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    Armorer turns infantryman for opportunity to deploy

    Armorer turns infantryman for opportunity to deploy

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kelly Lecompte | Staff Sgt. Joseph Sauls, of Pikeville, N.C., stands next to the "Old Hickory" insignia...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Kelly Lecompte 

    30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

    BAGHDAD — Going to war may sound like the kind of thing most people would want to avoid, but for one Soldier, it was a compelling opportunity that he refused to miss.

    Staff Sgt. Joseph Sauls, of Pikeville, N.C., is serving his 16th year in the North Carolina National Guard, but he is in his first combat deployment, serving with the 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, at Forward Operating Base Falcon, here in Iraq.

    Sauls was a full time Guardsman, serving as a small arms repairer with a command maintenance evaluation team, when he learned that the 30th HBCT would soon deploy.

    "I felt like, I want to be more," Sauls said. "I wanted the experience of being deployed, that's why I volunteered to go with the brigade. I knew the Smithfield unit was a good unit from having worked with them on the full-time side, so I basically called them up and volunteered to switch [my military occupation], just to come."

    Sauls said his wife has been supportive through his decision.

    "I had explained it her, that I wanted to do it," Sauls said. "Of course she was hesitant about it, but she understood it was something I felt I needed to do."

    He and his wife have a 5-year-old daughter who started kindergarten in his absence during this deployment.

    "It's difficult being away, but in the end it's an experience that's going to make me a better Soldier, probably a better father also," Sauls said.

    Sauls said he feels he made a good decision.

    "As far as experiences I've had in the military, this has been one of the more satisfying." He said. "You feel like you're making a difference."

    "I was told several time I was making a foolish decision," he said. "But I've personally enjoyed every minute of it."



    Date Taken: 11.09.2009
    Date Posted: 11.09.2009 05:45
    Story ID: 41296
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

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