Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series profiling the men and women serving with the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Brigade in Afghanistan.
CAMP PHOENIX, Afghanistan — For promotions in the 48th Brigade Support Battalion, the paperwork goes through Spc. Kiwanda Norwood. Norwood, a resident of Macon, is an administrative specialist for the unit.
When she left for her deployment last year, Norwood, 36, left three children at home.
“They’re just ... amazed that their mom is over here,” she said of her son Paris, 16, and daughters Markita, 9, and Rayne, 3.
“The 3-year-old, she doesn’t understand.”
In a few months, she will be back with her children, but likely not back in Macon for long. Norwood is set to enroll in a yearlong Army training regimen, Operation Warrior Trainer, which teaches soldiers how to train other soldiers before they deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.
The program aims at retaining lessons learned from experienced soldiers.
There are eight different Operation Warrior Trainer sites, none near her hometown.
Her decision to uproot her family mirrors choices many returning troops in the National Guard will face in the coming months.
“Our economy,” Norwood said. “The jobs are zero.”
Thomas L. Day is currently on assignment in Afghanistan.