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    Monclova engineers say farewell

    Monclova engineers say farewell

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Jason Proseus | Col. Michelle Link, commander of the 372nd Engineer Brigade, addresses the Soldiers of...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jason Proseus 

    416th Theater Engineer Command

    SWANTON, Ohio – Soldiers of the 983rd Engineer Battalion said a ceremonious “see you later” to family and friends as they embarked on a nine-month journey to the Middle East.
    Crowds of people filled the Swanton High School gymnasium as friends and family came out to the small town of Swanton, Ohio to show support to their Soldiers.
    The event started with the entrance of the official party, an invocation from the battalion’s chaplain, and the playing of the national anthem. And then, continued with the casing of the battalion’s colors, a traditional observance signifying the unit’s departure from their location. The ceremony, then ended with the singing of the Army Song, and the Soldiers were released to bid their adieus.

    All in all, there were about 600 Soldiers and family members at the ceremony. Brig. Gen. Matthew Baker, deputy commanding general (support) for the 416th Theater Engineer Command, their higher division-level headquarters, and the command team from the unit's brigade headquarters, the 372nd Engineer Brigade, Col. Michelle Link and Command Sgt. Maj. Douglas Dieckman were in attendance, along with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Congressman Robert Latta, Toledo Police Chief George Kral and Deputy Police Chief James O'Bryant, Swanton Schools Superintendent Chris Lake, Representative Ann Longsworth-Orr representing Ohio U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, U.S. Representative, and a staffer representing U.S. Senator Rob Portman.

    The Soldiers were met with advice from senior leaders, who have made the trek before. Baker praised them for their preparations, petitioned them to look out for each other, and to come back safe.
    During the ceremony, Link, explained to their families what they could expect, and thanked them for their sacrifices. And, explained to the Soldiers what they might expect during their deployment, offered advice to the Soldiers, and also thanked them for their willingness to leave their families to serve their country.
    When it was the battalion commander’s turn to speak, Lt. Col. Kevin Bigenho, lauded their efforts, last summer, training and preparing to the Army standards. And, showed his pride and confidence in his Soldier’s abilities.

    "This year, the 983rd Engineer Battalion is excited for the honor and opportunity to apply its previously-tested abilities across various locations within the Middle East." Said Bigenho.

    Command Sgt. Major Joseph Feiler, the battalion’s command sergeant major, stated that along with training preparations, the unit is in contact with those they will replace, in order to get a firm understanding of the mission they will be asked to accomplish, and are driven to be able to provide the support asked of them.

    "The 983rd is a motivated mission-oriented team. The [Forward Support Company] and [Higher Headquarters Company] have worked as a unit to best support our mission and that of our down-trace in the upcoming deployment." Said Feiler. “We know the current mission and have already started to plan our execution of that plan. I am proud of our team and I have high expectations of each and every Soldier."

    A formation full of Soldiers young and old, spanning ages from 18 to 56, some not even having been born before the events on September 11th, set out to do what is asked of them. Sent out to take on their engineer mission.

    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Jason Proseus



    Date Taken: 03.18.2018
    Date Posted: 03.19.2018 20:52
    Story ID: 269903
    Location: SWANTON, OH, US 
    Hometown: MONCLOVA, OH, US

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