A little rest and relaxation welcomed by member of local National Guard unit

A little rest and relaxation welcomed by member of local National Guard unit
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Rodney Howard is enjoying a little time off from work.
Howard is a sergeant in Union City’s 913th Engineer Co. that left town in late August 2011. The soldiers spent some time training in west Texas before flying over to Kuwait, where Howard has been since October 2011.
Is he glad to be home?
“Oh yes,” Howard said with a broad smile.
He actually arrived back in West Tennessee earlier this week and will return to Kuwait later this month. Howard has worked as a member of The Messenger’s press crew for the past four years.
He has been busy visiting his family in Greenfield and his friends around the area.
This is Howard’s second deployment to the Middle East. He served in Iraq in 2005-06 during a much more tense time than he is experiencing now in Kuwait.
“I was pleased to be based where I am…where I’d spent some time in 2006,” he said during an interview Thursday afternoon.
Howard is an important member of his company’s maintenance platoon in Kuwait. His job involves supplying parts for the vehicles and equipment used by his company.
“I go on parts runs every day,” he said.
Howard is also the publications NCO and that involves his acquiring technical manuals for his maintenance platoon.
What’s a typical day like in Kuwait?
“It’s a work day. We work the same schedule every day. It’s like (the movie) ‘Groundhog Day,’” Howard said. “You stay busy for a while and then you’re not busy for a while.”
The weather, he said, is typically sunny and mild every day.
Howard said the living conditions in Kuwait are “very good” and are a major improvement over the conditions he and his fellow soldiers experienced training in Texas as well as the conditions he endured during his first tour of duty in Iraq several years ago.
He said the food is “excellent” and said he stays in shape riding his bike to work and on errands.
He and his fellow soldiers in Kuwait have access to cable television, phones and the Internet, which help them stay in touch with life back home.
“She’s handling it fine,” Howard said about his wife, Angelia Howard.
He said she has been kept busy with her work and with homeschooling their daughter.
Howard said one of his daily routines is doing the crossword puzzle in the Stars and Stripes newspaper.
There are other activities offered to the soldiers from the local National Guard unit, including karaoke, Bingo, morale runs and even some big name concerts. Howard, an obvious country music fan, said Aaron Tippin and Darryl Worley have performed for soldiers in Kuwait.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 1.20.12

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