Mothers’ pride with Morgan’s Men

Story by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe, 1/623rd Field Artillery Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative

IMG_0015

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery share a group photo while deployed to Southwest Asia. The Soldiers are the 11 of the unit that are currently deployed with another close relative. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Bryan Ploughe)

SOUTHWEST ASIA — Often times we use the phrase military family due to all of the members of a unit being a close knit group and looking out for each other. Deployed Soldiers have said that the bond of sharing experiences, in particular on foreign soil, are bonds that are often unspoken and often some that people can not relate too unless experienced firsthand.

This couldn’t be more applicable for several members of the 1st Battalion, 623d Field Artillery that are experiencing a deployment to the Middle East together. Although they are all Brothers in Arms, for 11 Citizen-Soldiers, it hits a little closer to home. And only mothers know how having their children in the military overseas puts strains on the family at home.

The 623d is not your average Battalion. Several of these Soldiers have had a family tradition of service in this Battalion that cover several decades. There are uncles, cousins, nephews and brother-in-laws, you name it.

But, for the following Soldiers, its immediate blood that counts. 1st Sgt. Bobby D. Boyles and Sgt. 1st Class Billy J. Boyles, Spcs. Phillip Lowery and Matthew Lowery, Staff Sgt. Joshua Hancock and Sgt. Seth Hancock,  Staff Sgts. Aaron Tucker and Elliot Tucker and to wrap up the brotherhood we have a trifecta – 2nd Lt. Justin Cossel, Sgts. 1st Class Jedediah Cossel and  Jeremy Cossel.

”Our family has a sense of pride as well as apprehension, but, supportive would be the key word as to how our family is,” said Jeremy Cossel. “My brother Jed and I served together in Iraq in 2005 and to have this opportunity again plus to add another brother is remarkable. This is something we will talk about on porches, in rocking chairs one day.”

hancock

Kim Lester shares a smile with her sons, Sgt. Seth Hancock (left) and Staff Sgt. Joshua Hancock prior to the Soldiers deployment to Southwest Asia. The brothers deployed together as part of the 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery. (Photo courtesy of Kim Lester)

Back in Kentucky, the mothers of these Soldiers may have other words than remarkable for having so many sons away from home, and after 10 years of war, its no wonder why.

“This is not the first time I’ve been through this,” said Suette Boyles. “In January 2005 I had two sons and a daughter-in-law in Iraq and my oldest son in Afghanistan at the same time. That was truly a hard time for me. But with a lot of prayer and being able to talk to them often on the computer, I made it and so did my soldiers.”

“We are a close family and visit and share good times and meals on a regular basis. So I really miss them not being available for those times,” she said  However, I know they are doing the work they chose to do and I am very proud of the choices they made.   They are helping others while leaving loved ones far behind.”

“They are in my prayers every night and that is what keeps me going day after day. I also know that when they are deployed, they are sending some other soldiers back home to their moms. I know how she will feel when they return.”

For Kim Lester, mother of Joshua and Seth Hancock, the experience of a deployed child has reoccurred several times since 2005.  She said deployments don’t get easier for her like others have said, but hearing from them and knowing each day is a day closer to their return is reassuring.

“I have to say this deployment has been the hardest one having them both deployed at the same time but I do find some comfort in them being deployed together,” she said. “I am always thankful each time they come home safe, it’s the best feeling in the world as a mom.”

“I honestly can’t describe how proud I am of my sons, of the sacrifices they make to serve our country to keep us free and safe, this is one proud momma. Staff Sergeant Hancock and Sergeant Hancock are my heroes!”

About kentuckyguard