David Passwaters of the Delaware National Guard 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, has returned home from his latest deployment in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Reunited with his wife Crystal and 17-month-old son Bryce, their family unit is together again, stationed in Milford, Delaware.
A native son of Milford, David attended Sussex Technical High School before joining the Army National Guard in 1998. Since 2000 the Delaware National Guard has been not only his duty but a full-time job, working in the field of communications. He is proud to say that he is following in his father’s footsteps, who served in the military for 37 years including thirty-three years with the Delaware Army National Guard and four years in the United States Marine Corps.
“Service was always something that we took seriously in our family,” commented Passwaters. “I really liked the community aspect of the Delaware National Guard, helping locals in Delaware.”
In 2008 David was deployed to Iraq and served his country for a year overseas as the Iraq war began to wind down for the United States. Last year, David was part of the 300 member battalion of the Delaware National Guard deployed to Afghanistan in May. These soldiers provided communications in theater including the support and management of four regional network control centers, theater-wide tactical communications support missions and enterprise level help desk support. Sergeant First Class David Passwaters III, commanded a crew of soldiers whose responsibilities included repairing tactical signal equipment. Stationed at a main multi-national base and airfield in Afghanistan, David states that he felt safe although the base did receive sporadic rocket attacks.
“It’s a big family on base, we are all there to look out after each other,” commented David. “I believe everyone came together as a group and came home, that’s what matters.”
As David prepared for his latest deployment in 2013, it came at a joyful but challenging time in his life. His son Bryce was born six months prior and was not even crawling when he received the call that his battalion would be deployed overseas. His wife Crystal worried about how those first critical months of development for Bryce might affect the relationship between father and son. As two strong units, the Passwaters and Roosa families pulled together to support Crystal and little Bryce as the two discovered the world of parenting together. Crystal used modern technology to keep David engaged with their lives back home and aware of the quick pace in which Bryce was growing.
“The technology was amazing, we had phone communications every day and Skyped with him on Christmas morning as we opened presents,” commented Crystal. “We were worried about Bryce engaging with Dad but he has already taken to him so fast.”
On Tuesday, February 25 David, Crystal and Bryce were reunited at the Armory in downtown Georgetown, Delaware. Overwhelmed by the crowds at first, Bryce recognized David, began to smile and gave his father a hug.
“It was really surreal, I did not know what to expect especially with little man,” commented David pointing to Bryce. “I was extremely excited to see Crystal and the rest of my family.”
Passwaters intends to continue his career with the Delaware National Guard. With at least ten more years of service ahead, David hopes that with the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters winding down, he will not be deployed again any time soon. For now, he is looking forward to catching up with his wife Crystal and one-year-old son Bryce.
“These back to back deployments are very rough on the whole family,” commented David. “I am enjoying my time at home, it’s absolutely wonderful. It was amazing to wake up this morning with no where to be and be able to spend the day with my family.”