Dealing with deployment

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19th Engineer Battalion to be deployed this week

By Kelly Richardson

By KELLY RICHARDSON krichardson@thenewsenterprise.com


FORT KNOX — Amid homemade signs for “our heroes,” proclaiming, “We Love You,” family and friends filled the bleachers in Sadowski Field House on post, to show their support to soldiers who will soon be leaving.

A deployment ceremony was held Friday for the 19th Engineer Battalion, which will be deployed to Afghanistan this week.

Col. Richard G. Kaiser, the commander of the 20th Engineer Brigade, told the soldiers that the ceremony “will carry you all for the next 12 months.”

The soldiers will spend a year constructing roads, buildings and bridges. While soldiers are away, families are left to cope with the distance between them and their loved ones.

Cpt. Paul Turbeville is the rear detachment commander for the battalion, and his main job is supporting families of deployed soldiers. He can help them in many ways, including with housing and financial issues, and relaying information about the soldiers.

“It’s a full spectrum of stuff you can deal with,” Turbeville said.

Turbeville helps families meet so they can talk about the issues they’re dealing with, “so no one feels like they’re alone out there.”

Staff Sgt. Keith Colon will be deploying for the second time, leaving behind his wife, Trisha and sons, Noah, 4, and Preston, 3. Trish Colon said going through this a second time isn’t easier than the first.

“You’re prepared but you’re not, you don’t want to accept it,” she said.

Keith Colon said letters to his wife and talking about family with his fellow soldiers helps him deal with what he said is by far the most difficult part of deployment.

“The hardest part is being separated from your family,” he said.

April Alicea, the wife of Sgt. 1st Class Edwin Alicea, said the key to making it through a deployment is keeping occupied.

“Stay busy, as busy as possible,” she said.   Kelly Richardson can be reached at (270) 505-1747.