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The Support Our Troops! license plate hits the road in North Carolina!

NC-PlateProofPhoto2-300pxMarch 1, 2010 Bolt one on for the troops today!„¢ Yes, today! The new North Carolina Support Our Troops! license plate is out and selling hot at all DMV offices statewide and online at the DMV's fantastic website Don't wait for your renewal month to get into this great plate! You can swap out early! The troops didn't wait. They went half way around for the world for us; let's all do this simple thing for them! It's a perfect way to show them you care.

Meet Your Military: Soldier Keeps Units Connected

[caption id="attachment_4138" align="alignleft" width="300"]SoldierKeepsUnits02142011 Army Spc. Joseph Sirovy works on a satellite dish at Forward Operating Base Shank in Afghanistan’s Logar province, Jan. 16, 2011. U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Ashley Allen[/caption] LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Operating in a country with rugged, mountainous terrain can present many communications challenges, but Army Spc. Joseph Sirovy is keeping his units connected.
Sirovy, a multichannel transmissions systems operator from Knox, Ind., assigned to the 10th Mountain Division’s Company C, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, ensures his units throughout Wardak and Logar provinces in eastern Afghanistan can communicate. “I am trying to make a difference at the company and platoon levels for soldiers to be able to communicate to their command,â€Â he said. As the technical expert for a team that assesses and repairs communications equipment, Sirovy provides communication analysis throughout the brigade’s area of operations. This support allows Task Force Patriot to communicate in a clear and timely manner, even at the lowest levels, so the soldiers can conduct effective military operations and, more importantly, keep ahead of insurgents and the Taliban, said Army Capt. Craig Starn, Company C commander, from Grafton, W.Va. Afghanistan has limited fixed-line telephone service, ranking 139th in the world, according to the CIA's World Fact Book website. Terrain is the biggest obstacle for establishing communications within Task Force Patriot’s operating area of Afghanistan, Sirovy said, and communications leaders are using commercial equipment to push network services to companies and platoons that aren’t located on larger forward operating bases. Signal site assessments play a significant role in maintaining reliable tactical communications down to the lowest levels, said Army Maj. Keith Dawson, Task Force Patriot brigade communications and automations officer in charge from Hammond, La. Sirovy said he enjoys conducting assessments throughout Logar and Wardak provinces because he leaves the forward operating base and gets to fix and prevent communication problems. Dawson said Sirovy and the assessment team are vital to maintaining communications within the task force because the host nation has very limited landlines, forcing the brigade to rely mainly on its own signal equipment, such as satellite communication. And because Task Force Patriot’s communication network is four times the size of an average brigade’s, he added, an active assessment team is especially important. Sirovy said he has learned to assess and maintain satellite communications equipment and computer networking systems, and that his training and experience would be valuable in the civilian sector, thanks to the latest technology the Army is using. However, Sirovy added, he is not necessarily thinking of leaving the Army any time soon. While he joined the Signal Corps to learn about the signal and communications field, he said, he also enlisted for three reasons: to serve his country, to make something of himself and to provide for his child. Sirovy and Starn travel to different locations weekly to complete surveys. Sirovy inspects all of the signal equipment for each unit to make sure it’s functioning properly. He fixes issues on the spot and determines whether parts need to be ordered or repaired. That work is critical, Starn said, because the units must have uninterrupted communications to their higher authority during combat operations. Army 1st Sgt. Adrian Borel of Lafayette, La., Company C’s first sergeant, explained why Sirovy was chosen for his position on the assessment team and why he is so successful. “Specialist Sirovy is dedicated to mission accomplishment and will not accept failure,â€Â he said. “He continuously seeks to expand his knowledge base of signal equipment and its capability pertaining to each unit’s primary mission focus.â€Â Feb. 14, 2011: By Army 1st Lt. Ashley Allen and Army 1st Lt. Jose Perez Task Force Dagger


Marines Get $1,910, 844.64 of Trail Mix and Microwave Popcorn!

marinecorpshookFebruary 9, 2010   $1,910, 844.64 of trail mix and microwave popcorn has just been delivered to Marine Corps bases all across America.   Yes, that's one million nine hundred thousand dollars.   383 pallets! 9 tractor-trailer loads! And all from individual American citizens to their troops. It is a showing of the goodwill of the people for their troops.   It is especially amazing because it was done during a recession.   It just goes to show how real Americans step up for those who step up for them.   Is this a great country or what. The tractor-trailers delivered the goods to the Marine Forces Reserve in Louisiana, Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany Georgia, Headquarters Battalion  Washington DC, Marine Barracks Washington DC,  Recruitment Depo San Diego, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton,  Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Air Ground Combat Center 29 Palms,  Air Station Yuma Arizona,  Air Station Cherry Point North Carolina, Quantico, Marines Corps Community Services Command,   Air Station Miramar California, Air Station New River North Carolina,  Logistics Base Barstow, and the Mountain Warfare Training Center California. A fun and positive way to show support for the troops! "Thanks Marines and  we hope it shows you how much we all appreciate you", said Support Our Troops® Chairman Martin C. Boire.  "What a gesture of Americans' trust in you, and our honest gratitude for everything you do for us." Each case is labeled with a thank-you sticker.   What a fun way to show them how much we think of them!  What a tremendous gesture of good will. "Your [popcorn] service makes a world of difference and helps to boost the morale of the service men and women throughout the world."  ~~ an Admiral. Where did all this popcorn come from? From the American People!   The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts went door to door down street alls across America and asked people if they would like to donate $25 of popcorn treats to the troops.  And at $25 a pop this many people did. Who did this? SupportOurTroops.Org, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Trail's- End Popcorn Company teamed up to pull this off.  Said Support Our Troops Chairman Martin C. Boire: "kids, you want to know how to pull off something this huge?  Get into Scouting, you'll get to organize hundreds of things." Who manufactured it? Nothing but the best for our troops!  Trail's-End® popcorn is known as America's Best Popcorn. It is produced by Weaver Popcorn Company, one of the largest producers and manufacturers of popcorn products in the world. An 80-year-old, family-owned company located in Indiana, Weaver Popcorn distributes its products in more than 90 countries. About SupportOurTroops.Org. The free online troop-supporter Community at SupportOurTroops.Org offers simple ways for all of us to thank and show support to American troops (our deployed neighbors) serving all over the world.  It is a non-partisan, non-political civilian organization, welcoming civilians, active-duty families, and veterans as members.   Donations at SupportOurTroops.Org help us do wonderful  things like this for the troops and their families.OhioPlatePhoto200px What else are we doing? Chairman Martin C. Boire, said, "we're the license plate people.  We have completed state-issuance of  Support Our Troops! plates in 25 states to date, and have more underway.  Those plates help us do good things like this for our deployed neighbors.  Sign up for your plate today. You  can find out the status of the effort in your state at" What is Support Our Troops? Support Our Troops® is a patriotic family organization aimed at protecting the well-being of the troops and their families.  They Support Us Let's Support Them!  Civilian-led, SOT enthusiastically welcomes civilians, active-duty families, veterans, and folks from all political parties.  We offer simple, easy, everyday methods through which folks can stick up for those who stick up for all of us: official license plates, yellow ribbons, apparel, and accessories, knowing that it works to benefit the deployed troops (our neighbors) and their families.  Support Our Troops is a nation-wide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with chapters in 37 states to date. How does get all of this done? Through our free  online community forum at SupportOurTroops.Org, and a lot of hard work by a lot of good kids and adults across America. CFC (Combined Federal Campaign) Member #31529. Support Our Troops®  is an authorized private civilian national and international nonprofit in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  It is the largest and most successful workplace charity campaign in the world.  Federal employees can help Support Our Troops® by designating to code 31529.

Op Pop Hits Forts Polk, Jackson, Irwin, Campbell

FtIrwinPaintedRockNCOmdJanuary 3, 2010 - Fort Polk, LA, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Fort Irwin, California, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky, just got 35 pallets, or $148,995 worth, of trail mix treats, tins of flavored prepopped popcorn, and microwave popcorn from SOT's Operation Popcorn.  OP POP happens only thanks to the individual Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts who go door to door down most streets in America each Fall in their annual popcorn sale.  The Scouts, and the average people who answer their doors on those streets, care enough about the men and women who step up for all of us, that they make OP POP happen during the Scout's  popcorn sale every year.   Are you are kid?   Want to learn how to do millions of dollars worth of business and help people all over the world?  Check out Scouting.

Meet Your Military: Sons Follow in Father's Footsteps

[caption id="attachment_3608" align="alignleft" width="250"]SonsFollowIn Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary Williard, left, and his son, Army Sgt. Joshua Williard, pose with a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at Contingency Operating Base Adder, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Neil Gussman[/caption] CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq– Any parent whose child follows him into his profession will feel pride.
A Pennsylvania National Guard soldier here can be doubly proud, then, as one son has followed in his military footsteps while another is pursuing his civilian career.Army Sgt. 1st Class Gary Williard of Company D, Task Force Diablo, is a retired police officer and an Army National Guard aircraft maintenance platoon sergeant.His older son, Gary Jr., joined the Tower City Police Force in Pennsylvania, where his father retired in 2006 as chief of police. Williard’s younger son, Army Sgt. Joshua Williard of 628th Aviation Support Battalion’s Company B, worked in the next hangar over from his dad during much of their recent deployment here and is now completing his deployment with final processing in the United States. “I pinned on Joshua’s sergeant stripes when he got promoted here on Aug. 27,â€Â Williad said. “That was quite a moment for me.â€Â Williard began his military career in 1976 as a propeller and rotor mechanic for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. After a break in service from 1982 to 1990, he returned to the Guard and has worked in maintenance on many aircraft. His younger son said he plans on a career in aviation maintenance with the Army National Guard. Gary Jr. worked for his father for five years in the Tower City Police Department before moving to the Pennsylvania State Police, where he has worked for seven years. Williard and his wife, Dina, ran an automotive repair business together. Now they own rental apartments. “Dina runs the apartments while I am away,â€Â Williard said. “With Joshua and I deployed and Gary Jr. busy with work, she’ll be very happy for us to come home.â€Â Williard deployed from 2003 to 2004 to Kuwait in both aviation maintenance and security roles. “Even on deployment, I was still a cop,â€Â he said. Jan. 7, 2010: By Army Sgt. Neil Gussman-Special to American Forces Press Service (Army Sgt. Neil Gussman serves with Task Force Diablo.) ***SOT***


Meet Your Military: Airmen Save Money in Iraq

[caption id="attachment_3623" align="alignleft" width="250"]AirmanSavesMoney Air Force Maj. William Reynolds demonstrates how to evacuate the liquid nitrogen from a fire suppression bottle for the Mi-17 helicopter, Dec. 27, 2009, at Camp Taji, Iraq. Reynolds and Air Force Master Sgt. Jayme Hakenson created a process that will save the Iraqi air force tens of thousands of dollars. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Trish Bunting[/caption] CAMP TAJI, Iraq – Two U.S. airmen with 721st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron here improvised a device to recharge fire suppression bottles for a Russian-made helicopter to save the Iraqi air force tens of thousands of dollars.
Maj. William Reynolds and Master Sgt. Jayme Hakenson worked together to design and modify a flightline fire extinguisher for the Mi-17 Hip helicopter that will allow Iraqis to fill fire suppression bottles themselves with the chemical Chladon 114B2."Chladon is a fire retardant," said Reynolds, a squadron maintenance officer deployed from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. "When released, it removes all the oxygen from the air and squelches the fire."Each aircraft has two fire suppression bottles installed on board in case of multiple fires."The problem we’re facing is, it’s very hot in Iraq and the bottles are located near the engine," said Hakenson, a production supervisor adviser deployed from Hurlburt Field, Fla. "When the bottle over-pressurizes, they vent overboard as a safety measure. Several bottles blew inadvertently during flights and without the safety bottles, the aircraft can’t fly." The fire bottles have a 24-month service period. Once the 24 months pass, they have to be removed from the aircraft and checked by a servicing facility. However, the closest facility to fill the bottles is in neighboring Jordan. "Because of infrequent trips to Jordan, it took nearly 18 months to obtain the bottles," said Reynolds, of Oakridge, Tenn. "Every time one of them dies, it really hurts us because we don’t have the spares to replace them." This motivated Reynolds and Hakenson to come up with a solution before they were completely out of supplies. Hakenson, a native of Wheatland, Calif., came up with the idea to use an empty flightline fire extinguisher. They determined if they drilled a hole through the bottom and welded on a piece of one-quarter-inch stainless steel tubing, they could maximize output. Army officials assisted by creating parts and giving pieces to help with the project. To understand how the fire suppression bottle worked, the airmen cut one in half and Reynolds figured out what he needed to do through trial and error. "Because the helicopter is Russian, the bottles required tools we just don’t have, such as a flaring to create a 37-degree bevel," Reynolds said. "The Army's 1st Calvary Brigade helped create adapters that go from Russian specifications to U.S. specifications. They also gave us a piece of tubing that could withstand 9,000 pounds per square inch. "I put a 90-degree elbow on a piece of quarter-inch stainless steel tubing and placed it into the fire suppression bottle," he continued. "Then I connected the hose from the fire extinguisher bottle to the tubing and filled the bottle with five kilograms of Chladon." In addition to filling the bottles, they also discovered how to save some of the Chladon. "Before, there was no way to discharge the bottles. It wasn’t safe to just open it up and vent it into the atmosphere because it pulls the oxygen out of the air," Reynolds said. "But with this recovery tank, we can actually discharge the bottles safely and recover the Chladon, allowing us to reuse it." The device is simple, inexpensive to manufacture and effective. After the Iraqi defense ministry gives approval, the Iraqi air force can begin recharging the bottles themselves. Because of the airmen’s ingenuity, the Iraqis can save time and money and the Mi-17s will continue to fly for years to come. Jan. 6, 2010: By Air Force Senior Airman Jarrod R. Chavana Special to American Forces Press Service (Senior Airman Jarrod R. Chavana serves with U.S. Air Forces Central public affairs.) ***SOT***  



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