By SGT. KANDI HUGGINS
3rd Brigade Combat Team
1st Infantry Division
Sparks fly. Smoke fills the air as a hooded Soldier concentrates on the metal in front of him. He welds it to a base plate, stopping to clamp down the masterpiece as he works.
Lifting his hood, Spc. David Ceballos examines his work.
Satisfied with the welding, he goes to the toolbox behind him and picks up the grinder resting atop it. After placing it on his workstation, he puts on his eye protection and puts in his earplugs.
With the grinder in hand, he proceeds to letting more sparks fly.
Ceballos serves as a welder and machinist with Company A, 201st Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. He is responsible for fabricating, repairing and modifying metallic and nonmetallic parts.
“He mends and fabricate parts for trucks, gun mounts and even some parts of brake assemblies,” said 2nd Lt. Shelton Seaborn, Ceballos’ platoon leader.
When he’s not mending or repairing something, Ceballos spends his time working on creative projects.
The El Paso, Texas, native said he didn’t have much experience in welding prior to his enlistment in the Army in 2011, but it was something he really wanted to do.
“I wanted this job because this is what my brother does and what my grandparents did before,” said Ceballos. “Back in the rear I don’t get to do my job much. (I’m grateful for being) deployed because I’m getting more experience in what I do.”
Since deploying, Ceballos has created a number of projects for the units at Forward Operating Base Apache. He’s welded things from ordinance bombs to the Big Red One to his current project of a comic character with a Big Red One on his shield.
“I like creating stuff from scratch,” said Ceballos. “I’m working on a (comic book character) for Co. A which started out as a challenge because it was said I couldn’t do it because it is complicated.”
Although resources limit the projects and work he can do, Warrant Officer Stephen Karl, allied trade warrant, said Ceballos always gets the job done.
“What makes someone a great welder is they are not afraid to ask other’s opinions and how they would do it,” said Karl. “He gets ideas from everyone. The ideas help by making the job easier, faster, or so he can work without having to do it more than once.”
And that type of dedication is why if you visit Company A’s maintenance bay, you would most likely see sparks flying as Ceballos said he strives to do the best he can with everything he does.
“It not only represents (me), but the company and unit as well, and I want to be able to do good stuff as my way of pride in what I do,” said Ceballos.