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Fox Valley Army Reserve unit prepares for overseas deployment

Published on: 01/05/2023


NEENAH (WLUK) -- Two dozen soldiers from a Fox Valley Army Reserve unit are being deployed next month.

The 395th Ordnance Co. will heading overseas to the Middle East. The specific location is not being disclosed.

They will form a headquarters for an ammunition unit overseas.

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Reserve 395th Ordnance Company prepare for an overseas deployment, Jan 4, 2022. (WLUK)

"We will be on a specific base, and at that point, we will have different missions to go out to different posts and bases, and deliver ammo," said 1st Lt. Emily Bailey.

This will be Bailey's first deployment.

"I just joined the unit in October with the mindset of me going, so that's why they actually brought me in is because I was so passionate about wanting to deploy," she said. "I am ready for the opportunity to really explore the Army and really what it all has to offer."

Soldiers from the 395th Ordnance Company and their friends and family gather at Hilton Paper Valley in Appleton for a deployment ceremony on May 28, 2022 (Photo Courtesy: WLUK)

More than 100 members of the unit left for the Middle East last May. In that deployment, the unit managed ammunition for other units. The members heading overseas next month will join them.

"We'll all be at different posts, but otherwise we will be together," Bailey said.

But they will have a different mission.

"We are the HHC element, meaning the higher headquarters, so we're mostly admin," said Bailey.

This will be Sgt. Matthew Hartfield's second deployment.

Even though he's been through it before, Hartfield says he's feeling excited.

"Any deployment is what you make of it, so you can have a good time or a bad time. I had a good experience my first time," said Hartfield.

But feels mixed emotions when it comes to his two children.

"When I was first deployed, my oldest knew and embraced it; she understood," said Hartfield. "She doesn't like the Army. She wishes I could quit this job, but she's proud that I'm in the Army. But there will be times it's harder for them."

However, with a little help of technology, he's still able to see them.

"We can video chat. We all have internet now. We have internet over there for the most part," said Hartfield. "So, the communication's really good. It's easy to keep in touch and talk to them on almost a daily basis."

The 100 troops who deployed in May 2022 are expected to return sometime this summer.

The two dozen soldiers deploying will be leaving for Fort Hood army base in Texas sometime next month.

"We should be on ground in the Middle East by early March," said Bailey.

They're expected to return sometime between December and April of 2024.

A farewell ceremony for family and invited guests is scheduled for Feb. 3.

Author :Lexi Schroeder

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