Nearly 20 Soldiers with Company C, 7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, returned to Fort Campbell this week, after finishing a year-long deployment that began in Iraq and ended in Afghanistan.
The remaining MEDEVAC Soldiers from “Eagle Dustoff” are scheduled to return to Fort Campbell by mid-December.
For some of the returning Soldiers, the timing of the redeployment couldn’t have been better.
Sergeant Christopher Hansen, a UH-60 Blackhawk crew chief and mechanic for Eagle Dustoff, made it home just in time for the delivery of his first child. His wife of more than two years, Denise, is due to deliver their son Sunday. This is the second deployment the Hansens have been through as a couple.
For all Soldiers and Family members, communication is the key to making it through deployments.
“He’s missed just about everything you can think of,” Regina Baldwin said of her son, Sgt. Michael K. Baldwin, a flight mechanic for the unit. “He left right before Christmas, so he missed that, Halloween, the birth of his cousin’s baby, and the thing he may have missed the most – his kids’ birthdays. We were able to talk to him on the computer from time to time, and he’s called a few times.”
It was important to his Family to keep in touch with him as much as possible, Baldwin’s mother said.
Communication is a vital tool Soldiers and Families use to pass the time while separated.
“You think the days are going to go so slowly, and when you’re in the moment, they do,” Hansen said. “But then you look back at the time, the months gone by and you think, ‘I really can do this. I did it. It’s done.’”