• April 16, 2014

Reserve, Guard soldiers refocus on training after Nov. 5 shootings

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Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 8:09 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Spc. Anthony Hooker

120th Infantry Brigade public affairs

Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers preparing for overseas deployments at North Fort Hood are recovering from the Nov. 5 shooting incident that left 13 people dead.

The 120th Infantry Brigade, a subordinate training brigade of First Army Division West, is reintegrating all the units residing at North Fort Hood back into the training schedule. Lt. Col. Arthur Hobbs, the officer in charge of the 120th's Mobilization Assistance Team, said the brigade is committed to returning the training to normal.

"As we move away from the Nov. 5 incident, we are working to get units to refocus on training although a horrible thing has happened to them," Hobbs said.

Pfcs. Christina Fauver and Tayzha Taylor, Soldiers from the Arizona Army National Guard's 158th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, are two of more than 750 soldiers currently mobilized at North Fort Hood.

Taylor and Fauver are "battle buddies" - soldiers assigned to look out for one another based on their rank and time in service. Both soldiers, who are preparing for their first deployment, said they were discouraged by news of the shooting, but not defeated.

Taylor said she was able to refocus by thinking of her son and what lessons he might take from her ability to "toughen up."

"My son is my heart. I do everything for my son," Taylor said. "I don't want my son to look back and say, 'My mom just quit and didn't give her hundred percent.' He's 15 months now, but I don't want to give him an excuse in the future to quit at something."

Taylor's personal strength rubbed off onto her, Fauver said. "If it wasn't for Taylor being here, I probably would have lost it already," Fauver said. "The day the shooting occurred, she kept me on my feet."

Master Sgt. Carla Hodge, also with the 158th, is charged with helping young soldiers such as Fauver and Taylor cope with difficult situations.

Open communication is the best way to fight individual struggles during a deployment, Hodge said. Talking about any challenges or problems with someone, she said, is the best way to relieve the pressure of those issues.

"I always encourage soldiers to come see me and, on the flip side, sometimes I might need their support."

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