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Kansas to Kandahar: Citizen Soldiers at War

In the Film

Lieutenant Colonel Walter Bradley

Lieutenant Colonel Walter Bradley

Lieutenant Colonel Walter Bradley
Bradley is a native of the Hudson Valley in New York State and has worked in law enforcement across the country, his first job being an MP at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point.  Beginning with active duty in the Army, 1972 – 1975, he has 30 years of service with active duty or reserve components.

Though he still drills with Bravo Company in Kansas, he no longer commands the unit but reports to the Aviation Brigade Headquarters in Chicago.

Bradley is the U.S. Marshall for the District of Kansas.

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Sergeant Mark Hornbuckle

Sergeant Mark Hornbuckle

Sergeant Mark Hornbuckle
Hornbuckle was raised in a military family and moved from state to state throughout his childhood.  When his father retired from active duty in Kansas, it became home.  Since Hornbuckle’s return home from this deployment in October 2006, He has left the Reserves and his civilian job.  He and his family have moved to Junction City, Kansas, where he is now a Kansas National Guard recruiter for the Geary County area. 

“I think about Afghanistan all the time,” he says, “especially with my oldest brother soon to be deployed there and my youngest brother still in Iraq.  Having so many people in harm’s way makes you very sad.  I’m just glad I’m home.”  --SGT Mark Hornbuckle

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Specialist Josh Hutchison

Specialist Josh Hutchison

Specialist Josh Hutchison
A native of Dallas, Texas, Hutchison landed in the Kansas City area as a boy and considers it home.  He and his wife are now rebuilding their company, Heartland Services, a chimney and fireplace repair business.  The business suffered substantially during the year’s deployment.  Josh and Amanda Hutchison still report for duty with Bravo Company.

“Afghanistan is an ongoing part of our lives,” she says, “though I was never there.  He’s been back seven months now, but he talks about it so much that it seems like yesterday.  The deployment seemed to last so incredibly long.”  --SPC Amanda Hutchison

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Sergeant Tim McDermid

Sergeant Tim McDermid

Sergeant Tim McDermid
McDermid is a native of the Kansas City area and has returned to work as a civilian employee at the Bravo Company base, as a sheet metal mechanic.  He and his wife are building a new home and expecting a second child in September, 2007.

Though McDermid has served deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s the latter he thinks about more. 

“For me, I think about it all the time.  I work with the guys I lived with there.  It’s always there with us.  We’ve got this something to share.  I also think about it in the sense that if I hadn’t gone on that deployment, I might have been in my own house by now.” –SGT Tim McDermid

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First Lieutenant Betty Pina

First Lieutenant Betty Pina

First Lieutenant Betty Pina
Pina has lived in many towns across the South and Midwest and loves flying as much as anything in the world.  Since returning from this deployment in October, 2006 she has worked part time as a civilian employee at the Bravo base, but is now in the interview process for a job with the F.B.I. 

“The Reserves has been a perfect fit for me,” she says, “but I need full-time flying.  I’ve recently started participating in Aerobatic events – you know, flying loops and rolls and spins and hammerheads in a single engine plane.  It’s wonderful fun.”  --LT Betty Pina

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Major Doyle Riley

Major Doyle Riley

Major Doyle Riley
A native of Missouri, Riley has spent most of his adult life in the U.S. Army Reserves, with 16 years of service.  His civilian job is helicopter flight instructor at Bravo Company base, but he now reports to another unit, the 166th Aviation Brigade in Ft. Riley, Kansas. 

Recently Riley has been advising and consulting with a Reserve company from Rochester, New York, which is about to be deployed to Afghanistan.

“I think of Afghanistan every day of my life, “ he says. “A sight or a voice or a word will take me back there, back to anything from the chow hall to a particular mission we flew.  It never goes away.”  --MJR Doyle Riley

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First Sergeant Russell Reese

First Sergeant Russell Reese

First Sergeant Russell Reese
A native of Kansas, Reese grew up no more than 15 minutes from the Bravo base.  His position as First Sergeant to Bravo Company makes him a full-time employee at the unit. 

“Afghanistan’s still with us every day,” he says.  “Something happens here.  We sit around and talk about what happened there, and it’s neat to hear the other guys’ side of the story of what happened there, all kinds of stuff I never knew.”  --SGT Russell Reese

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All Rights Reserved. Published July 2006
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