BASRAH, Iraq – The U.S. Division-South, 36th Infantry Division finance section bid farewell to three sailors March 15 as they prepared to redeploy to their state-side units.
Capt. Jimmy C. Horst, division budget officer, presented Petty Officer 2nd Class Shaun Sharp, of Memphis, Seaman Matthew Prince of Highland, N.Y., and Seaman Bryant Ortiz of Fontana, Calif., with what he said was a gift unique to the division’s budget office – a humorous photo with the faces of the departing sailors superimposed on it.
“This is my second time working with the Army, and I really like it,” said Sharp, a budget and contracting yeoman who will return to Navy Reserve Component Command Mid-Atlantic, headquartered in Norfolk, Va. “I’m really going to miss these guys. Like with any deployment, you are going to miss the people you work with. You kind of want to stay and see the mission completed and have everyone come home together.”
Sharp added that the Texas Guardsmen are probably the best budget team he has ever worked with. “I love these guys; they are good people.”
Each of the sailors was presented with Army Commendation Medals for exceptional service during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn later that day by Brig. Gen. Stephen Sanders, 36th Inf. Div. commanding general of support.
“The sailors trained the incoming Texas soldiers on all ongoing projects in southern Iraq, to include all the computer programs used to track them,” said Sfc. Billy R. Richardson, special programs noncommissioned officer in charge.
“They mean a lot to this section and we have accomplished so much because of them,” said Richardson, a native of Midland, Texas, who currently resides in Round Rock, Texas. “Sharp’s name is literally fitting; he really knows what he’s doing…”
In fact, Richardson added, Sharp said he enjoyed working with the Army so much he plans to leave the Navy and come back into the Army as a budget officer.
“It’s a small Army and I think it would be awesome to run into him again as an Army officer,” Richardson said. “If I could have more people working for me, I would hope they would be like them.”