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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Paratrooper Has Special Guest at Re-enlistment

2 Jul 07
4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division
Public Affairs
.

KALSU, Iraq - Re-enlistment in the United States Army often times brings many perks. Extra money or choice of duty station, along with free hats, shirts and coffee mugs are just a few of them.

Recently, one paratrooper’s re-enlistment came with an added bonus.

Pfc. Jason Steffen, a mechanic with the 725th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, stationed at Forward Operating Base Kalsu had a special guest at his re-enlistment ceremony June 27 – his father.

Mr. Robert Steffen, Jason’s father, is a mechanic working in the International Zone in Baghdad and was able to get a few days off work to attend his son’s ceremony.

“In all my years doing this job I have never seen, heard or had the pleasure of being part of anything like this,” said Master Sgt. Douglas Goodwin, the non-commissioned officer in charge of the brigade retention office. “For this young paratrooper to be able to re-enlist for one more tour while in a combat zone and have his family there to take part in the ceremony is really something special.”

The younger Steffen has followed in his father’s footsteps, himself a career military man who recently retired after 21 years of service, and joined the Army out of high school.

“I was actually really surprised when he told me he had joined as a mechanic,” Robert said. “Until then, he had never even shown the slightest interest in working on cars.” According to Jason, his father had always told him, “as long as there are cars, there will be a need for mechanics,” so it seemed to be a logical choice of jobs going into the military.

Both father and son agree that it is nice having family so close while being so far from home, but both agree that they worry for one another constantly. “I worry all the time about him,” said Jason. “I know exactly what he means,” his father continued. “I’m a dad, I can’t help but worry.”

While the reunion was short lived this time because of Jason’s mission requirements, both hope they will see each other again in the near future. “I am trying to go up there and see him at least one more time before we leave,” said Jason. “I just hope everything works out.”

So far for the younger Steffen, with his re-enlistment bonus and visits with his family, everything has worked out just fine thus far.

Photo - Capt. Scott Key, commander of Company B, 725th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division presents Mr. Robert Steffen with a token of appreciation following his son’s re-enlistment ceremony. Photo courtesy of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Public Affairs.

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