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Seventh-generation Soldier Reflects on Heritage

By Army Sgt. Christopher Calvert

For many service members, joining the military is a choice to serve their country and better their own lives. For one 1st Air Cavalry Brigade soldier, it’s a choice that runs deep in his bloodline for more than 200 years.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Army Sgt. Robert George III, a signal support systems specialist with 1st Cavalry Division’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade performs signal support operations at Fort Hood, Texas, Sept. 6, 2013. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Christopher Calvert

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Army Sgt. Robert George III, a signal support systems specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st ACB, 1st Cavalry Division, is no stranger to the military. It’s been a part of his family’s heritage since his fifth great-grandfather fought in the Continental Army.

In fact, the Tucson, Ariz., native has had members of his family fight in most major armed conflicts since the 18th century, including the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Word War I and Operation Desert Storm.

Cpl. John Albright, George’s fifth great-grandfather, fought during the Revolutionary War in Valley Forge and the Siege of Yorktown. Albright was taken prisoner twice, once by the British for 11 months after the fall of Fort Montgomery, and once by Native Americans during the fall of Fort Stanwix, where he was forced to carry heavy loads to Canada before receiving his freedom in a trade.

After Albright received his liberty, he immediately returned to service to continue fighting for the Continental Army, George said.

“There’s no way for me to feel more proud,” George said. “The sense of pride I have in knowing the patriotism I developed is not just based on a single act of terrorism, but it’s ingrained in the fabric of my family history.”

Despite growing up with military roots, George originally was unable to enlist in the armed forces due to a medical disqualification; however, at 16, he felt a calling from a higher power, which would lead him down a different path after high school.

“When I was 16, I became very religious and felt a desire to go into ministry,” George said. “I did a year of junior college and then a year of seminary. Afterward, I became an interim youth pastor in Tucson, which was very enjoyable, as it gave me the opportunity to help people.”

George would reach a turning point in his life shortly after becoming an interim youth pastor when he traveled with his ministry team to ground zero after 9/11 to provide emotional support to victims and family members affected by the tragic attacks on that fateful day.

It was then that George’s sense of patriotism took over, and after conflicts in multiple countries began, he decided to try his luck again at entering the military.

“My former roommate from seminary contacted me after getting discharged from the military, and I ended up moving in with him in California,” George said. “I began thinking it was maybe possible for me to join due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so I gave it another shot.”

George visited his recruiter in 2004 in hopes of fulfilling his desire to serve. His mother’s 20-year career in the Air Force and participation in Operation Desert Storm influenced him to attempt to enlist as an airman, he said.

He qualified to join, but after all the paperwork was complete, he was informed he would not be shipping out to initial training for 12 months. It was this delay, coupled with a lack of funds, that made him decide to pursue another branch of service, he said.

“When I was told it would be a 12-month wait, I immediately grabbed my paperwork and went straight to the Army recruiter next door,” George said. “The Army was able to offer me not only a job that I could utilize skills in after exiting the military, but also a duty station of choice while shipping out within six weeks. With all of that being said, my mom still pokes fun at me for not joining the Air Force.”

After graduating from advanced individual training, George went on to be stationed in California, South Korea and Washington before ending up here in January 2011 with the Air Cav.

He deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom for a year with the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st ACB, in June 2011. This deployment would make him a seventh-generation warfighter in his family, a feat George said makes him proud.

“I’m extremely proud of the nine years of service I’ve had so far, and especially of my time in Afghanistan,” he said. “It feels great to build upon my family’s lineage of serving this great nation.”

Marie George, George’s wife and a Salisbury, Mo., native, echoed her husband’s patriotism.

“I’m very proud of his service,” Marie said. “He chose to serve his country during a time of war. That alone takes a lot of physical and emotional strength, and it also shows a lot of character. To build upon that, he’s using his educational benefits and balancing being a new father to our 6-month-old. He isn’t just serving to honor his family’s history. He’s doing it for himself, too.”

Army 1st Sgt. Fernanda Redwine, HHC first sergeant and Henderson, Texas, native, said George has helped the company excel since becoming a member of the “Warlords” in January.

“Although he has only been with us nine months, his contributions to the [signal and communication capabilities] and the brigade have been nothing short of excellent,” Redwine said. “He plays a key role, … being only one of two communication security custodians for the entire brigade. “This NCO is always motivated when I see him, never late for duty, very enthusiastic, and most importantly, he is family-oriented first,” he added.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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