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Coming home to family

Posted: Friday, Nov 2nd, 2012

Seargent Steven Robel returned home to his wife, Lacy, and son, Owen, after serving nine months in Afghanistan. Steven is the son-in-law of Ron and Timilee Wilber of Bridger Valley. COURTESY PHOTO/Stephanie Lowe Photography

BRIDGER VALLEY — Sergeant Steven Robel returned last month from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan to his wife Lacy and their son Owen.

Robel joined the Utah National Guard in May of 2007, and within a couple of months began the Special Forces Qualification course.

The course consisted of six units, which began with the “selection” unit during which 336 cadets began, and 96 remained after the rigorous try-outs. The “warrior leader” course came next, which Robel defined as “professional development for non-commissioned officers.” The small unit tactics unit and SERE Survival school were followed by six-months of intensive language school, and then finally the MOS (military occupational specialty) phase which placed him as an 18-Charlie demolition engineer.

In August of 2009 Robel was transferred to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma and re-classed as a forward observer 13-FOX where he learned how to call in and adjust mortar and artillery fire.

In October of 2010 Robel first heard a rumor that his unit was going to be deployed, attached to Bravo Company I-125 infantry. Whether they would be going or not “went back and forth.”

Camp Shelby, Mississippi, was Robel’s next assignment and he was there until December. After New Year’s the “flights started taking off” headed for, first, Germany, and then, after a layover, continuing on to Shirkhan in the Kunduz Province in far northern Afghanistan.

Robel’s compound was only 6 hundred meters from a bridge over the river bordering with Tajikistan, where for the next nine-months he served as a Senior Joint Fires Observer.

For the complete article see the 11-02-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-02-2012 paper.

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