061113 Newsletter DRAFT

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061113 Newsletter DRAFT
The Wolverine Times Gazette is the official newsletter of the 134th Brigade Support Battalion.
134th BSB Commander: Lt. Col. Brian C. Olson
134th BSB Command Sergeant Major: Command Sgt. Maj. Joel J. Schilling
Wolverine Times Gazette Editor:
Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
Wolverine Times Gazette Asst. Editors:
134th
BSB Public Affairs Officer: Capt. Anthony Gale
Maj. Paul Peterson
Maj. Steve Moe
Maj. Scott Ebel
N O V E M B E R 1 3 T H 2 0 0 6 TALLIL, IRAQ
In this issue:
XOs Message
3
Supply the Future 4
Tallil Temps 5
Soldier Messages to MN Veterans’ Home 6
Veterans’ Day 7
First Sergeant’s Corner 8
Looking Forward to the Holiday Season 9
Alpha 10
This newsletter is only possible with the hard work and valuable
contributions of the 134th BSB unit public affairs representatives:
Bravo 12
Charlie 15
Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom Spc. Kyle Blasiak Chief Warrant Officer Mark Nagel
Staff Sgt. Chris Bergman Spc. Matthew Kroulik
Capt. Jeremy Berndt Staff Sgt. Jacie Swanson 1st Lt. Samuel Holte Sgt. Brandon Johnson Sgt. Gary Heffner
Staff Sgt. Orlando Allen Sgt. Regina Nelson
nd
2 Lt. Emily Graber
Spc. Jenna Vaughn
Pvt. Travis Johnson
Capt. Anthony Gale Sgt. Michel Hamann (A) (A) (B)
(B)
(B)
(C)
(C)
(E)
(E)
(214th SB)
(108th QM)
(108th QM)
(259th FSC)
(259th FSC)
(259th FSC)
(HHC) (HHC)
Please submit all questions, comments, and suggestions to Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman: [email protected]
214th Service Battery 17
259th FSC 19
HHC 20
Helpful Information 24
On the cover: A Bravo Company mechanic working in the early morning hours in the Large Area Maintenance Shelter at LSA
Adder Iraq.
-photo by Chief Warrant Officer Daniel McGowan
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XO’S MESSAGE
Hello from Iraq! Most of you are expecting an inspiring article from the Battalion Commander; however, he is on his
mid-tour R&R. So if you are looking for something very profound, you may be disappointed. But I’ll give it a shot! Speaking of leave, as soldiers have returned from the States from
the time we arrived until now, one of the common themes
that I hear is how disappointed they are in how the war here
in Iraq is portrayed as very negative. We know the good
things that your soldiers are doing for the people of Iraq.
I would like to continue something that was first introduced
by Lt. Col. Olson in September; I would like to update you on
some of the incredible accomplishments of the BSB. To date,
your Soldiers have:
• Delivered over 238,000 gallons of fuel, 573,000 gallons of
water, and 730 pallets of food to Soldiers on other bases.
• Conducted over 1,100 convoy escort or patrol missions,
contributing to the 1,000,000+ miles the 1/34th BCT has
driven in Iraq.
• Turned in excess repair parts valued at over $2.3 million.
• Treated over 3,500 patients at LSA Adder’s outpatient
clinic.
• Conducted over 700 physical therapy sessions to rehabilitate injured Soldiers in conjunction with the 144th ASMC.
• Conducted over a dozen school supply and humanitarian
aid distribution events.
• Broke ground on a $1.3 million agriculture project which
will employ hundreds of Iraqi laborers and farmers. This
project will involve the clearing of 320 km of canals which
irrigate over 20,000 acres of farmland. In October, the Governor of Dhi Qar province labeled this project as the most
important development in his entire province.
• Completed two major road projects covering over 17 km
which is improving crucial access to fresh water and medical treatment for our Iraqi neighbors throughout the rainy
season.
• Conducted seven first-aid classes for Iraqis living in rural
areas including two classes taught by female Soldiers for
the mothers, sisters, and other female caretakers in the villages. This is the first time Coalition Forces have made the
special arrangements necessary to work directly with Iraqi
women in this area.
• Worked side by side with the Iraqi Highway Patrol.
We have not been alone in our efforts. You continue to provide invaluable support which enables your Soldiers to focus
Maj. Jason Graaf.
on their missions. I also want to recognize your accomplishments. Our rear detachment and families have:
• Conducted almost one hundred family support group
meetings at six locations.
• Donated over 200 backpacks to our Supply the Future initiative in support of Iraqi children. (See an update on the
Supply the Future project on page 4 of this newsletter.)
• Shared the great work of our battalion with a dozen civic
and professional organizations in Minnesota.
• Honored Veterans on Veteran’s Day by sharing messages
from our Soldiers here in Iraq. (You can read about this important event on page 6 of this newsletter.)
• Reached out to and provided invaluable moral support to
countless families during this difficult time.
The temperatures have dropped, as has the rain, and with the
changing seasons, your Soldiers continue to show remarkable
dedication accomplishing what ever mission is asked of
them. Your efforts at home do not go unnoticed and are just
as important today as they were in September 2005 when we
began this adventure. It is an honor for me to work with your
Soldiers every day!
Be Strong and Courageous . . . Wolverines!
134th
November 13th, 2006
-Maj. Jason Graaf
BSB Executive Officer
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S U P P LY T H E F U T U R E
“When are you coming to my
school?” was the message a
school headmaster (principal)
had passed through our interpreter. Word is out: the 134th Brigade Support Battalion is passing
out school supplies in the area
and everybody wants to be part
of the effort.
This project was inherited from
our predecessors and has developed through input from our
Effects Working Group. The Supply the Future Program involves
families and friends back home,
who have donated numerous
school supplies and backpacks,
shipping them at their own cost.
We have also supplemented these
personal donations with some
packaged supplies through the
Operation Iraqi Children program.
Soldiers who have been working
on convoys or patrols, in the motor pool, staff areas or guard
towers have been volunteering to
Above: Spc. Jasmine Handevidt passes school supplies to a
young Iraqi boy.
Left: Iraqi children at Al Huran School show off their new
backpacks.
-photos by Capt. Andrew Peterson
participate in the program. This provides soldiers an
opportunity to interact with local school kids and their
teachers in a positive exchange that provides both Soldier and student a different perspective on our mission.
Of course, each school we visit also has requests for furniture, building renovations and other requests. These
are things that have to be developed as projects through
our project nomination process and are a bit more complicated to provide. However, the Supply the Future
program is unique in that every student of the approximately 20 schools in our area will be influenced through
the generous donations of folks back home.
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We seem to get cheers
and smiles from children
and staff alike when we
explain that these packages were not provided
by the U.S. government
or military, but were put
together by loved ones
back home or by a private
charity. Each week between now and Christmas, we will be packing
up boxes full of backpacks or bags full of
school supplies, loading
up our trucks with Soldier volunteers and head
out to one of the area
schools. Thank you so
much for your generosity
in helping us have a positive impact on the future
of Iraq!
-Capt. Andrew Peterson
134th BSB S5 - Civil
Military Affairs Officer
Children at Al Huran school celebrate after receiving new school supplies. -photo by Capt. Andrew Peterson
T A L L I L D A I LY A N D M O N T H LY A V E R A G E H I G H T E M P E R AT U R E S
H O T T E S T D AY S
J U N E , J U LY , A U G U S T 0 6
7 D AY S - 1 2 0 ˚
C O O L E S T D AY S
8,9,10 NOVEMBER 06
70˚
120˚
11 0 ˚
100˚
90˚
80˚
70˚
60˚
APR
M AY
JUNE
J U LY
AUGUST
SEPT
OCTOBER
NOV
94˚
105˚
11 5 ˚
11 4 ˚
11 7 ˚
107˚
98˚
84˚
November 13th, 2006
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1 3 4 TH B S B S O L D I E R S S H A R E
V E T E R A N S ’ D AY M E S S A G E W I T H
M I N N E S O TA V E T E R A N S
On a chilly, sunny Veterans’ Day, the Minnesota Veterans
Home (MVH) in Minneapolis celebrated and honored Veterans of all services and generations.
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Stan Kowalski talked about the history of Veterans Day. It
began as a celebration of the anniversary of the official end of
World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th
month of 1918. Many parts of the world continue to celebrate
November 11th as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. The
United States celebrated the first Armistice Day in 1919. After
World War II the United States changed the name of the day
to Veterans Day. It is a National and State holiday in all 50
states.
It was a beautiful ceremony with the Richfield Symphonic
Band playing patriotic music and Veterans of many generations in uniforms
and wearing their
medals with pride.
The auditorium
was full of Service
members, past and
present, and their
families, who love
this great Nation
that we live in.
Among the honored guests were
Maj. Gen. Larry
Shellito, the Adjutant General of the
Minnesota National Guard; Jim
Ingersoll, Assistant
Administrator
Maj. Christine Ostendorf introduces the video messages from 134th BSB Soldiers in Iraq at the Minnesota Homes.
MVH (Minnesota
-photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Thanghe
Veterans Home) Minneapolis; Dan
I believe that no matter how varied our experiences, we are
Williams, MVH Board of Directors Vice Chair; Clark Dyrud,
all proud of the service we have performed. We are thankful
Commissioner Department of Veterans Affairs; Tate Doom,
for both what we have given and received. We are thankful
VFW Commander's Task Force Chairman; and Stan "The
for the support of our families. It was wonderful to spend
Crusher" Kowalski.
some time after the ceremony shaking the hands of the WWII,
Korean, Vietnam and other Veterans. One gentleman talked
All had encouraging, proud, and thankful words to say to the
of his time in the South Pacific and more than one showed his
many Veterans present as well as those currently serving
challenge coins off. Another pointed to the Red Bulls on our
abroad.
uniforms, then pointed to his VFW hat and said, "More time
Several weeks ago, several 134th BSB Soldiers in Iraq recorded
in combat than any other Division in WWII." He had been
Veterans’ Day messages for Minnesota’s Veterans. I introwith the Division in North Africa and Italy.
duced the wonderful greetings:
With pride the Rear Detachment of the 134th Brigade Support
"We are here today to honor you, the veterans that served
Battalion represented our newest Veterans currently serving
before us and with us. Thank you for your service to our
overseas away from family and friends. THANK YOU for
GREAT Nation. The Forward element of the 134th Brigade
your service to our Nation. You are not forgotten, we look
Support Battalion also wanted to share in showing their apforward to your safe return and your participation in cerepreciation of your duty, honor, sacrifice, and example."
monies like this next year.
MG Shellito was proud of the Soldiers’ greetings and talked
about his pride in your service in Iraq, how well you are performing, and that he was honored to have spent time with
you several weeks ago. This was his second ceremony that
day.
November 13th, 2006
-Maj. Christine Ostendorf
134th BSB Rear Detachment Title 10 Officer
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the word yet still have a hard time accepting this role. Instinctively, soldiers here tie
Veterans’ Day with those who have fought
before us. Nonetheless the Soldiers are very
proud to serve and earn the status of Veteran. One thing all can agree upon is that
being a Veteran means different things to
everyone. For most it is a chance to proudly
serve their country and become a Veteran.
Others pay the ultimate sacrifice for beliefs
and values held so dear. We honor those
who have made the ultimate sacrifice for
our country fighting to defend a way of life
that should never be taken for granted.
Today we live in a world in which communication can reach around the globe. With
many ways to communicate, the heartache,
worry, and fear still remain for family
members. I believe that Veterans’ Day not
Maj. Scott Ebel. -photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
only honors the people who have served
their country in a time of need and not
always a time of their choosing, but of the
V E T E R A N S ’ D AY
sacrifices made by the families waiting for their service member to come home.
It was a welcome time when the fighting formally ended on
the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with
When the winds of war blow into our lives, we are all afthe German signing of the Armistice bringing an end to
fected. Some are affected more than others when a friend,
World War I. This day began with the laying down of arms,
family member, or coworker serves our country in the Armed
blowing of whistles, impromptu parades, and the closing of
Services in Iraq. In light of our involvement in this mission, I
places of business. According to president Woodrow Wilson: would like pose a couple of questions: What does Veterans’
Day mean to you? Do you look at or think differently about
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled
someone who is serving his or her country on Veterans’ day?
with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's
I suspect for some, these thoughts are very different now
service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing
compared to what they might have been in the past. Families
from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has
and soldiers faced with new, unfamiliar sacrifices realize a
given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the
new sense of awareness of the trials and tribulations that
councils of the nation.”
come with fighting a war. For some, a strong support group
becomes essential for their day to day navigation. Others
All over the globe there were jubilant demonstrations. Presiimmerse themselves in work, family duties or household acdent Woodrow Wilson first commemorated the holiday in
tivities to get through the day. The times may have changed,
1918 and many states made it a legal holiday. In 1926, conbut in some ways things are very similar to the pains and
gress passed a resolution encouraging Americans to observe
fears family members of years ago faced worrying about their
the day, but it wasn’t until 1938 that Veterans’ Day was truly
loved ones at war. We are fortunate today considering that
recognized.
during World War I & World War II families may have only
Many soldiers, when asked what Veterans’ Day means to
received a few letters over the course of service members’
them brought up a similar theme. Soldiers here seem to have
time away.
a difficult time comparing their roles in the war on terrorism
It has been said many times that the true American heroes are
to the roles of Veterans who fought in the wars of years ago.
th
those back home. Becoming a veteran is not without sacrifice
Staff Sgt. Douty, HHC 1/34 BCT, believes the day is meant
and seldom earned or achieved alone.
to pay tribute to those who fought and gave their lives fighting wars like World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and
-Maj. Scott Ebel
Vietnam.
134th BSB Adjutant
Most Soldiers serving with the 134th BSB today, having been
deployed for over a year, are Veterans by every definition of
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FIRST SERGEANTS’ CORNER
ARMY VALUES
The Army cannot function to the best of its abilities if its
members become a collection of self-serving individuals.
Military service demands the willingness to sacrifice, even to
the extent of expecting soldiers to give their lives and even
the lives of their fellow soldiers, in defense of the nation. Selfless Service has three components: Service to soldiers, to your
unit and to the nation. A leader who meets the needs of his
soldiers produces a winning unit. A leader who considers his
personal desires first is on a sure path to defeat.
Selfless service is not just an attitude, it is a lifestyle. To serve,
you must give up your “self” and place the concerns of others
first. Does this mean the leader must completely disregard his
well-being? No. He or she must meet his own needs but resist
the natural tendency to focus on self-serving desires. Selfless
service is the lifeline of leadership.
Soldiers want a leader to do what is best for them and to lead
them. This does not mean good leaders pamper their soldiers
and do what ever they want. What is best for soldiers is to
meet their needs, not cater to their whims. What is best for
soldiers it to build their confidence, not over solicit them.
What is best for soldiers is to build teams, not self-serving
individuals. Finally, what is best for soldiers on the battlefield
is for them to fight as a team and win. If they know this is the
purpose of their work and their leader serves them and not
himself or herself, they will willingly sacrifice their selfcentered desires to win as a team, not as individuals. Only the
selfless leader can develop a unit and prepare a unit to win in
battle.
Sun Tzu wrote over 2,500 years ago: “Regard your soldiers as
your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons and daughters,
and they will stand by you even unto death.”
To me as a first sergeant, Selfless Service is the sacrifice I
make as a leader to insure my soldiers have the purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish any and every mission
that is put before us, even when we are put in harms way.
That is our job as leaders when we put those chevrons on
from E-5 to E-9. We have to lead by example, not by talk.
-1st Sgt. Horace Fontenot
108th QM First Sergeant
November 13th, 2006
1st Sgt. Horace Fontenot at LSA Adder, Iraq.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
H O W T O S P E A K A R M Y
An acronym guide to get you through this newsletter
AAM
ARCOM
CAB
CET
CMO
FSC
HEMTT
HHC
HMMWV
MSR
MOS
NCOIC
OIC
OIF
OP
QM
TACC
TC
TCN
TOC
TQ
UPAR
VCC
Army Achievement Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Combat Action Badge
Convoy Escort Team
Civil Military Operations
Field Support Company or Forward Support Co.
Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck
Headquarters and Headquarters Company
High Mobility Multi-Wheeled Vehicle
Main Supply Route
Military Occupational Specialty
Non-Commissioned Officer In-Charge
Officer in Charge
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Observation Post
Quartermaster
Training and Community Center
Truck Commander
Third Country National
Tactical Operations Center
Taqqadum
Unit Public Affairs Representative
Visitor Control Center
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W I T H T H E H O L I D AY S C O M I N G , NO ONE IS ALONE
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With Iraq’s summer season behind us and (relatively) cooler
weather ahead, soldiers’ minds are turning to the holiday
season. I know many National Guard families, mine included, are facing another holiday season with an empty
space where otherwise a soldier would be. My sister was deployed last year with the Reserves and now I am gone this
year. While it’s a difficult prospect to face a wonderful time of
year far from loved ones, I know that with a little team work
your soldiers will make the best of a difficult situation –
showing once again their endurance on a long deployment.
Some might say that to reminisce invites exactly the kind of
loneliness and sense of isolation we are all trying to avoid.
For me, it’s different. Hearing soldiers’ happy memories and
concentrating on the good times is a source of strength when
shared.
For many, Thanksgiving is the first in a rapid-fire succession
of holidays on through to Hanukkah, Christmas and the New
Year. Thanksgiving for me is a very special time, one where
the rush of the holiday season hasn’t quite set in and it’s still
possible to have a quiet whisper with family or friends for
whom I haven’t made enough time. It’s when the leaves are
all but gone,
that I grab a
final moment
to touch base
with a
grandparent
or maybe
steal a hug
from my twoyear-old
nephew Eddie before my
large family
invades the
house for a
big, lateautumn meal.
It’s during
these large
gatherings
that Eddie is
passed from
lap to lap
until he is
bored with
2nd Lt. Matthew Brauer and Capt. Heidi
our constant
Gauderman. -photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman attention.
November 13th, 2006
2nd Lt. Matthew Brauer at LSA Adder, Iraq.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
It’s these warm feelings, I think, that allow us to make the
most of a holiday away from home. Over the coming weeks,
all of us in the 134th BSB will have a minute here or there, to
check in with our fellow soldiers. My effort will be to try to
share some Thanksgiving memories and to spread a little
cheer. I am asking each member of my family to write about a
favorite Thanksgiving memory or a picture from this
Thanksgiving to help bring me closer.
Thanksgiving will have added meaning for me this year.
Even while deployed, I have much to be grateful for: the camaraderie of fellow soldiers (even when undeserved) and a
belly that’s always full (thank you KBR!). I’ve had the opportunity to see how America is truly a just and generous nation,
with Soldiers tirelessly working to improve the lives of Iraqis.
Even as you look at an empty chair this Thanksgiving, take
pride in knowing that your Soldier is helping to bring a better
life to the Iraqi people. We, in turn, will take pride in knowing you’re keeping up the home front until the day we come
home.
-2nd Lt. Matthew Brauer
B Co. Executive Officer
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Alpha
Sgt. Mitchell Becker teaches an Iraqi boy the latest handshake.
THE CHILDREN OF
THE RRP
As our time spent in Iraq nears a
halfway point our duties have
been solidified and everyday
preparations have, at times, become monotonous. We prepare
ourselves for missions unknown,
inspect equipment and personnel to be ready whenever called
upon. On occasion, recovery security has an opportunity to stop
at a Radio Relay Point to pick up
a piece of equipment or for an
emergency maintenance call.
Within these missions, as an
added bonus, our recovery
teams have an opportunity at
one of these sites to interact with
Iraqi children that live nearby.
Whenever we pull in with a
wrecker it's a sure sign that the
children will come to greet us. I
believe with a great deal of sincerity that most of us look forward to the chance to give a little
bit of attention to the children
that live in the surrounding desert.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom
cils, and extra food that we've received either in the mail or purchased at the PX. It becomes a
mission within a mission that we
take pride in being able to accomplish.
As the vehicles roll to a stop and
we dismount for a much-needed
break, turn your eyes towards the
sandy berms and you'll start to see
little heads begin to peer over the
top. While our teams still have
time we check the vehicles and
leave security in place before the
fun begins. The older boys generally arrive first but the girls are
never far behind. As with all children their personalities vary
greatly. Some of the children are
outgoing and wild with energy
and others are demure and unsure
of our presence. The boy's clothing varies from traditional to Tshirts and pants and the girls generally wear colorful dresses although some seem to be more
westernized than others.
Before anything is handed out, the
soldiers socialize. From the newAn Iraqi girl clutches her gifts from A Co. Soldiers.
est handshake, to group pictures
-photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom and videos, to a game of catch,
Our missions cover a broad spec(one of the smallest girls has a
trum and no two seem to be
quite the same. Our preparations remain focused and when we wicked left arm), we try to enjoy life as a child void of boundaries or social implications. One of the most touching moments
learn that we have an opportunity to see the children, other
for me was when the girls allowed Spc. Boom to place ponytail
preparations begin to take place. These “extras” consist of
holders in their hair. To this day they still wear them, hopefully
gathering up crayons, coloring books, bubbles, notepads, pen-
November 13th, 2006
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a small sign of acceptance from their parents
of her sincere intent for their children as
much as our own, to grow up happy and
healthy as children should because they are
the future of Iraq.
Chaos can ensue when the gifts are distributed. Sharing at this point becomes moot so
we try not to show any favoritism. Giving
children something is a task in itself and the
gift must be specifically placed into their
hands so the intent is clear that this is what
they're getting. As with any child, “one
more” is a common phrase, but with a nod of
your head and a flourish of the hand portraying “no more” an understanding is hopefully
reached.
Our time is limited and the rally sign is given
for everyone to prepare to continue with our
mission. As we drive away and look back to
the children carrying away our gifts, we
leave with a smile hoping that we helped
them, even if short-lived. Pictures tell a
thousand words and our interaction with
these children allows us to plant a seed of
hope for their uncertain futures and bring a
little bit of Minnesota Nice to southern Iraq.
Spc. Jamie Boom meets with an Iraqi girl.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom
-Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom
A Co. UPAR
S E N AT O R D AY T O N T O W N H A L L M E E T I N G
On November 2, 2006 soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat
Team hosted distinguished guests from Minnesota. Senator
Mark Dayton, Major General Erlandson and Command Sergeant Major Kness were among the contingent visiting soldiers
at Camp Adder, Iraq. During their visit, Senator Dayton and
General Erlandson held a town hall meeting with about thirty
soldiers of the 1st BCT. Soldiers representing many Companies
were invited; Spc. Tennesha Wood, Sgt. Mitchell Becker, and
Staff Sgt. Mark Newsom represented A Co. 134th BSB.
Senator Dayton opened the meeting with words of gratitude
and support for the work that the soldiers are doing in serving
their country. He remarked that he was in “awe of our dedication and sacrifices made” by not only the soldiers but also their
families back home. The floor was opened to questions and
soldiers were given the opportunity to ask questions to Senator
Dayton and General Erlandson. Equipment and benefits were
at the top of most soldiers’ list of questions. Some soldiers inquired if the latest and greatest equipment we have been fielding here in country will be available for training when we
November 13th, 2006
return to Minnesota. Senator Dayton and General Erlandson
both agreed that it would be some time before the National
Guard units in Minnesota will be fielding the same type of
equipment being used here in theatre due to military spending
constraints. Multiple questions were fielded pertaining to military benefits as well; ranging from education and health coverage to incentive pay. The Senator and General spoke to the facts
that they knew and took contact information of soldiers with
questions they couldn’t immediately answer, insuring that they
would follow up upon their return to Minnesota. Senator Dayton acknowledged that he has only two months left to serve in
his term as Senator, but will “pass on any inquires to the incoming Senator.”
The meeting concluded with words of thanks, photos and wellwishes from Senator Dayton and General Erlandson. It was a
good opportunity for soldiers to sit face to face with one of our
elected Senators as well as the 34th Infantry Division Commanding General and speak of the issues and concerns on their
minds as we continue our mission.
-Sgt. Mitchell Becker
A Co. KBR Recovery Team
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Bravo
The Irock stage. -photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
MAKING OF THE BAND, IROCK
Four hundred plus days ago, a group of Citizen Soldiers, spanning across Minnesota and Wisconsin received the order to report to Camp Ripley, Minnesota for a Federal Deployment.
They were headed to Iraq! Usually when a National Guard unit
deploys, the soldiers are familiar with one another because
most soldiers within the unit have been drilling together for
years. For a large number of the soldiers in Bravo Company
134th Brigade Support Battalion that would be anything but
true. Bravo Company, a Logistical Support Maintenance Company from
Minneapolis,
MN transferred
to Camp
Ripley, MN in
the summer of
2005 through a
military reorganization.
Sgt. Yee Yang on guitar.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
November 13th, 2006
On September
21st, 2005
Bravo Company set out for
Camp Shelby,
Mississippi. For
the next six
months Bravo
Company
trained on the
latest battlefield practices
with the latest
in modern
equipment. The
individual and
team training
1st Lt. Jeremie Vanderhagen on vocals.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
each soldier of Bravo Company would receive gave them a new
found confidence and trust in one another. “We left one family,
not knowing what was in store for us and through hard work
and training became part of a new family.” said Spc. Christina
Brinig.
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Bravo Company, trained up and ready to serve their country,
headed to the Desert of Iraq in March of 2006. There was one
final stop before reaching their final destinations, Kuwait. I say
destinations because not all of Bravo Company would be stationed in the same location. Some of the sections within the
company would be placed in other strategic locations throughout theater. Kuwait is used as a final staging and preparation
stop for the soldiers to become acclimated to the unfamiliar surroundings before heading to their final destinations.
For a large portion of Bravo Company, their final destination
would be Camp Adder, Iraq. Within the first couple of months,
at Camp Adder, mail clerks witnessed small care packages containing X-boxes and Play stations, but closer to mid tour, the
packages grew and musical instruments began showing up. 1st
Lt. Jeramie Vanderhagen and SFC Ron Stone were two of the
Bravo Company Soldiers to first receive their packages. Little
did the two know not only did they share a common interest in
Third Platoon as Platoon Leader and Platoon Sergeant respectively, they also shared a fondness for music. Stone, an avid
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bass player in
a garage
band in his
hometown of
Cloquet, MN
and Vanderhagen, from
Olivia, MN,
an acoustical
guitarist and
song writer,
shared a
dream that
started at
Camp Shelby,
MS and
wanted to
make that
dream a reality in Iraq.
The dream
did not stop
with the two
of them. SFC
Stone and 1st
Spc. Aaron McGowan on guitar.
Lt. Vanderha-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
gen began
asking soldiers within
the company
if they would
be interested in getting together one day a week and unwind
with their instruments. “You always miss several things from
home. For me it is my family and my guitar, I had always
hoped we would have the people and the time to make something like this happen. Playing my guitar is my therapy!” said
SFC Stone.
Just like that, a group of soldiers from Bravo Company, with a
talent and love for playing music came together. The band
members who include Sgt. 1st Class Stone (Base Guitar), 1st Lt.
Vanderhagen (lead vocals, lead guitar, and drums); Spc. Christopher Cady, Rogers, MN (drums), and Spc. Aaron McGowan,
Lakeville, MN (guitar), Spc. Justin Webb, Hastings, MN (lead
vocals), Sgt. Yee Yang, Weston, WI (drums and guitar), Sgt. John
Cavanaugh, Spring Valley, MN (guitar and accompaniment),
Spc. Jason Holman, Chisholm, MN (guitar) and 1st Lt. Mark
Martin, New Hope, MN (lead vocals). After their first meeting,
they knew they had a great group that enjoyed music and continued to practice a couple times a week and put together a list
of seventeen cover songs to perform given the opportunity.
Sgt.
1st
Class Ron Stone on bass.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
November 13th, 2006
“I never thought there would be so many soldiers in our company with the ability to play and perform live music.” said 1st
Lt. Vanderhagen. The small, but cozy living quarters soon be13
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came too crowded and noisy to accommodate the growing
band members. Besides that they still would need a drum set
and stage equipment to complete the band. Sgt. 1st Class Stone
and 1st Lt. Vanderhagen, while asking around the Forward Operating Base (FOB), spoke with the Air Force Chaplains Office
and before long they were playing music in the Air Force
Chapel, with the equipment they needed. “We had all the right
people, then we needed the space and equipment to practice.
The Air Force was instrumental in making our dream into a
reality.” said Sgt. 1st Class Stone.
The opportunity presented itself on Halloween to perform a
concert for their company. They had spent so much time deciding what music to play and practicing for their big performance
that the only thing left to decide was their name. “We all got
together during one of our practices agreed we needed to tie
together what we are about as a group. We all have two things
in common we are in Iraq together and like playing loud rock.”
said Spc. Cady. Since they are stationed in Iraq; they decided to
name the band Irock to sound similar to their location and type
of music they play. The stage was set for their first concert Halloween night in a tent the company uses for air conditioner and
generator maintenance. Since it was a Halloween Party, there
was a Bar-BCue that
kicked off the
evening and
the music
soon followed and it
was just
what the
company
needed after
being in
country for
seven long
months. “It
was an outstanding performance, a
month ago I
attended a
practice and
they have
made tremendous
improvements. Their
music was a
hit and I
Spc. Justin Webb on vocals.
really hope they
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
will be able to
continue to pro-
November 13th, 2006
Sgt. John Cavanaugh on guitar.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
vide us with music.” said Sgt. Baade.
The concert was such a hit and morale booster for the company, future performances are planned. Talking to Sgt. 1st
Class Stone, he wishes they could perform once a month,
given the opportunity. Requests for the band have already
been made by Air Force stationed along with Bravo Company.
-Staff Sgt. Christopher Bergman
Spc. Matthew Kroulik
B Co. UPARs
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Charlie
Staff Sgt. Jacie Swanson with the young women of Abdul Razak village.
CHARLIE CO. BRINGS FIRST AID TO THE
WOMEN OF ABDUL RAZAK
It was an interesting day this past August when our Combat
Life Saver Training Team was first told we were going to be
responsible for conducting first aid classes to the local Iraqi
civilians. We had many unanswered questions before we
were to start this endeavor. The team was not sure what they
knew, who would be there, or if they would listen. Our team,
Capt. Monte Haddix, Staff Sgt. Tracy French, and Spec. Ian
Wolfe, got to work creating a curriculum. The team started
researching and discussing things that would benefit the
people of this area, which is very rural.
The training team finished preparing the
class and went on our first mission, not
quite knowing what to expect.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Tracy French
Team and the First Aid Training team were talking to the
Sheik that was hosting the training. A local councilman from
a nearby village just happened to drop in to talk. The time
had presented itself to discuss the topic of teaching to the
women of the village. This particular visiting Sheik talked in
great length about his plans to open a women’s center to
teach computers and English, and other subjects to women
Whether he was sincere or not, we jumped at the opportunity
to finally interact with the female population. The hosting
Sheik, also thought it was a good idea and it was set.
The team had learned a tremendous
amount after the first class; we have had
to constantly change and adapt our teaching to better suit our students. Being that
women take care of many of the children,
we had hoped many village women
would attend the class. After the first few
classes and only the men showed up, we
realized we were naive and didn’t understand the culture as well as we thought. In
every class that was conducted, only men
and male children attended. This observation by the team led to the development
of an all women’s class of the same material.
In Iraq, there is a lot of social talk and it is
not uncommon for friends to stop in and
visit, especially if they notice others are
around visiting. This was the case for us.
After one of the classes, the Civil Affairs
November 13th, 2006
Spc. Carlson visits with young Iraqi children during the female first aid class.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Jacie Swanson
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We got to work developing a women’s class. We discussed
what we should teach and how to approach it. We decided to
introduce some women’s specific issues. Because of the culture only a female could teach the class. We enlisted the help
of Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Houston, another female medic
from C Co. 134 BSB. Staff Sgt. French and Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Houston put together a women’s health class. The
two female medics decided to take some of what we were
teaching the men, such as bleeding control, airway management, and other injury related issues and incorporate these
into the classes. They also focused more on care related issues, such as burns, wound care, fever, hygiene, and illness.
Staff Sgt. French stated: "we want to teach them basic things
to better care for themselves in the absence of health care.
Most of the local civilians here can go to a hospital in Nasiriyah, but a lot of them don't. They were getting infections and
illnesses that can be prevented by basic first aid techniques
we all know growing up in America."
For the women's class, Staff Sgt. French and Sgt. First Class
Houston also addressed some female specific issues such as
feminine hygiene, infection, and primary prevention. "Each
class we learn different things about what the women do for
female specific health issues, what kinds of issues they have,
and we are constantly changing and adapting the classes to
better suit them,” said Staff Sgt. French. Sgt. 1st Class Houston reported, "it has also been different teaching women who
are not used to being instructed by Americans. This was the
first time we had really seen that many local women together."
It has been difficult introducing
certain topics that we were not
sure how to approach. Prevention is very important and not
something that is practiced in
this culture as we are used to
doing in the US. Every year
there are many burn victims,
most of them are children.
Teaching them simple things
like keeping the kids away from
fire, and not using scolding water as a form of punishment is a
very difficult task. We don't
want to insult them, or tell them
they are wrong, but these are
important things to help prevent major injuries to themselves and their children. Staff
Sgt. French said, "one technique
that seems to work well is telling them examples of what we
see in America, such as home
remedies, infections, and so on,
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and what we tell our American citizens. This makes it less of
an accusation, or not as much like we are telling them that
there culture is wrong, and gets through to them at the same
time."
It has been very important throughout both of these classes to
tell them we are not here to treat them or replace their doctor,
We are teaching them tips and techniques they can use as
prevention, treatment without a doctor, what to do in an
emergency before they get to a hospital and when to seek
higher medical care. The women's class has become a much
talked about program. "The class was very well received by
the community," said Sgt. 1st Class Houston, "hopefully it will
help decrease the amount of preventable injuries and illnesses, and improve the stature of women in this society."
Both Staff Sgt. French and Sgt. 1st Class Houston are involved
in health care back home. They have brought a great deal of
knowledge to the classes not only as health care professionals, but as women and mothers. They both reported that they
want to help the people of Iraq as much as they can, and “being able to teach the women’s health class has been a highlight of this deployment,” said Staff Sgt. French, “even if we
only reach the younger girls, or only a few of the mothers,
then it is all worth it.”
-Spc. Ian Wolfe
C Co. Medic
From left to right: Interpreter Seham Kamala, Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Houston, and Staff Sgt. Tracy
French teach a first aid class to the women of Abdul Razak village. -photo by Staff Sgt. Jacie Swanson
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214th
A get-well message from the 214th. -photo courtesy Sgt. Gary Heffner P O P T O P S F O R H O L LY
Back in early September Sgt. Marvin Dye commented
that life could not get much worse for him because he
was “stuck in Iraq.” However, when he went home on
leave shortly after that his seven year old daughter
explained to him how life could be much worse. She
broke the news to him in an odd way. She asked him
to buy a twelve pack of soda. “But you don’t drink
sodas,” Sgt. Dye told her. “Dad,” she said, “I need the
pop tops for my friend, Holly. She is very sick and our
class is collecting pop tops for her.” Sgt. Dye’s daughter, Jalen, was talking about her friend, Holly Nguyen,
a classmate at Doves Creek Elementary School in Elberton, Georgia. Holly has leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy. Her school is collecting pop tops
from soda cans to turn in for her treatment at the
Children’s Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. Sgt.
Dye bought plenty of sodas while he was home. His
family, including his wife, Loretta, his eldest daughter,
Markeia (15), his son, Trejan (4), not to mention Jalen,
all helped drink them and dutifully collected the pop
tops for Holly. So far Jalen’s class has collected 95
pounds! That’s a lot of soda.
Back in Iraq now, Sgt. Dye works as a guard at an entry control point on Camp Cedar. He shared his
daughter’s story with his men and they wanted to do
something to cheer Holly up. They had a picture made
and all of them and the 214th soldiers signed it, wishing Holly well. Sgt. Dye will be sending home some
Camp Cedar stuffed bears for Holly, as well. But Sgt.
Dye got another idea, he had a sign made and we took
a picture of him and his men with the biggest get well
card any of us had ever seen.
Holly is doing well at last report and Jalen is continu-
November 13th, 2006
Sgt. Marvin Dye holds a photograph the Soldiers of the 214th signed for his
daughter’s friend, Holly. -photo by Sgt. Gary Heffner
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Sgt. Marvin Dye reads a newspaper article about his daughter’s friend, Holly. T
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-photo by Sgt. Gary Heffner
ing her quest for pop tops. Sgt. Dye says, “Holly and pop tops
is all she talks about!” But Sgt. Dye said he was very proud of
Jalen for thinking about her friend instead of material things.
Sgt. Dye had to leave his family again and go back to Iraq but
he breathed a sigh of relief knowing that all his family was
healthy and doing well. He prays for Holly and has asked that
we all do the same. When Sgt. Dye left home from his leave he
hugged and kissed all his family but he gave Jalen a little longer
lasting hug than all the others. Jalen knew why.
-Sgt. Gary Heffner
214th SB UPAR
November 13th, 2006
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259th
Marine 231st Birthday Cake.
O N C E A M A R I N E , A LWAY S A M A R I N E
No one except for Marines will truly understand what it is
like to be a Marine. Young and old, we all went to boot camp
and earned our Eagle, Globe and Anchor. On November 10,
2006, T.Sgt. Chester Thompson made it possible for Marine
Veterans like myself and many others here at Camp Adder to
celebrate the Marine Corps 231st Birthday.
Life in the Marine Corps is not the same as life in the Army.
We all have to adjust. There is the difference in field days and
-photo by Spc. Jenna Vaughn
G.I. parties. Then,
there is
the difference of
wearing
the Marine digitals, to
wearing
ACU’s, to
simply
being a
civilian.
Despite
our differences in
lifestyles
now, we
all stood
tall on
The POW memorial table at the 231st Marine
November
birthday celebration.
10th as we
-photo by Spc. Jenna Vaughn
sang The
Marines’
Hymn, and listened to both General Lejeune’s and the 33rd
Marine Corps Commandant’s Birthday Message. We then
watched as the youngest and the oldest Marine’s here on
Camp Adder cut the birthday cake in honor of the tradition
that has been set forth by our fellow Marines. Even though
we are not in the Marine Corps anymore we are all still Marines…Once a Marine, Always a Marine. “Semper Fidelis”
-Spc. Jenna Vaughn
259th FSC UPAR
The youngest and oldest Marine on post prepare to cut the cake.
-photo by Spc. Jenna Vaughn
November 13th, 2006
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HHC
Capt. Amanda Clerc and 1st Sgt. Ole Olson.
H H C U P D AT E
For this article I would like to talk about HHC, its makeup,
and the duties it has carried throughout this deployment.
Typically HHC consists of primarily the battalion staff officers and enlisted soldiers that give this machine the direction
they feel it needs to go. The analogy has been brought up
many times that it is like herding cats with their tails moving
every direction possible. During this deployment it seems as
though this may have been the case. However, as Paul Harvey would say, “this is the rest of the story”.
(Boy do I miss not listening to Paul Harvey).
As a First Sergeant I have been involved with several different companies that had different missions. During my tenure
I have also been involved with rebuilding companies. This
however was the first time in which Capt. Amanda Clerc and
I were given the opportunity to actually “build” a company.
We had most of the parts when we were still at Camp Ripley
the one month prior to deploying. We still had those parts for
the first month at Camp Shelby however they were floating
around a bit. Then we moved out of the tents at FOB Hurricane and into the company billeting area along with the orderly and supply rooms. Boy did the parts start moving
around then. I’ll never forget walking into that orderly room
and thinking “Holy #@&%! Where do I start first?” We literally had 3 desks, 2 chairs, 1 broken file cabinet and tons of
dirt and dust. We had Staff Sgt. Karen Johnson (then a Sgt.),
and Sgt. Shane Wester in the supply room filling in until Sgt.
Elg got caught up with us (he was with his wife, who was
giving birth to twins). They both did an absolutely outstanding job to get the supplies, weapons, billeting and anything
else we needed to get started. By the way neither Staff Sgt.
Johnson nor Sgt. Wester were unit supply sergeants. Then
came Staff Sgt. Holly Norick who (then a Sgt.), probably
could see we were not very organized and quite frankly beginning to be inundated with the administrative require-
November 13th, 2006
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
ments necessary for the
daily company
operations. She
quickly assessed what
was needed to
establish, maintain, and operate the administrative section
of the orderly
room on a continual basis.
Staff Sgt. Norick probably
had one of the
most ungratify- Sgt. Brian Elg at LSA Adder, Iraq.
ing jobs in the
unit, tracking
who had to go to what training, coordinating them to get to
the training, what date completed, who qualified with what
weapon system and when, and oversaw all unit administrative work coming in and going out. Oh by the way Staff Sgt.
Norick’s specialty is not admin. Not far into the deployment
Spc. Ashley Lapadat (then a Pfc.) was brought over from the
S1 section to help us keep up with the daunting amount of
unit administrative work to include tracking TMC (Troop
Medical Clinic), dental, and LOD (Line of Duty investigations) results as well as REFRAD (Release from Active Duty)
tracking and SRC (Soldier Readiness Checks) progress. Now
we need to take into account also the general admin work
that was a constant flow each day. Her quickness to learn and
implement admin support added greatly to the success of the
company headquarters throughout our stay at Camp Shelby.
Now let’s go to the S1 (Personnel) section. This section began
with 1st Lt. Mark Martin as the OIC (Officer in Charge) and
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Staff Sgt. Amy Hansen as the NCOIC (Non-Commissioned
Officer In Charge). The section began with Staff Sgt. Raymond Knapp, Sgt. Krista Steinbach, Sgt. Ezra Schoenike, Spc.
Amie Rudd, Spc. Nathan Brown, Spc. Yang Xiong, and Spc.
William Ewing and later on Spc. Janelle Anderson. Over the
course of the next four months, 1st Lt. Martin moved to the
Battalion TOC (Tactical Operations Center) as a Battle Captain and Maj. Scott Ebel took over as the S1 OIC. Staff Sgt.
Knapp moved to the S5 (Civil Military Affairs) section, Spc.
Ewing moved to Company B and Spc. Anderson went to the
DFAC (Dining Facility). Last but not least, Staff Sgt. Bill
Snellman came to the section due in part to the conspiring of
Maj. Paul Peterson, who had been managing public affairs for
the battalion, and Maj. Ebel who both saw the PR treasure in
Staff Sgt. Snellman. Plus that meant that Maj. Ebel wouldn’t
have to worry about it. Staff Sgt. Snellman’s work is seen
each month in the publication of the Wolverine Gazette. Not
to mention the literally tens of thousands of pictures he has
taken of events, missions and each company within the battalion. I was impressed on how well this section came together to meet the admin requirements for the battalion that
was so fluid at times I would imagine the S1 wondered if
they would have to reset itself to accompany all the changes.
Now, here is something I would hope everyone would understand. Admin requirements include all aspects of postal
duties, pay and insurance inquiries, active JAG (Judge Advocate General - Legal) requirements, besides company and battalion awards, promotions, inter and intra-transfers throughout the battalion and brigade and all incoming and outgoing
correspondence. My hat goes off to Staff Sgt. Hansen for
keeping a tight rein on this section. It had many opportunities
to get run over by other sections both internally and exter-
Staff Sgt. Holly Norrick, Spc. Nicole
Feldhege, Spc. Christina Ylatupa, and
Spc. Jason Smolke of the HHC Supply
Section.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
nally. I understand I may be biased, but then I
can be. The BSB has the most efficient, professional and innovative S1 section in the brigade
To be continued...
-1st Sgt. Ole Olson
HHC First Sergeant
Sgt. Ezra Schoenike, Spc. Amie Rudd, Staff Sgt. Amy Hansen, and Sgt. Krista Steinbach
of the 134th BSB S1 Section. -photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
November 13th, 2006
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FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT LIFE IN IRAQ
Every time I call home to friends that I haven’t talked to for a
long time, I usually get asked the same question: “What’s it
like over there?” That’s kind of a difficult question to answer
on the fly and there are so many places one could go with
that. I thought I’d answer that question for all of us in HHC
(Headquarters and Headquarters Company) with just a few
observations that border on the trivial, routine, and uninteresting, yet gives you a good idea of what it is really like over
here (kind of).
1. Rainy Season. The end of October has just arrived bringing
the very beginning of the rainy season. The last time we had
rain – I mean any rain, any cloud-cover, even a drop – was on
May 1. The Southern Desert has been continuously basking in
its timeless cycle of brilliantly hot sun, 120-degree temperatures, forlorn winds, and dry, starry nights. Earlier this month
we saw the first overcast day in a while; and then the next
week began with a breakfast-time sprinkle of light rain that
lasted about 5 minutes the next week. Two nights ago, we
witnessed a real cloudburst overnight that drummed raindrops on all of our cans, and filled the night sky with multiple rapid-fire bursts of lightning. The worst part is the mud
that is formed from it. Throughout the summer, the landscape
of Iraq is made up of a mostly powder-fine dirt that covers
everything with a dusky film after the slightest of air currents. After the rain, the entire FOB (Forward Operating
Base) was experiencing a new kind of sticky, cloying mud
that clings to flip-flops, boots and office building floors with a
vengeance. According to Spc. Amie Rudd of Apple Valley,
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MN: “I really
love rain, but I
despise the
mud which
makes you
think this could
very well be
the ugliest
country on the
face of the
Earth.” Her
fellow administrative section
supervisor,
Staff Sgt. Amy
Hansen of
Richmond, MN
says: “I hate the
heat, but I hate
the mud more.
I would trade
each muddy
day for a day of
130-degree
heat.”
B
Capt. Anthony Gale in Kuwait.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
2. Haircuts. Haircut at the AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Services for the uninitiated) barber: $3, tip for your
Nepalese or Pakistani barber: $2, receiving a complimentary
post-haircut scalp and back massage: Priceless. It must be a
local tradition in barber shops in Southwest Asia to do the
complimentary shoulder rub and amateur chiropractics after
the haircut is done. To
describe this process,
Maj. Scott Ebel from
Centerville, MN says:
“It makes me feel
strange when a 4’2”
dude with long hair
in a ponytail grabs
your neck and cracks
it for you.” The neckcrack thing creeps me
out, too; but for $13,
the gal at Great Clips
ought to at least
throw in a token
back-rub.
Sgt. Timothy Hastings salutes Lt. Col. Brian Olson after being awarded the Army Achievement Medal.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
November 13th, 2006
3. Football Season: All
sports nuts here in
Iraq have become
used to a certain unusual tradition now
that football season is
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on: Tuesday Morning Football. Since Daylight Savings Time is
back in effect back home, the Monday Night Football game
begins at 4:30 in the morning on Tuesday our time. The gym
here on post broadcasts these games live while you’re working out on the stair-master or stationary bike. For regular
Sunday games, the set of early games come on at 9:00 PM,
and the late afternoon games begin at Midnight. According to
Sgt. Timothy Hastings of Baxter, MN: “I am on shift during
the first game, but I watch the second game in my can when I
go off shift.” College Football on Saturday is usually the
same way. AFN (Armed Forces Network) will show three
games in the morning and afternoon time slot and another
three in the late afternoon time-slot (or two and a NASCAR
race). Sadly, though, the Vikings have only been televised
here four times out of the first eight games.
4. The Wonder of the iPOD: One of the great things about the
times we live in is the portability of electronics. Vietnam
movies are punctuated
with scenes of soldiers in
the field with their transistor radios tuned to
Adrian Kroenauer of
Good Morning Vietnam
fame. I think that today’s
Gulf Warriors will be forever depicted trading
songs with each other
and fiddling with their
iPODs in their downtime.
Spc. Jasmine Handevidt
of Marshall, MN describes another reason for
its popularity: “When I
was living in a bay with
30 other girls, my MP3
player was my lifeline to
drown out the noise
when I was trying to
sleep.”
5. International Flavor:
Many of you have read
articles in previous editions of this newsletter
about your soldiers getting involved in the local
Iraqi community interacting with the Iraqi citizens
and officials. Back on our
beloved FOB, soldiers at
Tallil daily come in con-
November 13th, 2006
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tact with soldiers from Italy, Great Britain, Australia, Rumania, Bosnia, Japan, and Poland. Staff Sgt. Jennifer Yurczyk of
Avon, MN, who works at the dining facility had this to say
about working with our coalition partners: “I think the Australians have been the friendliest, that’s probably because we
speak the same language.” She also talked about how the
Polish soldiers have taught her how to say Hello and Good
Morning taking a shine to her obviously Polish name.
This article is not intended to tell you all of the important
things that we are accomplishing in Iraq, as we normally do,
but maybe it is important to show you the day-to-day ways
that Iraq is affecting us. At the end of the day, when the work
and the convoys and the reports are done, this is what our life
is like off-duty.
-Capt. Anthony Gale
134th BSB Battalion Historian
Sgt. Alisha Feilen congratulates Spc. Amie Rudd on being awarded the Army Achievement Medal.
-photo by Staff Sgt. Bill Snellman
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R E A R D E TA C H M E N T A N D F A M I LY G R O U P L E A D E R S
Rear Detachment
Contact Name
MAJ Christine Ostendorf
HHC: Sgt. Destiny Johnson
Staff Sgt. Keith Sand
A Co: Staff Sgt. Deanna Wisotzke
B Co: Staff Sgt. Mark Thanghe C Co: Staff Sgt. Stacy Buschmann-Ford
E Co: Staff Sgt. David Wright Spc. Jayme Vandermay 214th: Capt. Shane Strickland
Email Address
[email protected] [email protected]
[email protected] [email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected] Phone Office Location
651.268.8191
320.632.7691
320.632.3103
651.268.8452
320.632.7610
651.268.8192
320.732.3028
651.268.8494
678.569.8205
Cottage Grove
Camp Ripley Camp Ripley Brooklyn Park
Camp Ripley Cottage Grove
Long Prairie Moorhead
Georgia
Family Readiness Groups
Contact Name
HHC: Lawre Harris
A Co: Pamela Mettille
B Co: Holly Martin
C Co: Paul Baumtrog
E Co: Deb Wiener
Kristina Holte
214th: Elly Creager
108th: Sonia Fontenot
259th: Ali Teale Email Address
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]
[email protected]
Website Meeting Location
http://www.hhc134bsbfsg.us/ Camp Ripley TACC http://www.alpha134bsbfsg.com/ Brooklyn Park TACC
Twin Cities and Camp Ripley Cottage Grove TACC Camp Ripley, Bloomington
Moorhead, Hibbing
HELPFUL WEBSITES
Redbull Web MN National Guard
Tricare Military One Source
Deployment Link Family Support Programs
Military Pay Operation Military Childcare First Lady’s Military Care Initiative
Guard Mobilization Info
Military Spouse
Military Assistance Program
Military.com US Post Office “Supporting Our Troops”
APO Shipping Restrictions
MN State Family Programs
http://www.redbullweb.com http://www.dma.state.mn.us http://www.tricare.osd.mil// http://www.militaryonesource.com/ (1.800.342.9647) http://deploymentlink.osd.mil//deploy/guard_reserves/rng_fsp.shtml
https://mypay.dfas.mil//mypay.aspx http://www.naccrra.org/MilitaryPrograms/index.php?program=2
http://governor.state.mn.us/FirstLady/flmain1.asp
http://ngb.army.mil/features/mobilization/ http://www.milspouse.org http://www.dod.mil/mapsite/ http://www.military.com
http://www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm
http://www.oconus.com/ZipCodes.asp
http://dma.state.mn.us/familyprograms/Soldierfamilyasst.htm
Access “Moms Over Miles,” “Dads at a Distance,” and “Long Distance Couples” for great staying connected information:
http://www.momsovermiles.com http://www.dads.com http://www.longdistancecouples.com http://www.parentsoup.com
November 13th, 2006
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