Despite the difficulty of being a single mother and having to leave her 2-year-old son in his father’s care, Spc. Tarleesha Lowery said she’s ready to do big things for her country.

“This isn’t a job. This is a career,” said Lowery, a soldier with the 4th Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.

After three years in the military, Lowery deployed for the first time Saturday to Kuwait alongside about 300 other “Guns Attack” Battalion soldiers. The Apache helicopter unit will be stationed at the Central Command’s theater of operations for nine months.

“We are focused on maintaining good relationships with our partners, maintaining stability in the region and training our partners,” said commander Lt. Col. Hank Perry, after the unit cased its colors Thursday at Cooper Field.

Perry said pilots and soldiers in the battalion will conduct maritime operations and security using Apache helicopters.

Maj. Mary Miller, the battalion’s executive officer, said soldiers are prepared because of training they received, including aerial gunnery, small-arms weapons, basic Army warrior tasks and pilot briefings for soldiers who will fly Apaches over and around Kuwait during their water security mission.

“Over the past 10 months, (your commanders) successfully developed your battalion into a lethal, agile and adaptive force ready to execute your unique mission in support of the U.S. Army’s Central Command,” said Col. Cory A. Mendenhall, brigade commander. “You will be asked to execute your mission with the upmost precision and professionalism. Your ability to work through adversity as a team will be tested every day and success will be measured in your readiness to deliver lethal fires to destroy the enemy in a moment’s notice.”

Perry said his battalion is trained and ready for its contingency and training operations.

“We’ll aggressively get after our mission,” Perry said. “I have no question, when given any of our military missions, that we will accomplish it together, as a team.”

Miller said she expects troops to make a positive impact on Kuwait throughout the mission.

“It’s going to be a good mission. We’ve been back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan and so this is something different,” Miller said. “Everybody’s excited about what we’re going to be doing over there. We already have a strong bond with Kuwait. ... This will make it even stronger.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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