Guam Reservists Deploy In Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Guam –  Three Guam Army Reservists were honored at the 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment’s deployment ceremony in Hawaii Sunday.

[JAV 0150: (Courtesy Photo) From left to right, Guam residents Spc. Charlene Apatang Mendiola, Capt. Valerie Gray and Spc. Eve Ililau stand together following the 305th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment’s deployment ceremony at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Aug. 8. The Army Reserve Soldiers are scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom this month.]

Capt. Valerie Gray, Spc. Charlene Apatang Mendiola and Spc. Eve Ililau are scheduled to deploy to Iraq this month to provide critical public affairs support as U.S. Forces Iraq transitions from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn. This transition, which is slated for September 1, will signify the end of combat operations and the beginning of stability operations for U.S. Forces Iraq.  

Mendiola, a broadcast journalist, said she is looking forward to the deployment.  

“Not only is it an honor to serve this country, but I’m also proud to be a daughter of the Mariana Islands and to represent the Chamorro pride,” she said.  

Though the Soldiers are excited about the upcoming challenges ahead of them, they are also sad to be away from their loved ones.  

“I’m honored to serve my island and my country, but I’m definitely going to miss my family and friends,” said Gray, who will be serving as a public affairs officer.   

Mendiola echoed Gray’s sentiments.  

“The greatest challenge is going to be being away from my family,” she said. “My family is the backbone of my progression and my inspiration,” said Mendiola.  

This will be the first deployment for all of the Guamanian Soldiers.  

The 305th MPAD is a subordinate unit of the 9th Mission Support Command, which is headquartered at Fort Shafter Flats, Honolulu, Hawaii.  

The 9th Mission Support Command is a U.S. Army Reserve command under the operational control of U.S. Army, Pacific. Some of the major subordinate units include the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment; the 322nd Civil Affairs Brigade; the 657th Area Support Group; and the 411th Engineer Battalion. With units located in Guam, Saipan, Alaska, American Samoa, Hawaii, Japan and Korea, the 9th MSC truly embodies the spirit of their motto,“Pride of the Pacific!” For more information contact Christina Douglas at (808) 438-1600 ext. 3114, (808) 253-8049, or at [email protected]