By Army Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea
Special to American Forces Press Service
April 23, 2009 - A Multinational Division Baghdad supply sergeant here knows a thing or two about deploying. He's serving the seventh deployment of his Army career, his fifth since 2001. Sgt. 1st Class Trevino L. Copeland, a native of Lincoln, Neb., enlisted in July 1990 as an infantryman.
His last five deployments have been with the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. This is his third deployment to Iraq, and he also has deployed twice to Afghanistan.
Prior to becoming a supply specialist, Copeland was deployed as an infantryman in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, where he served with the now-inactive 24th Infantry Division. Copeland also deployed in support of efforts in Bosnia while assigned with the 1st Armored Division.
For this 36-year-old paratrooper, the Army experience has been a sacrifice. The deployments have been hard on him, he admitted, but he added that he's proud to be a solider and of serving when his country needed him most.
"For the country's freedom, this is just a small sacrifice for a better and secure future," Copeland said. "To be involved in this generation's most significant events, and look back one day and say that I was a part of it really makes me proud."
Copeland had a brief break in service before rejoining the Army in 2000 and becoming a supply specialist. As a supply specialist serving in Iraq, Copeland is responsible for ordering and accounting for thousands of dollars worth of equipment. He works with local vendors in Iraq to ensure his unit has all the necessary equipment it needs to be effective in combat.
Copeland has seen the change in security and the recent gains across Iraq over the past few years. He witnessed some of the heaviest fighting in the war during his deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2003 and 2004.
"There is a big difference from back then until now," he said. "The Iraqis are taking the lead, and we are just here to assist them."
Copeland's family has a history of military service. His grandfather served during World War I, where he was seriously wounded and lost a leg. His brother served in the Marine Corps.
Following his deployment, Copeland said, he plans to retire from military service and hopes to pursue a bachelor's degree and continue serving his country as a civilian.
(Army Sgt. 1st Class Alex Licea serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)