Story and Photo by
Capt. Richard Barker
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, “Task Force Wings,” 25th Infantry Division, presented combat patches to Soldiers who are on their first deployment with the 25th ID at a patch ceremony, here, March 8.
Soldiers who have been on a combat deployment can wear a unit patch on their right sleeve, which they earn during their deployments after 30 days on ground.
“The patch is a rite of passage,” said Capt. Aaron Matthews, commander, HHC, 25th CAB. “It’s a recognition of their sacrifice to the United States of America for being part of a combat deployment.”
Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th CAB, talked to Soldiers following the ceremony to let them know they are now part of an elite club that only 1 percent of Americans has the privilege of joining.
“This was long awaited,” said Spc. Clint Swisher, signal support systems specialist, HHC, 25th CAB. “I’m glad to finally be able to wear this patch. I have been in the rear before and always wanted to feel like I was part of the team. Now I do.”
HHC is one of several companies in the 25th CAB that have conducted similar patch ceremonies during the last few weeks since first arriving in Afghanistan in early January.
“I feel proud,” said Sgt. Jacqueline Garza, a command group administrative assistant, 25th CAB. “I have been excited to get my patch and feel like I fall in with the rest of my peers.”
Garza, along with other HHC Soldiers who earned their patch at the ceremony, now fit in with the more than 2,500 deployed 25th CAB Soldiers wearing the 25th ID combat patch.