The 'Ready First' command team wanted to surprise the Soldiers with the special guests, so they didn't really tell anyone, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Glenn Robinson, command sergeant major of 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry, 1-1 AD.
The look on the Soldiers faces when they saw, Maj. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg, commanding general of Fort Bliss and Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport, Fort Bliss command sergeant major, words cannot describe, their morale could just be seen going up, he added.
Bromberg and Command Sergeant Major Davenport made the visit, to see the Soldiers, so they could let them know they think about them every day when we're back on Bliss, said Maj. Gen. Bromberg.
The visit began with 'Ready First' Soldiers on Joint Security Site McHenry and Forward Operating Base Warrior, both near Kirkuk, Iraq, followed by a lunch with Iraqi Security Forces leadership.
After finishing in Kirkuk, the team, escorted by Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Daniels, command sergeant major of 1-1 AD, made a trip to Mosul where they visited with Ready First Soldiers on the various bases and checkpoints.
While in Mosul the Fort Bliss command team ensured they made a stop by to see the medics that saved the life of Pfc. Alvaro Regaldo, the1/36th Inf. Soldier that was badly burned during a fire in the Joint Security Site India dining facility.
"Because of all of you, he is still with us and recovering at a quicker rate than expected," said Bromberg, before awarding each of them with a coin.
While with the Ready First Soldiers, Maj. Gen. Bromberg and Command Sgt. Maj. Davenport also opened the floor for any questions the 'Ready First' Soldiers may have about Bliss and their upcoming conversion to a Stryker Brigade.
Many of the Soldiers wanted to know about one thing, new facilities on Bliss.
There has been a lot of build-up on Bliss; new homes, ranges, buildings for training, a new post exchange, restaurants, a movie theater and gym, said Bromberg, to the Soldiers, as many of their eyes got big and jaws dropped.
After answering questions from the Soldiers, the command team reminded the Soldiers of how much the people of El Paso are thinking of them.
"Everyone knows you're doing fantastic stuff here, and we are all happy to just be associated with Ready First," said Maj. Gen. Bromberg.
Bromberg and Davenport, also used their time with the Soldiers the recognize some for their outstanding actions.
It is a privilege to get recognized by Bromberg and Davenport, said Spc. Logan Lonkard, a Crestwood, Ky., native and infantryman with Delta Company, 1/36th Inf.
As the command team left the various groups of 'Ready First' Soldiers, Command Sgt. Maj. Davenport left his Soldiers with a challenge.
"I challenge each of you to get home safely and then to be safe while you're back at Bliss," said Command Sgt. Maj. Davenport. "Nothing breaks my heart more than to go to a memorial for one of my Soldiers, so be safe, and we'll see you soon."
This work, Fort Bliss Command Team visits Soldiers in Iraq, by SPC Jessica Luhrs-Stabile, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.