3ID `Raiders' see changes in Kuwait
January 11, 2005
CAMP NEW YORK, Kuwait (Army News Service, Jan. 11, 2005) - An advance party of 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers from its 1st unit of action landed in Kuwait Jan. 8 and traveled to temporary quarters at Camp New York in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 3.
After a charter flight and two-hour bus ride, the Soldiers unloaded their gear and settled into tents at Camp New York. They said the camp has gone through a series of upgrades since the 3rd Infantry Division deployed there in 2003.
"This place has changed quite a bit since the last time I was here," said Spc. JeanCarlo Lopez, a planning specialist with Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team (UA). "Before, there was no lighting, no gym, no internet café, no Burger King or a gift shop."
The facilities that were available before were smaller and not able to accommodate as many Soldiers, Lopez said.
The 3ID Soldiers from Fort Stewart, Ga., were not alone at Camp New York. National Guard troops from Utah, Idaho, Washington and New York were among those at the camp.
"You have to trust everybody 100 percent," said Spc. Frankie Souther, an HHC 1st BCT radio telephone operator. "You have to be doubt free, and not give a second thought that your buddy is going to watch your back and you are going to watch his."
For a majority of the Soldiers, this is their first deployment to the Middle East. They had mixed emotions about leaving their homes and loved ones behind, although they knew they were here to accomplish a mission. Sacrificing the comforts of familiarity had already begun to take a toll on some of the Soldiers.
".I don't like being away from my family and my girlfriend," said Pfc. Ryan Chacanaca, an HHC, 1st BCT driver. "I believe in what we are doing over here, but I just wish the deployment times were shorter."
The Soldiers will remain at Camp New York to attend briefings, take classes and go to the range to hone their skills on their individual assigned weapons before crossing the border into Iraq.
Soldiers took advantage of the facilities available and said they were comfortable in the camp.
"It makes me feel like I'm at a home away from home," said Spc. Keith Brescher, HHC, 1st BCT driver.
(Editor's note: Spc. Jimmy D. Lane Jr. provides public affairs for the 1st BCT (UA).)