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Monday, November 13, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd BCT PAO, 10th Mtn. Div.
YUSUFIYAH, Iraq – With his body propped up against his defensive position, he peers diligently through his scope, looking for terrorists and anyone else who would do his unit harm. He looks through the scope for several hours each day, knowing that the Soldier to his left and right are counting on him. He has not had a shower or a hot meal in six days, and yet he remains focused – ready to defend his comrades.
Spc. Jon Born, a marksman for 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and other members of his unit sit for days at their battle positions anticipating the enemy, but what they do not anticipate is a friendly face showing up to see how they are doing.
Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Riling, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, did just that when he visited the Soldiers Wednesday at the Yusufiyah power plant. The plant is located on the Euphrates River, near Sadr al Yusufiyah, approximately 25 miles southwest of Baghdad.
“I like to get out and visit with our Soldiers as often as I can. I think the Soldiers appreciate when their senior leaders take the time to talk to them and stand side-by-side with them during a mission,” Riling said. “As a leader, I think it is important to encourage them and recognize Soldiers for outstanding performance.”
Having only been in Iraq a couple of months, the Soldiers of 2-14 Inf. Regt., also known as the “Golden Dragons,” have been manning the Yusufiyah power plant since Oct. 23. They originally foot marched to a battle position on nearby highway and provided overwatch on the power plant, took perimeter security and then secured the power plant.
“The Soldiers of 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., have recently been attached to Multi-National Division – Baghdad, and like their predecessors from 10th Mtn. Div.’s 1st BCT, have shown outstanding dedication, performance and leadership,” said Riling. “They have quickly and seamlessly transitioned into their role and have added to MND-B’s strength and capabilities. This is a testament to the Army’s doctrine of modularity.”
Securing the power plant was important to the 2nd BCT because it (the power plant) was believed that terrorists used the area as a safe haven to stage attacks against the Government of Iraq and MND-B Forces.
Since the power plant was secured, the “Golden Dragons” have been manning the site every day, non-stop. They are looking for possible terrorist activity in or around the area and often do not have interaction with anyone besides their battle buddies – so the MND-B leader’s visit was a morale booster for them.
“It was good to see Command Sgt. Maj. Riling out here,” said Spc. Michael Wahlers, 2-14 Inf. Regt. “We have worked hard to secure the power plant, and it’s great to be recognized for it.”
A fellow Soldier said he thought the visit was important as well.
“It is good to see that other higher-ranking officials are seeing the valuable importance of the thermal power plant, now known as Camp Dragon, and to see how the Soldiers of 2-14 Inf. Regt. are putting in long hours to build up proper security and to keep clearing the site while continuing combat patrols and local route security,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Godlewski, personal security detachment noncommissioned officer, 2-14 Inf. Regt.
During Riling’s visit with the Soldiers, he thanked the Soldiers for the job they were doing and presented his coins to them for their hard work.
“The Soldiers of 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., are operating in one of the most dangerous sections within MND-B’s area of operations,” Riling said. “Through their diligence and professionalism, they have battled terrorists and recently gained control and strengthened the security of a strategically located power plant. They are dedicated to their mission and working with the Iraqi Security Forces toward a brighter future for the people of Iraq.”
Like Born, the Soldiers of the “Golden Dragons” will continue to operate out of the power plant until it can be safely returned to the Iraqi people.
Blogged by 2nd BCT Commandos at 3:13 PM
Monday, November 06, 2006
This is a message from BG Fiazel, the commander of 3rd Bn., 4th Bde. , 6th Iraqi Army Dvi. after he heard the vedict for Saddam ...
"I thank all of the American Forces that are over here in Iraq and making Iraq a better place. President Bush is a great man for what he has done for Iraq. With the help of the American Soldiers we have finally ended the time of Saddam Hussein. Iraqi will now continue to prosper and great to be a great nation. Thank you American Soldiers for everything that you have done for our people."
Blogged by 2nd BCT Commandos at 10:39 AM
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd BCT PAO, 10th Mtn. Div.
RADWANIYAH, Iraq – Jasmine, an Iraqi child with unkempt hair and dressed in tattered clothes, reached her hand out for a pair of shoes. She was not concerned with the brand, style or even the size of the shoes, she simply wanted a pair of shoes to replace the sandals she was wearing – sandals which were too small, causing her toes to touch the pavement when she walked.
Providing needed items such as this was a highlight for Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers from the 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, who assisted in handing out anything from shoes to shampoo to Iraqi children like Jasmine at the Civil Military Operations Center Saturday in Radwaniyah, southeast of Baghdad.
“I wanted to be able to do something nice to help the community and show the Iraqis we are here to help them,” said Michelle Winicki, a medic with the 210th BSB.
The items the Soldiers passed out to the children came from the support of the American people in the form of a Victory Box, filled with items to give to the Iraqis.
The Victory Boxes were started by Mary Halleck, of Colleyville, Texas. Halleck originally started sending boxes to Soldiers who had no families to send them anything.
After sending numerous care packages to Soldiers, Halleck received a letter from a Soldier asking her if she would be able to send school supplies to the Iraqi children.
After a few fundraisers, Halleck and her friends came up with the idea of Victory Boxes – boxes containing goods needed for the Iraqi people to help them in their fight for freedom.
“I’ve never really done anything for my country,” Halleck said. “I envisioned our (American) families sending boxes to the people of Iraq through the Soldiers.”
The boxes were intended to help the Iraqis as they train to defend their country, get their economy going, clothe their families and educate their children.
“The support (that the Iraqi people are receiving) is great,” said Sgt. Billie Caperton, a medic with 210th BSB. “It feels like the Iraqis want us here, and it feels good that the American people understand they (the Iraqi people) are in a tough situation and want to help the Iraqis.”
Unlike the majority of children who ask for the latest video game, name-brand clothes or a new toy, the Iraqi children ask for basic necessities that most take for granted – items like shampoo, shoes, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Most of the children asking for the items have never had the money to buy products to wash their hair or brush their teeth. For them, these items are special.
The simple act of giving the Iraqi children basic items has led to the discovery of dangerous weapons and improvised-explosive devices. Sometimes when the Iraqi children recognize Soldiers who have helped them, they show the Soldiers where such dangerous weapons are located.
“Giving the children items they need helps them get over the fear of people (Soldiers) in uniform,” said Capt. Mark Griffin, a civil affairs officer, who operates with the 2nd BCT, a native of San Antonio. “It shows them that people in uniform are not bad.”
With the help of people like Halleck, Soldiers are able to help the Iraqi people.
“This is a great program because there is such a huge need for supplies in Iraq,” Griffin said. “When the American people get involved, it helps us push products out and give the Iraqi people a better shot at standing up their country. They are given the things they need to survive.”
Currently, the 2nd BCT Soldiers are helping get these special boxes out to the Iraqi people. Overall, there have been approximately 5,000 boxes sent to Soldiers.
“These boxes are from the American people to the Iraqi people through the Soldiers,” Halleck added.
Now, with the support of the American people, Iraqi children like Jasmine will be able to wear a pair of shoes that fit, wash their hair and brush their teeth.
For more information about Victory Boxes log on to www.victoryboxes.com.
Blogged by 2nd BCT Commandos at 9:37 PM