The latest crew left headquarters last week for Fort Benning. They’re now en route to their final destinations, but before they left Maryl Neff sent in these pictures and her thoughts before leaving the US:
Happy 4th of July!
SAF has five teams deploying to Kuwait, Afghanistan and three locations in Iraq. We’re currently sitting in Freedom Hall at Fort Benning, Ga., waiting to fly. There are 17 of us total — both regular mobile staff members and reservists.
The new reservists were in Washington, DC, at ARC HQ for training for three weeks. Then the rest of us, including mobile staff and experienced reservists, joined the others in DC to meet our teams and go through multiple briefings on everything from casework to dealing with stress to getting along with your team members. Then we traveled to Fort Benning for a week full of military briefings and training.
Anyone who’s been to Fort Benning in the summer knows that we’ve experienced a lot of heat and humidity, bugs, early morning wake-ups, and very long days. We’ve also had some free time to hang out with our team members, shop for last-minute necessities, eat out, and try to get extra sleep. Sleep is the one thing there never seems to be enough of here.
So here we are on the Fourth of July just waiting for the plane so we can fly to the desert. The report from my location in Iraq yesterday was that it’ was 120 degrees. The temp is not ideal, but we’ll be fortunate enough to have air conditioned offices and sleeping quarters. Sometimes you just have to be thankful for what you have!
Here we go!
We’ll hopefully be checking in numerous times with this group while they’re deployed – stay tuned.