Last week, The Times published updates on Islanders currently on active duty in military service. Too late for publication in the print edition, Marie Baldwin of West Tisbury provided information about her son, PVT2 Joseph Baldwin, USA, and Ariel Thomas of Oak Bluffs about her brothers, AM3 Leigh Sylvia, USN, and EO3 Craig Sylvia, USN.
PVT2 Baldwin was deployed to FOB Warhorse, Iraq, in the Diyala Province on a one-year tour last July. He serves with the 66th Engineer Co., 2nd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker), 25th Infantry Division, from Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii. His company is part of the Advise and Assist Brigade of Operation New Dawn, launched September 1 to train and assist the Iraqi military in preparation for U.S. troop withdrawal.
PVT2 Baldwin participated in the Quick Reaction Force mission for five months to assist soldiers engaged in combat with the enemy, for which he and 12 others in his unit received a Combat Action Badge in October. He and his platoon also work in explosive ordnance demolition with Navy personnel, finding and destroying explosives hidden by insurgents.
PVT2 Baldwin graduated from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in 2006 and joined the Army in January 2010. His wife Raquel awaits his return in July 2011 in Hawaii.
AM3 Leigh Sylvia, USN, an aviation structural mechanic, is stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii, waiting for his next orders after a six-month deployment to Japan. His brother, EO3 Craig Sylvia, USN, completed his five-year commitment to the Navy and returned home to Oak Bluffs for the holidays. He plans to attend Bridgewater State University with a major in criminal justice.