Hal Degenhardt welcomed home after serving year in Afghanistan
By Matt Ward
After serving for the past 13 months as a member of the United States Army National Guard’s Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan, 1LT Hal Degenhardt was welcomed back home to Fredericksburg Friday morning with a reception at West End Pizza Company, owned by his wife, Janet.
Several Main Street businesses joined in the welcome home efforts by lining banners and American flags along West Main Street.
Though his wife met him at the airport, Degenhardt was surprised by friends at the West End Pizza reception and planned to surprise his sons, Hal and Will, on vacation.
Training Afghan military
While in Afghanistan, Degenhardt served as a member of the Security Force Assistance Team (SFAT) assigned to the Afghan National Army where his job was to help train the Afghan military in weapons, tactics and logistics.
“We’d train them so they could take care of themselves,” he said. “That way they’re not dependent on us. They’re quick learners and hard workers.”
“A lot of the systems they use right now, especially for logistics, are outdated because they use the old Soviet systems,” Degenhardt added. “It works for them to a certain degree and so we try to help them transition to a more streamlined system. We also train them in the most updated tactics, firearms and weapons.”
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