When most Soldiers get back to their duty station after a deployment, they are marched one by one into a stadium packed with Family and friends holding up posters and calling out to their Soldier.
However, there are Soldiers who do not get the hoorah of a large ceremony as soon as they hit the ground.
A few times during the year, Womack Army Medical Center leaders host a ceremony to recognize their Soldiers who individually deployed and attached to other units.
Recently four WAMC Soldiers were presented with Certificates of Achievement in the hospital’s Weaver Auditorium.
One of the Soldiers, Staff Sgt. Claudia Y. Daniels, a human resources noncommissioned officer, said she volunteered for a position with the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan to enhance her career.
This was Daniel’s second deployment. Her first was with a previous unit to Iraq and she said that she noticed a definite difference between the two.
“When you deploy with a unit, everything is pretty much done for you,” Daniels said. “When you go on your own, you pretty much have to fend for yourself, know how to get in and out of the country and work with people that you don’t know,” she said.
“When you go with a unit that you’ve trained with, you keep your morale up, but when you’re going by yourself, you have to start all over and rebuild that trust with these people you don’t know,” Daniels said.
On her first deployment, Daniels met the man who is now her husband. So, not only did she not have him this time, but she also did not have a highly involved Family readiness group that most companies have when they go overseas.
Thanks to improved communications and technology in her area of operations, though, Daniels was able to video chat with her Family on an almost weekly basis.
Daniels said her command team not only took care of her, but also encouraged an open line of communication with her Family.
“My commander and first sergeant were really good about e-mailing me, and they were keeping in contact with my children,” Daniel said. “They made sure that my Family was able to keep in touch with me.”
Lt. Col. Samantha S. Hinchman, WAMC troop commander, was the main speaker and presented the Soldiers their certificates.
During her speech, Hinchman choked up from the memory of her own multiple deployments and the many that she has seen her Soldiers go on over her career.
“These Soldiers have done remarkable things in support of the units they were attached to,” Hinchman said.
“This ceremony is a time to say thanks to our Soldiers and their Families and say good job.”