David Bellavia on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Eric Chacon, a medic who will be deploying for the second time overseas, said the most challenging part is “getting used to a routine” of active-duty service after life at home. Sgt. Shortly after 11 a.m., as members of the 36th Infantry Division band played the national anthem, four helicopters hovered over Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in North Austin, the rumble of their rotors temporarily drowning out the patriotic brass as every eye in the crowd was drawn upward. It also has supported federal and state border security missions even as the 36th Infantry Division prepared for its nine-month deployment to the Middle East. Members of the Texas Army National Guard are heading out for a nine-month deployment to the Middle East. “I feel that with our roots as Texan civilians and our ability to go out in a uniform as a trained force is important because we are a neutral force,” said Chacon. The air was thick with a mixture of pride, excitement and sadness Sunday as more than 700 Texas National Guard soldiers set to deploy to the Middle East stood in formation on the football field with families scattered through the stadium looking on. 1st Class Sean Atkins.

“It’s that 1 percent,” said Hamilton, the son of a three-tour Vietnam War helicopter pilot who grew up in West University Place, near Houston.

He’ll lead the division’s headquarters, which will oversee active-duty Army and National Guard units, along with members of the Army Reserve. In recent months, he said his division has done an “outstanding job in spite of overwhelming odds with COVID and limitations of travel and the things we would normally do as a division.”

“I cannot overstate how proud I am of these fine soldiers. Sgt.

Many of the soldiers on this deployment got orders to serve in what Hamilton called an “involuntary mobilization.” A few put in hardship requests, and some were granted.
They said their farewells at home, from a socially safe distance. “What is really interesting about the Guard to me, is that even though we are military, we are still civilians - we wear both hats,” said Chacon, a native of El Paso. Business has boomed during the pandemic, The 20 best things to get at Aldi this year, according to shoppers, Texan soldiers bid farewell to families, again, I Can't Believe This Social Security Bonus Was So Easy, Americans Are Obsessed With New Blanket That Puts You To Sleep In Minutes, 23 New Gadgets That Will Sell Out Before the Holidays. Div. “My family is a military family, so this isn’t anything new,” she said. Service members answered the call to support local and state law enforcement and assist in the protection of people and critical infrastructure necessary to the well-being of local communities.

Even with so much going on at home in their state, Bonilla and Chacon reflect the focus that the 36th Inf. Quiao Liang waves goodbye as a bus carrying her husband leaves from Kelly Reeves Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.

Members of the 36th Infantry Division board buses headed to Fort Hood at Kelly Reeves Stadium in Austin.

Friends and family wave goodbye as members of the Texas National Guard depart in buses Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, from Kelly Reeves Stadium in Austin.

“Our civil disturbance training was focused on things like non-lethal training: how to protect yourself and others; how to react or not react to certain threats or taunts; and practice in maintaining our professional manner and bearing when faced with civilians in groups that are in riots or potential riots,” Chacon explained. During the deployment ceremony, Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, the commander of the 36th Infantry Division, said his troops have been preparing for this deployment with training exercises for two years.

Wearing their utility uniforms, the Texans were treated to a flyover of helicopters from Camp Mabry and music from the 36th Infantry Division band. To read more from Sig, become a subscriber.

During the deployment ceremony, Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, the commander of the 36th Infantry Division, said his troops have been preparing for this deployment with training exercises for two years. The Texans will serve as experts to forces interested in improving their skills in such areas as artillery, maneuver, and command and control.

“Personally, I love my job, I love what I do — I do a medical position on the civilian side as well — so for me being able to reach other people in other countries is pretty great.”.
It’s the largest deployment for the Texas Military Department this year. Ricky Rodriguez reacts as the bus carrying sister Brani Rodriguez leaves Kelly Reeves Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. So far, the 36th has coped well with COVID-19, reporting two positive cases last week and five in the past two months. 1st Class Austin Valenzuela salutes during the national anthem as helicopters fly over Kelly Reeves Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. Hamilton said his wife, Beverly Hamilton, was diagnosed Friday with COVID-19.

“There was so much to do and so much training we needed to go through to be prepared to deploy [overseas],” he said. Story by Sgt.

The Texas guard came into its own even before 9/11. Morgan Atkins is embraced by her father, Arvel Whitner, and her mother, Mary Whitner, as a bus carrying Atkins’ husband, Sgt. Our motto, ‘Texans serving Texans’ is a big thing for me.”, “I was having dinner with my family when I got an email informing me that I was activated for the state’s civil disturbance response,” said Texas Army National Guard Sgt.


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