Ida Malone helps her husband, Navy Chief Petty Officer Averill Malone, stretch before cycling during the Navy’s training camp for the 2015 DoD Warrior Games at Ventura County Naval Station Port Hueneme in Oxnard, Calif., June 3, 2015. DoD photo by EJ HersomVENTURA, California: As the nightmares took control of him, the sailor’s wife wrapped her arms around him and told him he was safe, comforting him until he calmed down and went back to sleep.
Navy Chief Petty Officer Averill Malone, a logistics specialist, has been married to his wife, Ida, for eight years, and he said the support he receives from his wife as a spouse and caregiver helps him with his post-traumatic stress symptoms. “She tells me I’m safe, especially on those nights when I’m waking up screaming and jumping from nightmares,” he said. “When I get depressed or the anxiety starts kicking in, she says, ‘Baby, you’re safe.’ I love her for loving me through this.”
Military Service Malone joined the Navy right out of high school and loved being in logistics during his 22 years of service, making sure equipment and mail got to and from the ships. While he was deployed to Camp Victory in Iraq from 2007 to 2008, he was on a night patrol when he heard bombs, rockets and mortars land all around him. “I was really scared for my life,” Malone said. “I thought to myself, ‘If it’s my time, it’s my time.’ I just walked and prayed and sang songs.”
Army Capt. Stacy Beasley, a chaplain for the 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, appeared on a recent Animal Planet docudrama, titled, “Monster Island.” Beasley and his team used their bow hunting skills in an attempt to cull an invasive colony of boars infected by a highly contagious and deadly microbe on Mona Island, Puerto Rico. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mark PattonFORT LEONARD WOOD, Montana: A white cross memorial juts from the rugged terrain as a group of bow hunters start their trek into the heart of a 7-by-4-mile island surrounded by some of the Caribbean’s roughest waters.
“It’s a reality check that this island has taken people’s lives,” recalled Army Capt. Stacy Beasley, the chaplain for the Fort Leonard Wood-based 5th Engineer Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. Beasley was speaking about Mona Island, Puerto Rico, an area billed as one of the most hostile environments known to man. It’s an island that, except for seasonal rangers, remains uninhabited by humans. What the island does offer is scorching heat, venomous centipedes, poisonous plants, sinkholes, razor sharp coral and a disorienting cactus maze.
Avid Outdoorsman For Beasley, a native of Carthage, Missouri, this island became his temporary home late last year. It also became the site of the avid outdoorsman’s television debut. Three other bow hunters joined Beasley on Mona Island as their efforts to cull an invasive colony of boars infected by the highly contagious and deadly Brucellosis microbe were documented for an “Animal Planet” television show. By hunting the feral hogs, the team hoped to reduce the spread of disease on the island and prevent it from being carried to the mainland by illegal migrants. Mona Island is also home to endangered animals, including an endemic iguana subspecies, and Beasley said their hunt aimed to reduce the disturbance of the ecosystem.