50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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 PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan- U.S. Army Sgts. Stephanie, a medic with the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke and a resident of Fort Knox, Ky., and Dustin Drewry, a combat engineer with the personal security detail in STB, 3rd BCT, 1st Inf. Div. and a native of Sacramento, Calif., pose at Forward Operating Base Goode in Paktya Province, Afghanistan, May 4. The couple has been married for almost two years and live together in a joint room on FOB Goode. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Tobey White Task Force Duke Public Affairs)

 

Deployments often mean being away from family for long periods of time. For most Soldiers the time spent away from loved ones can be difficult, but for two married Soldiers from the Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, this deployment bears a striking resemblance to life at home in Fort Knox, Ky.


Upon arriving at Forward Operating Base Goode, U.S. Army sergeants Stephanie, a medic with the STB and a resident of Fort Knox, Ky., and Dustin Drewry, a combat engineer with the personal security detail in STB and a native of Sacramento, Calif., were surprised and uneasy when told they’d be living on the other side of the FOB and sharing a room.

Married for almost two years, they were unsure whether sharing a room would affect their marriage and the way they interacted with others, said Dustin.

“We weren’t sure whether we wanted to live together,” Dustin said. “It kind of cuts me out of team cohesion, because when I go home for the day I tend to stay there.”

Dustin and Stephanie met while she was a medic for the STB in Fort Hood, Texas. This wasn’t the first time the two had been deployed together. They both deployed with the STB in 2008-2009 but spent the year on different FOBs, only seeing each other twice the entire deployment, Stephanie said.

Like many things in life, being deployed together has its ups and downs, she said.

For the current deployment to Afghanistan, they rely on extended family to take care of affairs back home, she said. Their house was recently broken into, requiring them to file an insurance claim from Afghanistan, which wasn’t easy.

“I miss the peace of mind of having someone at our house watching it,” Dustin said.

While deployed, many Soldiers debate how much information to share with folks back home. For Dustin and Stephanie, there is no protecting the other from knowing how dangerous things are, Stephanie said.

“It’s kind of scary because I know what he does as PSD,” she said. “I’ve been in a line unit before so I know the kinds of things that happen.”

Knowing what could happen can at times be worrisome, and Dustin likes to call her a ‘worrywart,’ Stephanie joked.

Living together isn’t all hardship, Dustin admits. Having someone to vent to and talk with after a hard day’s work makes things easier.

“It’s nice to be able to talk to somebody and not have to be Sgt. Drewry,” she said. “I can just be Stephanie.”

Despite working on the same FOB and living in the same room, the two spend only a handful of hours together each day, because they work different hours, Dustin said. He often travels with the command sergeant major or battalion commander for a week or two at a time. When he comes home it feels like he’s back in Fort Knox, returning from a field exercise, he said.

On the occasions where they spend time together, they keep things low-key and spend the time talking or watching TV.

While being a joint military couple has its challenges, it also has its rewards too, Stephanie said.

“I don’t have to explain everything,” she said, laughing. “He just understands because he’s been there and done that.”

"Getting to see each other on a daily basis has its benefits,” Stephanie said. “We get to share the challenges and accomplishments of the day, which is a blessing a lot of couples don’t have while deployed."

 

 

Last Updated on Sunday, 08 May 2011 02:17
 

    

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GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force White Eagle Texas Agribusiness Development Team IV attended a ground breaking ceremony hosted by Ghazni Deputy sub-Gov. Mohammad Ali Ahmadi at the Ghazni Governor’s compound April 27.

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Coalition forces engage insurgents in Kapisa

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

Coalition forces and aircraft responded to an insurgent attack. Four insurgents were killed by air strike and three were killed by direct fire from coalition forces.

All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

 
ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.

Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.