Soldier mother, Soldier child
Maj. Alan Mingledorff
Public Affairs Officer for the 278th ACR
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE TAJI, Iraq — It has never been easy for a Soldier to leave a Family to go to war. Four Soldiers with Regimental Support Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) now have the unique experience of taking a Family member to war with them.
Staff Sgt. Emily Sikes, supply sergeant with A Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and a Lexington, Tenn., native, is deployed at the same time as her son, Sgt. Matthew Sikes with E Troop, 1st Squadron, 278th ACR and a Jackson, Tenn., native.
Staff Sgt. Sikes, on her first deployment, is at COB Taji, while her son, on his second deployment with the Army, is at Contingency Operating Base Q-West, Iraq. They have still managed to see each other once thus far on the deployment.
Sgt. Sikes, originally with 20th Special Forces Group out of Birmingham, Ala., volunteered to deploy with the 278th ACR. He also works as a Madison County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Deputy.
For the Sikes’, this deployment is a Family effort.
“Even though Matt and I are deployed, the hard work is being done by my youngest son, Clayton, 19, who is back at home taking care of both our houses, our finances, and going to college at the same time,” Staff Sgt. Sikes said. “We want to let him know that we really appreciate everything he has done for us.”
When Sgt. 1st Class Tracey Howse, a Murfreesboro, Tenn., native with the 105th Personnel Services Company out of Nashville, Tenn., received orders to deploy as the personnel and administrative noncommissioned officer in charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, RSS, 278th ACR, her daughter, Pfc. Devenea Howse, an administrative clerk with A Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and a Murfreesboro, Tenn., native, volunteered to deploy with her.
They are very close and, fortunately they get to see each other on a regular basis because they are both at COB Taji.
“The funny thing is, that when I was a recruiter, I tried and tried to enlist Devenea into the (National) Guard, but it wasn’t until I moved on from recruiting that she finally decided to join — with another recruiter,” said Sgt. 1st Class Howse.
When Pfc. Howse returns home, she will be continuing her education at Motlow State Community College, I Lynchburg, Tenn.
Sgt. 1st Class Addie Ciccarelli, the Morale Welfare and Recreation and public affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and a Murfreesboro, Tenn., native, is deployed near her stepdaughter, Pfc. Meagan Anthony, a telecommunications specialist with the 334th Signal Company, 296th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and a Choretea, Panama, native. Instead of getting care packages from the Unites States, Pfc. Anthony gets care packages through the Military Postal Service from her stepmother at COB Taji.
Staff Sgt. Barbara Addington, an asset visibility noncommissioned officer with A Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and a Greenback Tenn., native, had just returned from a deployment to Contingency Operating Location Bucca, Iraq, but turned around to join her daughter Pfc. Nicole Sarabia, a searchlane guard with B Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and Greenback Tenn., native, on her first deployment at COB Taji.
Sgt. 1st Class Tracey Howse (right), personnel and administrative noncommissioned officer-in-charge with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) and a Murfreesboro, Tenn., native is deployed with her daughter, Pfc. Devenea Howse, an administrative clerk with A Troop, RSS, 278th ACR and a Murfreesboro, Tenn., native. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Addie Ciccarelli)