Fort Bliss soldiers deploy to Middle East

News

More than 400 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss deployed to Iraq on Sunday.

As part of an ongoing operation called Inherent Resolve, “America’s Tank Division” will train Iraqi security forces and continue the fight against ISIS.

Officials with Fort Bliss said the mission would take up to a year.

“The central job for us is to assist the Iraq government with the removal of ISIS fighters in Iraq.” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Abelardo Villarreal.

Villarreal told NewsChannel 9 Sunday would be his seventh deployment.

He said, “it takes a toll.”

Meanwhile, back in El Paso, his wife, Ramona Villarreal, told NewsChannel 9 that during deployments she takes extra steps to make sure their kids know that their dad misses them.

“I tell them dad loves them. We have him recorded on a couple CD’s reading them books so I play that for them.”

However, her efforts don’t stop there.

On Sundays, the family puts on their Dallas Cowboys jerseys and watches the game.

Even when deployed, Villarreal said he tries to find a TV.

“The games will come on at one or two o’clock in the morning so I will stumble to the nearest television I can find and sit there and watch the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “I’ll be watching the Cowboys and wherever they’re at they’ll be watching the Cowboys so it’s kind of a thing that unifies us.”

His wife said, “We all have matching jerseys and we all know that we’re connected in that sense – watching the games and wearing the same ones.”

In addition to troops stationed at Fort Bliss, National Guard members and reservists will also deploy to Iraq.

Together, they will be replacing the 1st Infantry Division headquarters, from Fort Riley, Kan., in Iraq.

 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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