A company of soldiers from the 40th Infantry Division was welcomed back to Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base on Sunday, August 5, after spending two weeks away from home at annual training at Camp Roberts near San Luis Obispo.
Soldiers and their family members were treated to a barbecue complete with sno-cones and popcorn machine.
Information tables were set up by ESGR — Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve — to answer questions the soldiers might have about returning to their civilian job or finding a civilian job.
Also on hand were volunteers to pass out backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children of soldiers heading back to school later this month.
(First day of school for most government schools locally is September 29! Year-round government schools, private and parochial schools may follow a different schedule.)
Captain Luis Lopez, a high school counselor at his day job, has led the company for the last two years.
“It’s good for families, especially the children, to see the other soldiers,” Captain Lopez said. “At events like this family day, children can see the other family that their father or mother spends time with when not at home.”
Members of the Guard spend one weekend a month away from home plus two weeks of annual training (AT) — unless their unit is deployed. Active deployment can take a Guard member away from home, family and civilian employment for a year or more.
For that reason, it is especially important for the larger community to support not only the individual soldiers but also their families.
Captain Lopez has himself been twice deployed overseas, each time for a year. Operation Noble Eagle III followed the attack on the World Trade Center. Operation Kosovo Force was a NATO-led peacekeeping force in Serbia. He will shortly yield command of his current company to Captain David Weiss, a former enlisted soldier who has seen deployment to Iraq.
Family day events are organized through the Veterans Center at Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. For more information call Cara Borm at 562-370-7680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
File photo. Not the 40th ID.