For Capt. Justin Brown, an Arvada resident, deployment means leaving his family and friends behind. It means leaving beautiful Colorado, missing ski season and racking up his mountain bike. But it …
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For Capt. Justin Brown, an Arvada resident, deployment means leaving his family and friends behind. It means leaving beautiful Colorado, missing ski season and racking up his mountain bike. But it also means supporting a mission he believes in. A mission dedicated to ensuring freedoms of those abroad who are under threat.
Brown is one of over 60 men and women from across Colorado who are preparing to deploy just after Thanksgiving with the U.S. Army Reserve 98th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Alpha Co., which is based in the Denver metro area.
This deployment marks the battalion’s first full deployment since departing to the Pacific Theater in 1943 during World War II. It is also the first time they’ve deployed as members of America’s Army Reserve, as the battalion was an active-duty unit during WWII.
During this deployment, the 98th — part of the 335th Signal Command (Theater) — will provide and manage communication and information systems to keep ground force commanders connected to the front-line troops in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Spartan Shield in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. According to the U.S. Army Reserve, Spartan Shield and the soldiers that support it, play a role both in deterring regional aggression and reacting to possible threats within the Middle East. The 98th is a crucial part to this mission in keeping the communication channels open between U.S. and coalition partners.
“Deployments are an honor,” said Brig. Gen. Dion Moten at a deployment ceremony held Nov. 4 at Origin Red Rocks in Golden. “It is an honor to our confidence in them and to their preparations medically, physically and tactically.”
At the deployment ceremony, Lt. Gov Donna Lynne talked about the 17 uninterrupted years the U.S. Armed Forces has been deploying to combat missions.
“This burden born by you and your fellow service members is one that we cannot acknowledge enough,” said Lynne, the daughter of two Navy veterans. “We know the work that you are doing is trying to make us stay safe in our country but also around the world.”
Lt. Col. Joseph Miller, commander of the 98th, said that while the unit is deployed, the most important thing the community can do is support the soldiers and their families.
The support that family members give deploying soldiers is something Moten acknowledged at the ceremony — which was standing room only with civilian attendees.
“It means a lot to us standing here in uniform to know that we have you behind us,“ Moten told families in attendance. “We couldn’t do what we do without you.”
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