My commitment is to all of you and your families. You’re properly trained, equipped and led.”
Williams continued on the serious note of the task that lies before them.
“All of these soldiers’ friends back home have no understanding of what they’re about to do,” he said. “However, a year from now, they’ll return as heroes and they will all understand.”
According to 1st Lt. Kerry Wright, the unit’s platoon leader, the group he’ll be guiding is of the highest standards, he said.
“We had 90 soldiers volunteer to go on this deployment and we could only take 20,” said Wright. “In my opinion, we have here the best of the best.”
Wright went on to assure family members in the audience their loved ones would be looked after with vigilance.
“Just remember, to the left and right of your loved one will be a top-notch soldier,” he said. “I know they’re confident.”
Dwight and his comrades will be doing more than just providing postal services to soldiers overseas, though. They’ll be handling the transit of something much more precious – morale – in the form of letters and packages from the home front.
This is an aspect of the job not lost on Dwight, he said.
“We need to always find a way to get a person’s mail to him or her by any means,” said Dwight. “Especially when the infantry guy comes in who doesn’t know if he’s going to be alive the next day or not. We’re there for them.”
This work, Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail of bullets; postal soldiers deploy to deliver morale, by SGT Scott Akanewich, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.