Madison County’s Daniel Eubanks is being deployed to Afghanistan this month. The Journal recently conducted the following interview with Eubanks. If you would like to send a message to Eubanks, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in sending letters, cards or care packages to Eubanks and other members of his unit in Afghanistan can also send a message to that e-mail address for more information.
Can you talk a little about your unit? What is the name of it? What do you do?
Our unit here at Schofield Barracks is a very close family. We do a lot of batallion functions. We are part of the 25th Infantry Division. Our unit is the 2nd batallion 35th infantry division. Also known as 2-35 IN “Cacti.” Here with the Cacti I am a member of Alpha Company better known as the Apaches. Our motto is “Rock Of The Nam,” which we received during the Vietnam War. Here I just hone my skills as a 13F (Fire Support Specialist). I call for artillery fire, mortar fire, and fire from our helicopters.
What are you doing in Hawaii? What do you think of being there? What do you do for entertainment apart from your duties?
As of now in Hawaii we are getting ready to take our part in the mission Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan non-stop training. Doing all we can to be 100 percent in Afghanistan and we are prepared for whatever we may face overseas. I love it in Hawaii. I could not have asked for a better first duty station. Hawaii is a beautiful place with a lot of scenic places around. On my off time I go down to North Shore and go surf and hang out on the beach, or go to Waikiki at night time to see all the unique things Waikiki has to offer — fireworks every Friday night and movies on the beach on a big screen every weekend.
What made you decide to join the military? Has it been like you expected before you signed up? In what ways is it different than what you expected?
My reason for joining the military is because I love my country and I will do anything to defend it. The Army is a lot like I expected it would be. I have a few family members who have served before me who have told me stories of what it was like. Some ways it is different. As far as differences I cannot think of any. It’s pretty much as I expected it would be.
Apart from your family, what do you miss most about Madison County? What do you like to do when you’re here?
Family is by far my number one that I miss the most. Apart from them, I miss all my friends I have back at home, and I miss the small community where everybody knows everybody. Sometimes being here in Hawaii you feel out of place. You have all the big city lights and all the city stuff that you do not have back at Madison County. Just miss being in the country where it’s just calm and relaxing. When I’m back home I love spending time with my family and friends, because without my family and friends I wouldn’t be who I am today. I enjoy going to athletic games at the high school to see some of my friends and the coaches I played with a few years ago when I was in school.
What is your schedule now? I understand you may be shipping out soon?
Our schedule here now being a few weeks away from leaving is just about like a normal day. We come in at 0600 for PT, finish PT around 0745, have our formation at 0900 to start our day off. After that we just take care of whatever the day holds. As of now it’s just packing up all of our gear that we need for our upcoming deployment and packing up all of our personal stuff to store while we are gone overseas.
Can you talk about what your duties will be in Afghanistan and how you feel about the upcoming deployment?
As far as my duties in Afghanistan I cannot disclose a lot of information on that. I will be upholding my job as a fire support specialist calling for indirect fire whenever we need it. As far as this deployment goes, I have a million emotions running through me. I am excited and anxious to get there. This is what I have trained for, for the past six months. It will be nerve racking with this being my first tour to Afghanistan as we are going to the RC East portion on the Pakistan border, so it will be very tense up there. But all of our soldiers here are all trained to perfection and are ready to defend the United States of America.
What are your long-term plans beyond this tour? Do you want a career in the military or do you plan to do something else later?
As far as my long-term plans go with the military I am still undecided at this point, but I do love serving this great country and all the people that live here. As far as whenever I do get out of the Army I plan on going to the law enforcement branch after the military.
What do soldiers like receiving most in the mail? What do you like to get?
As far as mail is concerned, soldiers here just love receiving stuff that just reminds them as home. With us being in this part of Afghanistan we don’t have a lot of facilities so candy, snacks, and other goodies are what we all enjoy receiving. I personally do not have a favorite — just getting anything from back home means a lot no matter what it may be.
Editor’s Note: If you have contact information for other Madison County soldiers who are serving, or are training to serve, in combat zones, you can e-mail us at email@example.com, and we will be pleased to print a question-and-answer piece, along with a photo of that soldier.