An occasional series of chats with one of our troops.
Spc. William Gomez
Hometown: Columbus, Neb. / Age: 32 / Iowa National Guard’s 1-113th Cavalry Squadron, Charlie Troop
Spc. William Gomez, 32, of Columbus, Neb., in his Charlie Troop barracks at Combat Outpost Pushtayshark in Kunar Province. Gomez is part of the 1-113th Cavalry Squadron of the Iowa National Guard. (Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald)
Q: What’s this nickname of yours that I keep hearing about?
A: Mexican Rambo? Well, because I’m an M240 (machine gun) gunner. I’ve got a big weapon, and I’ve got all these bullets hanging around my body. (The guys) are like, “Oh, you’re the Mexican Rambo.” I’m the only Mexican in the whole company, so it’s kind of special. . . . I like it.
Q: You’re preparing for a mission. How long does it take to get ready?
A: It takes about a week. You’ve got to pack a lot of supplies. I mean, ammunitions, batteries, water, food. Pretty much, you’ve got to have everything for three or four days, so it takes a while. It’s a lot of work. We’re planning for four or five days.
Q: What are the essentials?
A: Like, I said, I’m a 240 gunner. It’s a big weapon, so a lot of (ammunition) for it. I’ve got my sleeping bag, one shirt, two pairs of socks. That’s about it. No shaving or nothing.
Q: This is your first deployment, right? How’s it going? What do you look forward to when you return?
A: Pretty good so far. It’s almost over, but it’s been good. . . . Just going to see my family, my kids, hopefully in July. . . . I’ve got my wife (Wendolya) and two little ones (Yaretza and Yadira).