Face of Defense: Texas Soldier Takes Pride in Making a Difference
By Staff Sgt. J.B. Jaso III, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Feb. 20, 2008 – Army Pvt. William Gentry was nervous
and anxious to see what Iraq was like when he received his deployment
notice. Until he deployed, the Austin, Texas, native had never been
outside the United States. |
“My heart was beating so fast that I thought it was going to come out of my chest,” he said.
Pvt. William Gentry, a native of Austin, Texas, stands watch during a
patrol with Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd
Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Multinational
Division Baghdad. Photo by Sgt. Brad Willeford, USA
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
an infantryman serving in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 25th
Infantry Division’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment,
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, has been on more than 25 patrols,
where he assisted in identifying and seizing enemy weapons caches.
efforts, along with those of his fellow soldiers, are helping secure
the area to provide the Iraqi government with the security environment
it needs to provide essential services to the Iraqi people. Now that he
has experience under his belt, Gentry said, he feels more at ease,
which allows him to conduct his missions more thoroughly.
miles of walking per week takes it toll on the body, but despite his
aching back and feet, Gentry said, he sees his pain as a necessity to
“The way I see it,” he said, “life without suffering is
impossible; those who live running from pain live no life at all. This
job may seem easy to some, but for most, it is a test to find out how
strong of a person we really are.”
The quest to find his strength and the desire to travel, he said, motivated him to join the Army in October 2006.
joining the Army, Gentry had never been out of Texas. Now, he lives
with U.S. and Iraqi soldiers on a joint security station, which
provides Gentry and his unit the ability to rapidly respond to
activities that occur in their area. Although he lives on a small
compound, he said, he is thankful he can still communicate with those
most important to him -- his mom and four siblings.
returns to Hawaii in about 13 months, Gentry said, he plans to go
skydiving and explore more of the Hawaiian Island’s snorkeling
opportunities. In the meantime, he said, he’ll learn all he can from
the deployment and will strive to stay positive and continue to help
make life better for Iraqis.
|Military Connection's Comments:
Army Private William Gentry was nervous when he first received his notice to deploy to Iraq. It is normal to fear the unknown. Private Gentry is an Infantryman with the 25th Infantry Division’s Company B, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, and after going on twenty-five patrols in Iraq, is well seasoned and doing a great job. He sees serving in Iraq as a test of his strengths. If you want to find out what you are made of join the military. Until he arrived in Iraq he had never left Texas. Now he is living with United States soldiers and Iraqi soldiers on a joint security station. He gets a little homesick but he believes what he is doing is important to the Iraqi people and to the United States. He is looking forward to enjoying Hawaii when he redeploys.