News: From the hangar to Afghanistan, Army helicopter mechanic fits in well
Story by Sgt. Paul Evans
FORWARD OPERATING BASE PASAB, Afghanistan – “I appreciate all the families back home that have supported us on this mission, because I know that a lot of them have endured a lot,” said Kentucky National Guard Agribusiness Development Team 4’s Sgt. Bobby Sizemore, a 33-year-old Richmond, Ky., native now residing in Lawrenceburg.
Sizemore, who has served with the Kentucky National Guard since 2008, is currently deployed to southern Afghanistan as part of ADT 4’s Security Team.
“My family’s been wonderful. My wife, she’s been the sole reason I’ve done as well as I have,” Sizemore said. “She kept everything together back home.”
“I’m able to contribute to the cause, so I just felt that it’d be a good opportunity,” he said of the deployment. “Ultimately, we’re all here for the better good, to serve our country, and protect those that we love.”
In Kentucky, Sizemore works as a crew chief and full-time Black Hawk helicopter repairman for C Company, 1st Battalion, 376th Security and Support Aviation Element, 63rd Aviation Brigade in Frankfort, Ky.
“Sgt. Sizemore is very detail oriented,” observed ADT 4 commander and former 63rd Aviation Brigade commander, Col. Tommy Barrier of Versailles, Ky. “He likes to be a perfectionist – he’s that way when he works on aircraft in our hangar.”
“I specifically recruited Sgt. Sizemore about five years ago when I was the aviation brigade commander,” Barrier added. ”He came to me and said ‘hey, I want to find out more about the National Guard.’ He wants to know all of the facts and everything up front, which is a good indication of someone that’s going to be a good soldier.”
“It was probably about 11 months from the time that he first came and saw me till he actually got into the military. From that point on, he goes ‘I wished I had joined the first day I met you.’ But he came to me once this mission was on and said ‘hey, I want to go with you.’ We went through the proper chains with his commander,” Barrier explained. “I knew the quality of work that he did.”
“He has a great work ethic,” Barrier said. “He’s a professional soldier. He displays a lot of honor and integrity, and is one of those soldiers that you look for to be future senior leaders within the organization because of the character and the integrity that he possesses.”
“Not ever being on a deployment before and knowing that we’re in one of the top five most dangerous places in the world, as crazy as that may sound, this deployment’s been very easy,” Sizemore said. “It hasn’t been mentally exhausting, it hasn’t been anything like what people have told me before you leave to go on a deployment. I found it very easy, and that’s what shocked me the most.”
“The mission has been basically just flawless,” Sizemore said. “To be where we’re, everything’s gone very, very smoothly.”
During his deployment Sizemore has developed an appreciation for the culture of Afghanistan. “One thing that was very interesting that caught my attention was their architecture. I think it’s awesome. Their mosques and buildings and things, the kind of attention to detail and work that they put into building the structures…they have my utmost respect for that.”
“From what I’ve seen, some of the architecture and their skill, the way they work…it’s rather inspiring to see somebody that puts that much effort and work into something, especially when they don’t have the modern tools like we do,” he added.
“Overall, I think we’re making a difference,” Sizemore said, turning his attention back to his mission.
“The people that have had exposure, I think that they appreciate us and they know that we’re here to help.”