Staff sergeant volunteers for second tour in Iraq

Published 6:49 pm Thursday, December 27, 2007

By Staff
DOWAGIAC – U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Angela Boyce left Nov. 29 with Kalamazoo-based 415th Civil Affairs Battalion, a U.S. Army reserve unit headed to Fort Bragg, N.C., for two months of training before shipping out to to Iraq for another year.
Boyce, 24, who volunteered for her second tour in Iraq, told the Kalamazoo Gazette she plans to hold Friday poker nights as she did during her first tour.
Boyce was considering spending Christmas in Florida instead of trying to travel back to Michigan.
She already celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with family.
"I don't want to have to say goodbye again," she said.
Boyce said she will miss her privacy and other comforts she takes for granted, including Starbucks coffee.
Though western products are available to troops at base supply stores, certain items are inevitably snatched up first.
Favorite care-package treats include Gatorade powder, macaroni and cheese, prepaid phone cards, travel-sized bottles of sunscreen and melt-resistant hard candy, such as Jolly Ranchers.
The Gazette reported that tactics have shifted from a strict military operation to counter-insurgency and attempts to shore up a shaky Iraqi government, complicated by widespread corruption and violence festering between Sunni and Shiite ethnic groups.