KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – After four deployments in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Lakeesha Terrell felt prepared for her fifth deployment – to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, with 4th Infantry Division.
“It prepared my mindset for what could happen when I came over here,” Terrell said. “I had experience, so I knew even though I had never been to Afghanistan, I knew what to expect a little.”
Terrell, a supply sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, is now nine months into her fifth deployment. She has been stationed at Fort Carson since 2009, and her fourth deployment, in 2010 to Iraq, was also with 4th Inf. Div.
From all of her time spent serving her country in Iraq or Afghanistan, Terrell, a Columbus, Ga., native, has learned life lessons and gained valuable experiences, she said.
“The best experience (from) deployments is meeting new people,” she said, adding: “Every place you go in the military, you should always get something out of it.”
Terrell was early in her Army career when, as a private first class with 3rd Infantry Division, she served during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, something she says now was a “nerve-wracking experience.”
She first joined the U.S. Army in 2001, and through deployment after deployment, Terrell continued her service in the military, although she says leaving her family each time was difficult.
“I think that’s the hardest part – to leave your family behind,” said Terrell, who has an 18-month-old son. “You take the bad and you make something positive out of it. I knew there was something good at the end of it all, and that’s why I’ve stayed in the military.”
She deployed to Iraq four different times in a seven-year period before deploying to southern Afghanistan in 2013 as the supply sergeant of Company C, HHBN, 4th Inf. Div., as the division took charge of Regional Command (South) headquarters.
“You watched a country that was invaded grow, and you learned something from the culture,” she said about her four deployments in Iraq.
She says her time spent in Iraq also prepared her for her first deployment to Afghanistan.
As a supply sergeant, Terrell manages property worth millions of dollars. She also supports different sections within the division, supplying them with equipment they need to accomplish their various missions.
Terrell says she has had outstanding leadership throughout her Army career and during her fifth deployment.
“You always hear about the bad, but there are good leaders out there,” she said.
First Lt. Israel Rubio, Terrell’s supervisor and company commander, said Terrell is the “best supply sergeant in the battalion.”
“She’s a hard worker (who) doesn’t take no for an answer, meaning she won’t accept mission failure,” he said.
During her free time, Terrell often volunteers at KAF’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation center, where she is a familiar face. She is scheduled to return to Fort Carson early this summer.
“When I step foot off the plane, I will thank God for another completed journey.”