PHOENIX – As Sgt. Benito Garcia prepares for deployment to Afghanistan with the Arizona Army National Guard’s 363rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, he said he worries most about the potential for downtime and not being able to help out.
“I know that sounds weird, but in our career field you can’t really be scared,” he said.
Family members, friends and members of the Arizona Patriot Guard Riders were on hand Tuesday for a ceremony honoring Garcia and nine other members of his unit.
They will spend 30 days at Fort Bliss in Texas for the final preparations before heading overseas.
The unit is responsible for safely discovering, removing and disposing of explosive devices for the military and civilians.
All 10 soldiers have already completed one tour overseas and are joining over 500 Arizona Army and Air National Guard members currently serving on active duty.
Garcia was starting his third tour but his first as part of this company.
He was in Iraq in 2003 and 2007 with the Army and California National Guard, respectively. He moved to Arizona because he had family in the state.
Garcia spent nine months in Florida learning how to deactivate explosives.
“Anyone can get a rifle and combat training,” he said. “I wanted to do something harder, something to challenge myself.”
It also was the third deployment for Sgt. Ritz-Tyler Sadang of Scottsdale. His wife, Danielle, said this goodbye is as difficult as the first.
“He was an active duty engineer, now he’s an EOD tech,” she said. “His position kind of moved up on the dangerous chain.”
Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, commanding general of the Arizona National Guard, said member of the company are “truly experts in the field.”
“It doesn’t make a difference how big the unit is,” Salazar said during the ceremony. “Everybody needs these guys.”
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick