Army

May 3, 2012

HHC 40th deploys to Honduras

Story by Spc. Jessica Littlejohn
HHC 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion
Sgt. Kelvin Ringold, 11th Signal Brigade
Members of the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion prepare to depart for a three-and-a-half month mission to Honduras. The 11th Signal Brigade here is one of the most frequently deployed Army units in the world.

Family, friends, and fellow Soldiers gathered for a Family Readiness Group-sponsored event at the Murr Community Center here to show their support to the Soldiers of Company B, 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, that departed recently for a three-and-a-half month mission to Honduras.

The Soldiers deployed to provide the National Guard Soldiers stationed in Honduras with their main communications support needs.

Companies A and C, Headquarters and Headquarters Company and a team of civilians from Communications and Elect Command also deployed to provide their communications expertise for this mission.

Some of the Soldiers had never deployed, and were looking forward to the good training, a new challenge and the overseas experience. One Soldier shared his thoughts.

“I’m just happy to get away and finally get out of the country,” said Spc. Brian Wissel, a satellite communication systems operator with HHC, 40th ESB.

“I’m excited,” he said.

The FRG provided activities and gifts for the children, food for those that attended, goodie bags for the Soldiers and tools for the family members and Soldiers to help them adjust to a military deployment.

“We are just giving them a little bit of home before they leave,” said Kris McClelland, the senior FRG advisor and spouse of 40th ESB commander, Lt. Col. Andrew McClelland.

To help the youth cope with their parent’s deployment, Operation Give a Hug gave away 13 deployment dolls. Each doll provides a place to put the photo of the deployed parent, and gives the child another way of connecting with their Soldier. Since 2004, Operation Give a Hug has donated more than 430,000 dolls to family members of deployed Soldiers.

Before the bus pulled away and headed to the airport, family and friends said their last goodbyes and shared their last hugs and kisses until summer when the Soldiers are scheduled to return. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted the bus to the airport as many stood and watched.  Those left behind at Fort Huachuca support the troops and wish them a safe return.




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