Tag Archive | "Military"

U.S., Iraqi Firefighters Help Educate Scouts on Fire Safety

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U.S., Iraqi Firefighters Help Educate Scouts on Fire Safety

Posted on 13 May 2010 by admin

In the United States, firefighters are generally held in high regard, considered heroes and protectors. In Iraq, firefighters do not have the same image as their U.S. counterparts.

Someone had to do something.

Two Soldiers assigned to the 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, U.S. Division – Center, Lt. Col. Gary Esson, the senior fire service advisor and a native of Joplin, Mo., and Spc. Michael Burris, a fire service advisor and Fayetteville, N.C., native, both with the Provincial Reconstruction Team – Baghdad, have spent nearly a year working to make life for Iraqi firefighters a little bit better.

The first step was to improve living standards inside Iraqi fire stations.

“If there was an [American Base] closing, we would contact them for any furniture that they would give up,” said Esson. “Items like desks, beds and chairs, your basic living items.”

The second step was to get the Iraqi firefighters proper recognition throughout the local community. According to Esson, Iraqi firefighters are not held in the same high regard as the police.

An opportunity for the second step came, May 2, in the form of a “Camping Day,” sponsored by the 72nd Joint Area Support Group. Visiting Iraqi Boy and Girl Scouts had the opportunity to participate in events that included fire safety.

“It gets kids excited seeing what emergency services are doing,” said Esson. “Iraqi kids are the future of the country, they are the next generation. They will grow to trust the fire department and hopefully put trust in other government services.”

The fire safety presentation was a joint effort between Soldiers assigned to the 414th CA Bn., firefighters with Kellogg, Brown and Root Inc. and Iraqi firefighters. They worked together to demonstrate various pieces of fire-fighting and safety equipment and also gave helpful tips on what to do in case of a fire.

“It is important that the public be aware of the fire department and look up to them,” said Burris. “This is the first time they took it upon themselves to show the public who they are.”

Burris has worked alongside the Iraqi firemen and said he enjoyed spending time with them and building bonds with his fellow firemen.

“They are firefighters, like the guys back home where I work. They are good people,” said Burris. “They put themselves in harms way every time they go out. If they are willing to get shot working for their people, I will do my best to get them the training and equipment they need.”

Burris and Iraqi firefighter Kareem Kasim showed a bit of teamwork while participating in a three-legged race. The pair came in first place against two other Iraqi firefighter teams. After he stopped laughing, Burris said that he’d had a funny thought.

“I was cracking up: What kind of war story is this? A three-legged race with a 50-year-old Iraqi man,” said the smiling Soldier.

Story by Sgt. Phillip Valentine of the 366th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

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Scouts Honor Service Members at Ceremony

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Scouts Honor Service Members at Ceremony

Posted on 19 November 2009 by admin

U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri told about 500 people from Boy Scouts’ National Capital Area Council that the values of Boy Scouts and the military are constant and that both organizations seek to serve something greater than themselves.

This was the first Scout dinner saluting the military. Retired Navy Capt. Scott Gray, who now works with event sponsor General Dynamics, said he hopes to make the event an annual affair. The Crystal Gateway Marriott – a stone’s throw from the Pentagon – hosted the event.

The council honored a service member from each service. Each honoree demonstrated the commitment to service that Scouting exemplifies and promotes, said former Veterans Affairs Secretary Togo West, an Eagle Scout and the event host. The Eagle Scout award is the highest in the organization.

The honorees are role models for youth and exemplify the values of both Scouting and the military, West said. “The Boy Scouts of America and the armed forces of the United States share … a common bond of service and honor,” he said.

Skelton, also an Eagle Scout, spoke of his experiences in Scouting since December 1943, when he first became a Tenderfoot Scout. It was World War II, and Skelton, now the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, talked about how his Scout troop would send off older Scouts as they went to war.

He praised the council for hosting an event that ties Scouting with the military. “One builds character, and the military defends our freedoms,” he said. “Scouting is not just an organization, it is a way of life.”

The honorees are:

— Army Staff Sgt. David R. Gibbons, based at Fort Bragg. N.C.;

— Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Valerie Herrod, a bostswain’s mate with the Navy Ceremonial Unit in Anacostia Naval Station, D.C.;

— Air Force Tech. Sgt. John A. Marshall, an aerospace medical expert at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.;

— Marine Corps Sgt. Henry J. Reinewald, a recruiter in Detroit; and

— Coast Guard Petty Officer Lavelas D. Luckey, based at the Coast Guard Station in Baltimore.

Gibbons enlisted in 2003 as one of the first Soldiers to go directly into Special Forces. He is an Eagle Scout and served in Afghanistan. He now is an instructor at the Special Warfare Center and School, and is the Bear Den leader for his son Ethan’s Cub Scout pack.

Herrod has served as the Ceremonial Guard’s community service coordinator since she arrived in December 2007. She has organized her sailors to help with local Special Olympics and National Lands Day, and for working with wounded warriors and at the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

While an Air Force medic, Marshall deployed with NATO troops in Afghanistan, where he saved the life of a Canadian Soldier. Here, he works closely to aid the homeless. He volunteers at a local soup kitchen and has initiated a blanket drive to aid the homeless.

Reinewald is another Eagle Scout. He joined the Marine Corps in 2001 and has deployed overseas as an artilleryman. Reinewald is a recruiter in Detroit and he hopes to work closely with recruits wishing to join the service.

Luckey received the Coast Guard Medal – the highest award in the service – for rescuing a 5-year old girl who was trapped in a burning car following an accident. He joined the Coast Guard in 1999 and has served aboard two ships.

“Those of you in uniform tonight, you are examples to our Scouts,” Skelton said. “That’s what the young Scouts of today must learn. They need to follow your example, because they are going to be in your shoes and they need to be challenged to give the best that is in them.”

This story was written by Jim Garamone, Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs.

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Zabul Governor Delbar Jan Arman

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Boy Scouts Help Servicemembers Help Malnourished Afghan Children

Posted on 24 October 2008 by Dan

by Staff Sgt. Tammie Moore
U.S. Air Forces Central news team

Members of the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team medical staff used sweets and “strong food” to help hundreds of malnourished Afghan children back to health in October.

The PRT members began a four-week regiment of their “strong food,” known locally as Qavi Ghiza, to the Shajoy hospital two months ago.

“Strong food” is a vitamin-enriched high calorie food supplement used to combat malnutrition. The Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team medical staff is working with local heath officials to combat the main causes of the extremely high-infant mortality in the area such as unsanitary water supplies and malnutrition.

The area’s public health administration staff has been using the low-cost and locally produced food supplement to treat more than 400 malnourished children.

“This program has been going very well and giving positive results. People know about it,” said Dr. Zamarai Sultan, the public health administration nutrition officer. “It is going to be even more successful in the future.”

Dr. Sultan has monitored the “strong food” program in Shajoy closely. In a patient sampling of 60 children, 78 percent have shown positive growth. The doctor said he has seen most patients gain 1 to 1.5 kilograms a week while taking the vitamin-enriched and calorie-heavy supplement.

“People from this area are very poor,” Dr. Sultan said. “They don’t have enough money for their baby’s special food. As long as we have this kind of program, it is going to succeed. Now people know this good thing about the ‘strong food,’ that is why more patients come in and get this food.”

The success of “strong food” in the Shajoy area and a positive backing by Dr. Sultan provided Capt. (Dr.) James Arnold the momentum he needed to expand the program.

“Giving this program to Dr. Sultan has actually been the biggest help to us because he is well invested in it,” said Captain Arnold, deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. “He is a nutritionist. He deals with the malnourishment problem for the entire Zabul province.”

Captain Arnold said Dr. Sultan’s positive reputation in the medical field has helped convince his fellow doctors to join the program.

“(As) the voice of this project, (he) can better influence anything I can do,” he said.

The two doctors met local medical experts with pediatric specialties to go over the results.

“We are trying to make all of our projects Afghan run because we are not going to stay around the long haul,” said Captain Arnold, a native of Grass Valley, Calif. “We (want) to give them something they can do on their own and sustain on their own.”

After a demonstration on how to make “strong food,” the medical professionals made a batch themselves with ingredients available locally. The concoction was blended using donated mixing sets.

The mixing sets came from Michael Morgan, an Eagle Scout candidate with Boy Scouts Troup 157 out of Salem, Ore.

“Boy Scouts are taught to seek opportunities to help others,” the West Salem High School senior said. “I wanted to provide service that was meaningful as I sought to complete my requirements for the obtaining of the rank of Eagle. This project seemed challenging but perfect.”

Dr. Sultan is grateful for the effort the PRT put into launching the “strong food” program.

“I am very thankful to this team,” he said. “This is a very active team, and they have really wanted to work and (it) has been seen.”

Photo Credits:
1. Capt. (Dr.) James Arnold shows medical professionals from the Zaubl province how to make “strong food” Oct. 15 in Qalat, Afghanistan. “Strong food” is a vitamin enriched high calorie food supplement used to combat malnutrition. The Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team medical staff is working with local heath officials to combat the main causes of the extremely high-infant mortality in the area such as unsanitary water supplies and malnutrition. Captain Arnold is deployed from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Keith Brown)

2. Zabul Governor Delbar Jan Arman shows his appreciation for the work being done to fight malnutrition by the Zabul Provincial Reconstruction Team Oct. 16 in Qalat, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Keith Brown)

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