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By Army Sgt. David Hodge Special to American Forces Press Service FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq, Nov. 3, 2008 The logistics world in the Army can seem overwhelming to many soldiers, with different sections and platoons operating independently and in conjunction with multiple units on the ground. [caption id="attachment_3124" align="alignleft" width="250"]fod_captain_leads_company_01_22_09 Army Capt. John Friel, assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad as commander of the 4th Infantry Division's Company A, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, takes a break from work, Oct. 30, 2008, at Forward Operating Base Falcon in southern Baghdad. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Hodge.[/caption] At this base in southern Baghdad's Rashid district, Army Capt. John Friel, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's Company A, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, Multinational Division Baghdad, makes sense of it all. Company A provides logistical support to all units operating in the 1st Brigade Combat Team's area of operations, said Friel, who hails from Warrensburg, Mo. The company also provides personnel and equipment for combat logistics patrols and fulfills force-protection requirements.At this base in southern Baghdad's Rashid district, Army Capt. John Friel, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's Company A, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, Multinational Division Baghdad, makes sense of it all. "We operate the fuel system supply point to provide bulk fuel to all maneuver units and contractors," Friel explained. "Also, the soldiers deliver water to the combat outposts and joint security stations throughout the Rashid district." The "Anacondas" also are responsible for the forward operating base's ammunition holding area, the supply-support activity yard, and the system that produces potable water for showers and other uses across the base. The water-purification system has produced close to a million gallons of water since the company arrived in Iraq, Friel said. "It's a very dynamic mission for us on FOB Falcon," the 12-year Army veteran added. In addition to the missions on the base, the Anacondas also provide convoy security for detainee-related missions, Friel said. Army 1st Lt. Anna Glandorf, executive officer of the battalion's Company C, described Friel as a great logistician who puts a lot of faith into his platoon leaders and platoon sergeants. "Each platoon has a completely separate mission," said Glandorf, a native of Grand Rapids, Mich. "Captain Friel gives them enough room to execute the mission while still providing oversight." Friel, whose father served as an Army major in operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, enlisted in 1992 as a crew member for the Multiple Launch Rocket System. While stationed in Babenhausen, Germany, with the 41st Fires Brigade, Friel met and married his wife, Ellen, a German citizen, in 1995. [caption id="attachment_3125" align="alignleft" width="88"]fod_capt_freil_01_22_09 Army Capt. John Friel, assigned to Multinational Division Baghdad as commander of the 4th Infantry Division's Company A, 4th Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, stands in front of his headquarters, Oct. 30, 2008, at Forward Operating Base Falcon in southern Baghdad. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. David Hodge[/caption] Friel separated from the Army to attend college at Central Missouri State University and re-entered the Army as an officer in the Transportation Corps branch. He has commanded Company A for about 20 months, and afterward he will branch out to a functional area, as many officers do, he said. Friel was recently selected to be a foreign-area officer for his next Army assignment. FAOs act as liaisons between foreign governments and militaries and the U.S. government, he explained. Since he lived in Germany with his military family as a boy and married a German citizen, Friel selected Western Europe as his area of concentration while learning his FAO responsibilities. "I have a pretty good background in the German language," Friel said. He will attend the Defense Language Institute after his deployment to study German further.Friel was recently selected to be a foreign-area officer for his next Army assignment. FAOs act as liaisons between foreign governments and militaries and the U.S. government, he explained. Since he lived in Germany with his military family as a boy and married a German citizen, Friel selected Western Europe as his area of concentration while learning his FAO responsibilities. Friel said he is very proud to be selected to represent the Army and the United States on an international level in Germany. "Ellen looks forward to going back home to Germany again," he said. "She is happy with everything we've done in the Army." (Army Sgt. David Hodge serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.) Distributed by SupportOurTroops.Org      
iowajayceesphonecardsThe Iowa Jaycees recently took part in a state-wide challenge to collect phone cards to be given to military personnel stationed overseas. The state's original goal was to collect 5000 minutes worth of phone cards. At the October All State Convention, chapters turned in an astounding 8500 minutes. A small idea, and a little effort led to a HUGE impact on our soldiers from Iowa. The Iowa Jaycees took on this challenge with great enthusiasm since many chapters have members that are currently deployed or have friends and family members that are serving overseas. Chapters saw this as a great opportunity to help the thousands of troops currently overseas. These brave men and women are away from their loved ones for 14-18 months at a time and the JCs wanted to do something to help make this time a little easier on the soldiers as well as their families.   In addition to chapters collections, the Iowa Jaycees raised minutes during the weekend of their Annual Meeting. Members caught using their cell phones throughout the weekend, were fined 1 military minute donation.  Members could buy insurance, allowing them full use of their cell phone for the weekend,  for a 10 minute donation. Heather Foley of the Iowa National Guard was on hand Sunday morning of All State to receive the cards which she made sure to distribute to Iowa National Guard Troops that would be deployed in the near future. Other cards yet to be collected will be sent to JC members, family and friends that are currently stationed overseas. (This item is posted as part of the Cooperating Partnership between the Jaycees and SupportOurTroops.Org, working for the benefit of the active duty troops and the families.)
By Army Spc. Justin Snyder Special to American Forces Press Service CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, Nov. 17, 2008 Army Sgt. 1st Class Twillie Curry had long since traded his aspirations of becoming a professional football player to follow another dream €“ becoming a soldier. But when a special visitor stopped by the 619th Contingency Contracting office here Nov. 7, Curry, a contracting officer, couldn't help but recall his high school glory days. [caption id="attachment_3064" align="alignleft" width="250"]fod_trades_football_01_26_09 Sgt. 1st Class Twillie Curry, left, reminisces with Keith Elias, retired New York Giant and Indianapolis Colt football player, a morale booster trip. Elias and Curry both played high school football in the same area of New Jersey at the same time. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Justin Snyder[/caption] While some soldiers knew of Keith Elias as a former professional football player who once played for the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts, Curry had a closer association. Curry and Elias both played high school football in New Jersey at the same time.While some soldiers knew of Keith Elias as a former professional football player who once played for the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts, Curry had a closer association. "Keith played for Lacey Township, another team in our area, and he was an all-state running back," said Curry, a Cliffwood, N.J., native. "His team went undefeated also, along with four other teams. We were state champions, but I wished we could've had a playoff amongst the teams from the other conferences." The players never met on the playing field, but Curry kept up with Elias' career. "To see a guy like Sgt. 1st Class Curry, who grew up playing football in the same area as me, it shows that it really is a small world out there," said Elias, who was visiting the soldiers as part of a tour sponsored by a faith-based organization. Curry went on to college football and played in his freshman year, but said he was more interested in seeing the world. That quest led him to join the Army in 1990. Even after enlisting in the Army, Curry still held on to some of his professional football aspirations. "While at my first duty station in Germany, I wrote a letter to the Frankfurt Galaxy asking for a tryout," Curry said, referring to the semi-pro football team. "I wanted one last shot at playing football." The team wrote back to him, but he was conducting field training and never made it to the tryout. His dream of being a professional football player was over. But Curry had already embarked on a new dream, one that he is still living 18 years later -- the Army.  He said he has no regrets, noting that football gave him important attributes like mental toughness, teamwork and discipline, that helped him along his Army career. "One of my assignments was as an instructor at Fort Lee (Va.), and I served as a teacher for a lot of young soldiers," Curry said. Above anything I have ever done in football, I got to share my knowledge and help guide young soldiers. "I had soldiers come back to me down the road and tell me that I helped them in their career path, and they remembered the things I taught them," he said. "It made me proud to know I made a difference, and I'm proud to be serving my country." (Army Spc. Justin Snyder serves in the Multinational Division Center Public Affairs Office) 000logo_news_distributionDistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org  
thumb_il-jayceesspaghettidinnersignageJaycees "Coalition for the Willing"-Danville, IL, July 5, 2008  -In a time when the media claims Americans are tired of hearing about the war in Iraq, yet yellow magnetic ribbons saying Support Our Troops® are as common to see on a car as license plates, the Danville Jaycees took up the mantel of responsibility to honor the hardest working and most under-appreciated individuals in the greatest of all nations on Earth.  The troops! With their project " Coalition for the Willing" playing on the words of this nation's leaders and chaired by U.S. Army veteran R. Kenny Smith Jr., the Jaycees stood on street corners to solicit funds, sold ad space for flyers, and ran a spaghetti dinner featuring guest speaker Marty Conaster, the National Commander of the American Legion. The Danville Jaycees set out to pay for a plane ticket home for one local soldier during the Christmas holidays. This project reached all it goals, and some by three fold, and got coverage on several television news stations. This project raised community awareness of the organization, gave relief were relief was needed, and the members managed to raised almost $2,300.00 cash plus $1,500.00 in-kind via services and discounts. The Danville Jaycees currently have committed to pay for two privates from the U.S. Army to come home during the upcoming 2008 Christmas Season. Plans are also underway to pay for a third soldier to come home after he returns from his third tour in Iraq in Summer of 2009. Great work Jaycees! The Jaycees are a Cooperating Partner of SupportOurTroops.Org thumb_il-jayceesspaghettidinnersaucethumb_il-jayceesspaghettidinnersignagethumb_il-jaycesscertedit_1thumb_il-jaycees-kennyandunclemarty2    
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt Special to American Forces Press Service CAMP TAJI, Iraq, Sept. 5, 2008 €“ For one Iron Eagle soldier here, there was never a question of if she would serve. The only question was when.
[caption id="attachment_3592" align="alignleft" width="250"]troopbhramdatairtaffic Army Spc. Radha Bhramdat watches as two Black Hawk helicopters land at the Camp Taji Airfield, north of Baghdad, Aug. 28, 2008. Bhramdat is an air traffic controller with the 4th Infantry Division's Company F, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt[/caption] "Since I was 15, my mom started giving me the idea of serving in the military. She is real pro-military," Army Spc. Radha Bhramdat said. Bhramdat, of New York City, is an air traffic controller with the 4th Infantry Division's Company F, 2nd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade. "Then, when I was a freshmen in high school, 9/11 happened and the event had a big impact on me," she said. "I lived very close to where it happened, so joining the military was inevitable for me." Bhramdat begin her Army career by serving in the New York, and then North Carolina National Guard. After four years of serving in the Guard, Bhramdat made the move to active duty. Now she coordinates aircraft movement from the Camp Taji control tower, just north of Baghdad, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "I've been doing this for about two months, and this job is more than I expected," she said while keeping close watch on the airfield. "Once you get an aircraft [on radar], you start communicating with them, and then you tell them where you want them to land. It is a lot to worry about with all the other aircraft in the area." Bhramdat works in a company of more than 40 air traffic controllers who are responsible for safely orchestrating the take-offs and landings of all types of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Soldiers from the company are spread out in different locations in support of the Iraq mission. With flights departing or landing day and night, air traffic controllers coordinate their movements to prevent accidents. They coordinate air movements at sites ranging from temporary landing zones to fixed-tower airfields. The company, based at Fort Hood, Texas, stood up only a year ago and is still growing. More than 80 percent of the controllers were straight out of advanced individual training when they joined the team. Soldiers new to the company are required to perform 154 days of on-the-job training, which includes monitoring the progress of aircraft, conducting local ground control, and then becoming certified by the Federal Aviation Administration for the particular airfield where they work. "This is her first experience at a very, very busy facility," said Army Capt. Amanda Violette, Company F commander from Nobleboro, Maine. "Growing our own has been the biggest challenge with this company. She has shown so much potential it is unbelievable." (Army Sgt. 1st Class Brent Hunt serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade.) Source: http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=51049
navyussportroyal-8-08txtAugust 12, 2008 - Captain of the USS Port Royal writes Support Our Troops® and says:  Thank you very much for the generous donation of popcorn to the crew of USS Port Royal.  My sailors and I greatly appreciated your thoughtfulness and the hard work that went into making your donation possible.  Your patriotic support is a great encouragement to us all.   Sincerely and Mahalo,  David B. Adler,  Captain, U.S. Navy, Commanding officer.

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