Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Couple re-enlists together while deployed to Iraq

By Spc. Chris McCann
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) PAO

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq — Most Soldiers who reenlist in a combat zone do it without their families. However one military policeman had his wife not only by his side, but repeating the same oath.
Sgt. Chih-Hsiung Easling, a native of Dundee, N.Y., and his wife Spc. Cortney Easling, originally of Moore, Okla., both military police with the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., re-enlisted Thursday.
Capt. Robert Trent, a native of Roanoke, Va., led the couple in the oath of re-enlistment at the 2nd BCT’s tactical operations center. Trent was formerly the Easlings’ company commander; he now serves as the 2nd BCT’s assistant communications officer.
The Easlings met in July of 2005 when Cortney, newly arrived to Fort Drum after initial entry training, was in the same company as Chih-Hsiung, who had just returned from a deployment to Iraq with the 2nd BCT. They were married on Feb. 17, 2006.
The military is a good fit for them both, they said.
“This is what I do, and this is what I love,” said Chih-Hsiung, a team leader, who enlisted eight years ago as a signal Soldier and changed his military occupational specialty about two years ago to military police.
“I was raised military,” said Cortney, who serves as a 2nd BSTB driver, and has several family members in various branches of the military. “I always said that I’d join the Army. I’ve done what I said I would do, and once I met (my husband), it gave me incentive to stay.”
Cortney’s wanted to re-enlist as a canine unit dog handler, and once that request was granted, she said, it gave her still another reason to re-enlist.
Chih-Hsiung said he plans to make the Army a career and serve 20 years or more. Cortney wants to stay in the military for awhile, but isn’t sure it will be a career.
“I want to stay in so that we can support (children) when we have them. I still may make a career of it.”
Upon their return from Camp Striker, Iraq, to the United States, Cortney will go to dog-handling school at Lackland Air Force Base, near San Antonio, Texas, and the couple will move to their new post.
“They’re two of the best MPs we have,” Trent said. “They both step up and say ‘roger’ when things need to be done.”
“I re-enlisted for my husband and the leadership here,” said Cortney. “I needed help when I first came into the Army, and they provided it.”
Chih-Hsiung, who has been serving for seven years, thanked his wife and the other 2nd BCT Soldiers for their support at the ceremony.
“I hope everyone understands what I’m doing, and why I’m doing this,” he said. “I want to do this – serve in the Army – for the next twenty or thirty years.”

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