News: 1st Air Cavalry Soldiers re-enlist at Texas capitol
Story by Sgt. Alun Thomas
AUSTIN, Texas – Three Soldiers. Three different walks of life. Three ethnicities: black, Asian and white.
One unique re-enlistment.
The Texas capitol was a grand setting for a trio of Soldiers from the 615th Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, as Lt. Col. Harold Keck, commander, 615th ASB, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., administered the re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Capalar, Sgt. Derrick Doyle and Spc. Abigail Holmes, March 26 at the state capitol building.
The ceremony was emotional for Doyle, from Philadelphia, unit movement officer, Headquarters Support Company, 615th ASB, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., who said he was moved to tears by the ceremony.
"It was very moving, and I never thought I'd be bought to tears, but I was shaken up being here in the Capitol with everybody congratulating and thanking me for the service I provide for my nation," Doyle said.
Doyle, a black Soldier, said he joined the military to serve his nation and to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather.
"I wanted to emulate my grandfather, who passed away in 2005 and first joined the Army during the Korean War," Doyle said. "He was one of my biggest role models."
With his grandfather's memory firmly in his mind as the ceremony occurred, Doyle pegged the day as one he would remember for the rest of his life.
"Being a Soldier is a hard duty sometimes – being away from loved ones and having to serve on foreign soil, but today made it worthwhile," Doyle said. "It was something special and one I'll never forget."
For Capalar, a Filipino Soldier from Crystal Lake, Ill., battalion Retention non-commissioned officer, HSC, 615th ASB, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., the day was an unforgettable experience made more special by state representatives who took the time to congratulate him.
"I am thankful for the appreciation they showed for what we do in Iraq as Soldiers," Capalar said. "I will remember today for the rest of my career."
Capalar said he joined the Army because it was his dream to be a Soldier, something he has no intention of ending.
"I'm a lifer and the rank of sergeant major is my goal," Capalar said. "I love being a Soldier and working with Soldiers. Since I was a kid this was my dream."
Unsure if she is an Army lifer at this stage of her career, Holmes, from Clarksville, Tenn., a medic assigned to HSC, 615th ASB, 1st ACB, 1st Cav. Div., nevertheless said to reenlist on the house floor was a tremendous honor.
"It was a privilege to be on the house floor and to get a standing ovation from the state representatives and see the support they have for our military," Holmes said, the white Soldier reenlisting for a further five years. "I don't know if I'm going to be a lifer yet, but I definitely enjoy my job and taking care of troops."
Holmes joined the Army to gain experience as a medic, something she said she has enjoyed putting into practice.
"I enjoy working in aviation support, and I am very excited about our upcoming deployment and looking after our Soldiers," Holmes said. "I just reenlisted for five years so I'll see where it leads me."
Although he does not work with Capalar and Holmes personally, Doyle said all three are in the same company and he gets to see them on occasion and knows what excellent Soldiers both are.
"They are both good people and plan on doing excellent things for the Army," Doyle said. "This was a good day for all three of us and the Army."