Lt. Col. Isaac Gipson, commander, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, 69th ADA Bde., speaks to Soldiers and families of his battalion July 29 at the Phantom Warrior Center on Fort Hood, Texas, during a deployment fair.

Sgt. Kimberly Lessmeister | 69th ADA Public Affairs Office

Pfc. Sergei Gifford and his spouse, Amanda, know what to expect when it comes to being deployed as Defense Department contractors.

The couple, who met in 2009 in Baghdad, Iraq, while working as DOD contractors, needed to learn what it was like to experience deployment as an active-duty Army family.

The Giffords attended a deployment fair July 29 at the Phantom Warrior Center for Sergei Gifford’s unit, 4th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

The soldier said he wanted to bring his wife and 7-month-old son, Daniel, to the deployment fair so they could get the most information possible.

“As long as they get the knowledge, I feel safe and secure to leave,” he said.

Representatives from programs including Army Community Service, Military One Source, Fort Hood Morale, Welfare and Recreation and the brigade’s family readiness group set up tables and passed out informational pamphlets.

Amanda Gifford said she initially felt overwhelmed by the thought of a deployment fair, but was glad that she went.

“It prepared me,” she said. “Now I won’t be freaking out if I have to get something from him and I can’t get a hold of him; I know who to contact now.”

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