by Sean Cayton
Freelance Photographer

It’s said the second draft of a story is always stronger than the first. This might also be true of the second draft of a photo story.

For the second time in three years the 3rd Armored Cavalry is being deployed to Iraq and the Fort Carson Army Post just outside of Colorado Springs is buzzing in preparation.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved


A soldier with the 3rd Armored Cavalry loads baggage bound for Iraq on to a DC-10 at the Jet Center in Colorado Springs.




A soldier with the 3rd Armored Cavalry prepares to board a DC-10 bound for Iraq at the Jet Center in Colorado Springs. It will be the second deployment in three years for the 3rd ACR.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved
Sgt. Francis Garren of New Haven, Mo., holds his crutch as he waits to receive the Purple Heart in a ceremony at the Fort Carson Army Post. Garren was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The Purple Heart was awarded to 45 soldiers with 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

In addition, a second round of memorial services at the Soldier's Memorial Chapel honoring soldiers killed in Iraq has already begun.

A jet soars over the Soldier's Memorial Chapel at Fort Carson during a memorial service for soldiers killed in Iraq. The memorial service honored 13 soldier's with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved

The war on terror is very real here in Colorado Springs and for the second time I'm covering the deployment of soldier's to Iraq and the memorial services and awards ceremonies that inevitably come with it.

The story demonstrates again that the Global War On Terror isn’t just happening in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s happening in small towns and cities throughout the United States.

The Fort Carson Mountain Post is home to the 3rd ACR and it’s the new home for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

The 2nd BCT is in Iraq already, but it’s rear detachment was recently moved from a post in Korea to the Fort Carson Post. Consequently, memorial services for soldier’s who were killed in Iraq since last September are being held at the chapel at Fort Carson.

For everyone, there is a sense that we’ve been through this before.

Soldiers are boarding the planes to Iraq, but not with the same anticipation as the first time. They are also better prepared. They carry with them new laptop computers, DVD players and even books about the U.S.A.’s failure in international diplomacy.

Soldier's are better prepared the second time around. Specialist Josh McCormack reads 'The Bubble of American Supremacy' by George Soros as he waits to deploy to Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry. McCormack said he saw the book in Barnes and Noble and decided to purchase it before his trip.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved

Humvees and other vehicles are loaded onto the trains at the post and this time the equipment is newly armored for protection against the IED’s that are so prevalent in Iraq.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved

The 3rd Armored Cavalry is better prepared with newly armored equipment to defend against roadside bombs in Iraq. A soldier loads equipment at the rail depot at Fort Carson in preparation for the trip.

Memorial services are being held in batches on Post rather than one soldier at a time. The 2nd BCT is memorializing nearly 50 of its soldiers who were killed in Iraq since its deployment there.

Memorial services for soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat team were held in batches at the Soldier's Memorial Chapel on the Fort Carson Post. A candle burns beside the rifles and helmuts honoring 13 soldier's killed in Iraq since Septemeber.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved

The Public Affairs personnel are more careful of the media.

They take notes during newspaper and television interviews. They request photographers and reporters to sign written agreements before covering events on post. And they are setting ‘ground rules’ before the start of each event so that we all clearly understand what we can and cannot do.

©Sean Cayton/All Rights Reserved
Fort Carson media relations keep careful notes on any interviews with the media. Here, 1st Lt. Justin Journeay takes notes alongside TV cameramen and Gazette military affairs reporter Tom Roeder during an interview with a soldier after a memorial service.

Everyone is better prepared the second time around.

I am better prepared too.

Covering these events again makes me more aware of the responsibility I have as a journalist to report (no matter how distant I am from the front lines) on the effects and the consequences of the Global War On Terror in the community where I live and work.

Sean Cayton



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