Sailors prepare for deployment after going IA

POW/MIA Table

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Anna Wade
USS BULKELEY DDG 84, ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 7, 2010) — Sailors who have recently deployed as Individual Augmentees (IA) prepare to leave for deployment aboard guided missile destroyer USS Bulkeley.
Regardless how sailors deal with coming home from an IA, they still have to perform their duties with their current commands.
“It can be hard transitioning between going IA and coming home to your regular command because you don’t do the same job and life in general is different over there” said Engineman 3rd Class Dustin Kliner who just got back from going IA in September. He said there are just some things that take a while to get back into, for instance, his rate duties as an Engineman.
A sailor who is “Going IA” is considered have temporarily left his/her command to help fill a U.S. Army or Marine vacancy in a conflict zone. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, there have been an increasing number of IA billets needing to be filled. Sailors often volunteer to go IA to help fill the needs of their brothers and sisters fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Nicholas Abshear is one of those sailors. After volunteering to serve in Afghanistan for one year, Abshear is once again preparing to leave for deployment with a positive outlook on his future. He is a sailor who sees the glass half full with everything in life.
“I signed up for this military life. I understand that if you are in the Navy, you will always be leaving, and it just gets easier after your third time around, “Abshear said about coping with the stress of being forward deployed. Abshear doesn’t let the past interfere with the future.
Abshear is among a handful of sailors aboard Bulkeley who all volunteered to help in different countries around the globe. Logistics Specialist 1st Class Georgina Johnson, Kliner, Sonar Technician 3rd Class Armando Pena and Kliner are the sailors who most recently returned from going IA aboard Bulkeley. Now after a long year of IA duties, these Bulkeley sailors are preparing yet again to deploy with their current command. Their courage, dedication and volunteerism are highly praised and respected.
Sea deployments are a regular part of the Navy lifestyle, but special IA deployments are different. The circumstances encountered during certain IA missions can lead sailors to have a completely different perspective of life; some experiences are positive, while others are negative. For example, negative experiences in combat zones could lead sailors to develop Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). These missions are not easy and sometimes cause emotional turmoil with some sailors.
“You only get six months of guaranteed land time after being away to IA,” said Abshear. (Abshear’s six months will be over right before he leaves again.)
Johnson was one of the sailors who recently got back from going IA and has the choice not to deploy because her six months overlaps deployment. However, she is choosing to support her crew and go on deployment with the ship.
They still all push forward and prepare to leave again. Thank you all for serving our country even more than you originally signed up for and staying positive.

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