Deployment fair prepares Fort Wainwright soldiers families for upcoming deployment

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska Soldiers and their families from the 1st Stryker Brigade gathered during 'Arctic Wolf Week,' a time to gather resources and prepare for the upcoming year.

Soldiers and their families from the 1st Stryker Brigade gathered during 'Arctic Wolf Week,' a time to gather resources and prepare for the upcoming year.

"All of our soldiers and their family members are going to have a deal of challenges over the next year, but the big thing is, none of them are going to have to negotiate those challenges alone, so the purpose of this week is really just meaningful communication and developing relationships. Experts talking to, perhaps folks that are new to the Army, to try to get information and figure out how we can negotiate future challenges together," said Brown.

The deployment fair had over 50 agencies present to provide soldiers and their families information from across Fort Wainwright and in the community of Fairbanks.

"Everything from Alaska Department of Fish and Game to Army Community Services, legal assistance, all here, and that's all designed again to create some meaningful communication between our soldiers and their family members and the installation, the community wide experts that can help them negotiate some of the challenges over the coming year," said Brown.

In the mornings, Battalions competed in sports including flag football, softball and a ruck march competition. “Clearly the fields of friendly strife, bring some incredible opportunities for team building, and it was awesome seeing the entirety of the brigade out here on the first day getting after it."

The whole brigade joined together for the week to prepare for the deployment.

"Even though a little over half the brigade initially is deploying, all of our soldiers need to be ready to continue to move forward and support everything that's going on, and in addition to that, clearly we’ll have a number of missions that we'll continue back here to make sure that we're ready in the summer of 2020 to come back together and continue to be successful."

Military spouse Laura Cory says with her husband's first deployment, they hadn't had any children yet, and with this one, they have four children, so this deployment will bring new challenges. "Even though some wives, and spouses, and even family members tend to get like 'oh we know what's going on, we don't' need that information, but everything changes, it's not the same deployment it was, maybe even a year ago, or ten years ago, so we want to make sure we get our families ready and make sure we have all that information supported to them."

More than 2,000 soldiers from the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team will be deploying to Iraq in the fall.