SAN ANTONIO, TX, UNITED STATES
Story by Master Sgt. Michael Leslie
36th Infantry Division (TXARNG)
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – “This is a historic unit,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Hamilton, Assistant Division Commander – Operations of the 36th Infantry Division, “Task Force Alamo is aptly named. It traces its lineage back to when Texas was still just a Republic, fighting for its own independence.”
The Texas Army National Guard’s oldest unit, dating back to 1823, the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, conducted a deployment ceremony May 16, 2018 at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston. The battalion is preparing to deploy to the Horn of Africa, partnering with more than ten nations to promote regional stability and prosperity.
“This is a vitally important mission,” said Hamilton. “All people are created equal, and we are defending that freedom around the world, so it is critical that we do a great job in helping the countries that we’re going.”
Hundreds of family members were in attendance to see their Soldiers off and show their support.
“Although your Soldiers wear the uniforms,” said Col. Rodrigo Gonzalez, the commander of the 72nd IBCT, “You also serve with them in your capacity as a family member and you wear the uniform in your heart.”
This will be the last time that Soldiers will see their families for the coming year and Maj Sean Ibarguen, commander of the battalion, addresses that hardship.
“For some, the toughest timeframe of the deployment is upon us and that is moving toward the final goodbye,” said Ibarguen. “Soon your Soldier will return home and the joy of that return will eclipse the sadness of saying goodbye in the coming days.”
The 12-year-old daughter of the battalion commander gave him advice on a painted rock to carry with him on his deployment that he passed along to his Soldiers that “time flies.”
“It may not feel like it right now, but time does fly and it will fly moving forward,” said Ibarguen. “We will be back in the Lone Star State before you know it.”