CAMP SHELBY JOINT FORCES TRAINING CENTER, Miss. - For 51-years-old Georgia Army National Guard Master Sgt. James ‘Cliff’ Sites, logistics supervisor for the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 27 years of service and three deployments are not enough as he prepares to deploy to Afghanistan at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center.
“I’m young,” exclaims Sites. “I have an 18-month-old son, James “Clay” and a baby on the way. I want to go back and get my masters, and one day when I grow up, I will at least try one person in a court of law.”
Leaving his romantic relationship, Dana, who is 12 weeks pregnant and their 18-month-old son at home, Sites is deploying as the billeting non-commissioned officer in charge, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom with the 48th IBCT.
Sites has been on active duty for six years, has served as a technician for 20 years, has over three military job specialties and two additional skill identifiers. He has also deployed all over the United States and the world.
“When the hurricanes hit, my team was called in to help the citizens of Mississippi with Katrina and Florida with Andrew,” explains Sites. “We helped them clean up, get generators up and running and vehicles back on the road. In support of Desert Storm, Shield and Fury, I deployed for a year helping them fix vehicles overseas.”
Sites, is known to his team as “Cliff” as in Cliff Clavin from Cheers, for his random and extensive knowledge in many fields. Very well preceding his reputation, Sites is qualified to be a bradley turret mechanic, bradley hull mechanic, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, recovery specialist and safety specialist. He currently works full time as the safety supervisor for the state of Georgia Army National Guard and is the state logistics supervisor with the maintenance assistance and inspection team.
As the last surviving ‘Sites’, he said he is thankful to have a son to carry on his name, a significant other that is very supportive of his patriotic fervor, a uniform with his name on it as he continues to serve his country and the desire to stop the bad guys.
“I joined the Army to help pay for college, but that is certainly not why I have stayed in all this time,” explains Sites. “When I was a young man, two friends of mine were hurt and the district attorney made a deal with the bad guys, and I knew then and there I wanted to use my life to help stop the bad guy.”
Deploying for no other reason outside of his patriotic passion, Sites said he has so much at home he is deploying to protect.
“I am most excited for two things during this deployment,” says Sites. “One, To go home on Christmas leave, because our doctor is going to do a special ultra-sound for us so I can know whether I am going to have another boy or a daughter, and two, To go home in a year and meet my child.”