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    Red Devils Extend to Become “Anvils” – In-Theater Service Member Extensions

    Red Devils Extend to Become “Anvils” – In-Theater Service Member Extensions

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Sydney Mariette | Spc. Roman Hall stands in front of the satellite communications system that he...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Sydney Mariette 

    34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade

    With the end of the 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade’s (ECAB) 10-month deployment on the horizon, most Soldiers are looking forward to family hugs, home cooked meals, and a climate that doesn’t involve 100° degrees. However, over a dozen Red Devils have made the deliberate decision to volunteer for an in-theater extension and stay for a second rotation with the 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, headquartered out of Pennsylvania. Capt. Richard Hedin, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gage Matlock, and Spc. Roman Hall bring perspectives from each professional track within the U.S. Army and share why they have decided to stay behind for a second deployment.

    Hedin, the officer in charge for the brigade level information technology (S6) section while with the 34th ECAB, decided to extend because he saw a need in the 28th ECAB and wanted to help make a smooth communications transition for both the outgoing and incoming units.

    “I wanted to make sure I could provide continuity during the 28th ECAB’s deployment,” said Hedin “It is always beneficial to have someone available to help explain how the previous unit was able to get the mission accomplished. I hope to learn from them regarding what procedures they use and then add a new perspective from what we do back in Minnesota. For me it is all about helping make the Signal community smarter and stronger.”

    Matlock served many roles with the Foxtrot Company, 1-189th General Aviation Support Battalion, 34th ECAB during their deployment, from Heliport Officer in Charge with the air traffic control company to logistical efforts as their Unit Movement Officer. He will continue to support the 28th ECAB in largely the same roles.

    “I hope to help the 28th ECAB be successful in getting their equipment here, setting them up for success operationally, and working at remote locations in a similar Heliport OIC capacity,” said Matlock.

    Hall, an Information Technology Specialist (25B) with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion, 34th ECAB views his decision to stay as one of personal growth.

    “I have learned so many things such as leadership skills from my peers and command structure,” said Hall. “It has truly been a wonderful learning experience having myself thrown into situations where I have to be adaptable to different types of issues that come about.”

    All three Soldiers will miss another year of holidays, birthdays, and family gatherings. It is a sacrifice they all took into consideration when deciding to extend.

    “This was a hard decision for me,” said Hedin. “Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years. I missed all of that last year. I'll miss my wife and kids' birthdays, my wedding anniversary, the first day of school, and my wife's home cooking. Luckily, my wife is amazing, truly amazing and understands. She has many people around her supporting her while I am away.”

    Matlock’s family actually encouraged him to stay as COVID-19 has put many family events and civilian job opportunities on hold for him.

    “My family is happy and understanding of my decision,” said Matlock. “It kind of stinks seeing my friends and coworkers leave after I’ve been around them every day for a year. But I think, especially in a post-COVID environment, both I and the people around me are very resilient. We can withstand a lot and still perform”.

    Looking forward to the year ahead, Hall hopes to take this opportunity to continue to grow as an individual and use his skills to support the organization as a whole.

    “I am branching out away from my first unit and am testing out new waters,” said Hall. “I am diving head long into a new unit where I will have an opportunity to prove myself. I feel refreshed and invigorated for the path set out before me, and though my current connections will be moving on, I know I will make more and the ones I have will be lifelong.”



    Date Taken: 10.08.2020
    Date Posted: 10.08.2020 14:58
    Story ID: 380580
    Location: CAMP BUEHRING, KW

    Web Views: 368
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