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THIS IS WHY

THE OFFICIAL DEPLOYMENT MAGAZINE OF THE 172ND SEPARATE INFANTRY BRIGADE August 2011


Editorial Staff Publiic Affairs Officer/Editor In-chief Maj. Joseph Buccino Joseph.buccino@172battlecry.com

Public Affairs Specialist/t/Managing Editor Spc. Robert J, Holland Robert.Holland@172battlecry.com

Public Affairs NCOIC/Consultant Sgt. Charles Crail Charles.Crail@172battlecry.com

Our Mission

The primary mission of the public affairs office is to plan and execute the 172nd Infantry Brigade commander’s public affairs program. We advise the command on public affairs matters and act as the official spokesperson for the brigade. We also provide public and command information support for our units, local organizations and community members.

Contact Information

We want to hear from you! Please contact us if you have questions or want to know more about the information about the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade

Email

Staff@172Battlecry.com

Postal Address:

Task Force Blackhawk Public Affairs Office FOB Sharana APO, AE 09311


Letter From the Editor

“ O Pashtuns!

Your house has fallen into ruin. Arise and rebuild it, and remember to what race you belong.”

F

[Amir Akbar Khan]

rom amidst the descendants of Herotodus comes the inaugural issue of a deployment newsletter for the fans, Families, Soldiers, and supporters of the 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk. Throughout the course of this deployment your brigade public affairs office will publish 13 issues of “Battle Cry,” each published electronically and distributed through cyberspace. While our fate has adorned that we, dearest friends, must part, our aim here is to connect our supporters with our Soldiers and, where possible, facilitate the perception that the distant reader is actually deployed with the brigade. Towards that end we will provide you with updates on living conditions and equipment as well as Forward Operating Base and Combat Outpost Activities. It is understood that the war in Afghanistan is one of harsh realities. These too we will share. The privations, the kinetic engagements, the nearly impossible conditions, all will surely frame the narrative of Task Force Blackhawk over the next 12 months. Of course, Afghanistan is, like Voltaire’s “war of ideas” mecca, best illustrated by its inhabitants.

(US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)

The Pashtun people are, in many ways, the Afghans of the Afghans. Forgotten by time itself, hardened by a life of combat and unthinkable poverty, they appear an extension of the formidable mountain plains which box them in to a Sisyphean existence of brutality and seclusion. Their story, their fate is, in many ways, intertwined with ours, and, as such, will reveal itself through this periodical. This magazine is as much yours as it is mine. Thus, if you have any input or suggestions, send them to staff@172Battlecry.com We are monitoring and your voice will be heard. Keep reading,

Joseph Buccino

Maj. Joe Buccino, 172nd Inf. Bde Public Affairs Officer


172nd Infantry Brigade

F

ans, friends, and Family of the 172nd Infantry Brigade: Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Blackhawk Battle Cry magazine. This is the Blackhawk Brigade’s Deployment Magazine and we hope that through this publication we are able to keep you well informed. This magazine is just one of the many means that we will use during this deployment to keep our families and friends informed. As (US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland) always, we will continue to use our Facebook page to get out immediate information, but as always, the most reliable means of information sharing remains with the chain of command, our Rear Detachment headed up by MAJ Deraney and that we have forward deployed have some of the best nonthe fantastic are counting on the continued commissioned officers leading our Family Readiness Groups. great support from their families Soldiers. You should be extremely and friends back in Germany and proud of the work they have We hope that this magazine serves stateside, please continue to send done thus far. Our Soldiers are as a link between you and your the care packages, letters, and conducting operations every day Soldier as we begin our mission here email messages, it means a lot to and they have set the standard of in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. the Soldiers. Thank you. professionalism and safety high.. Our public affairs team is working

Col. Edward T. Bohnemann, 172nd Sep. Inf. Bde

Black Hawk 6 “It is our distinct honor””

hard to ensure that you receive as much information as we can give you It is our distinct honor to answer about our Soldiers, our mission, and the call of duty, as well as to serve alongside the Afghan leaders Paktika. in Paktika in this just and noble cause. I know all of the Soldiers This edition is being released after an an important event for the Blackhawks. On August 7th, 2011, we assumed responsibility for security and development in Paktika. The mission entails partnering and working with provincial goverment officials, the Afghan Security Forces, and with all of the good citizens throughout the province, who help to make Paktika safer and more secure. Each of the Battalions conducted their own Transition of Authority with the unit they were replacing. This 2-3 week process culminated with a small ceremony at each battalion headquarters. Task Force Blackhawk has trained long and hard for this mission. All of the soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers of this brigade are up to this enormous task. We

BLACKHAWKS!


(US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)

F

amilies and friends of the Blackhawk Soldiers:

Black Hawk 7 “We stand ready

Command Sgt. Maj. Michael W. Boom 172nd Sep. Inf. Bde

Your Soldier has done a remarkable job since arriving into Afghanistan gettting after their tasks. We are well trained and ready to do what our Nation has called us to do.

with our partners”

We stand ready with our partners from the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF), to provide security and a better way of life for the Afghan people and defeat evil where it exists. It won’t be easy, but nothing is easy in Afghanistan. That is why less than 1% of the American population can do what we ask your Soldier to do on a daily basis. Blackhawk Soldiers will be standing vigiliant on the 10 year anniversary of 9-11 on the very soil where the 9/11 attacks were masterminded. Our Nation lost 2,997 people that day, including nationals from over

70 countries either working in the World trade Center or on the four hijacked commercial aircraft. We have not forgotten them. Our Soldiers are currently standing shoulder to shoulder with the ANSF. We are training them to provide security for their country for the long haul. You can justifiably be proud of your Soldier and his sacrifices during this vitally important mission. They are the best of America and I am very proud to be associated with them. We sincerely thank all of our families and loved ones for your continued prayers, support, and

well wishes as we represent you, our home town, and our nation in the Paktika province of Afghanistan. Your Soldier is truly making a difference every day over here for the security of Afghanistan and America. God Bless our Families and our Soldiers.


172nd Infantry Brigade (US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)

Lt. Col. Curtis D. Taylor Task Force 3-66

F

Black Knight 6

“I owe it to the Families”

riends and Families of the Black Knights: entire TF 3-66 is finally 100% on the ground here in Afghanistan. As soon as we hit the ground the Black Knight Soldiers immediately started taking over the fight. The Red Curahees conducted an excellant handover and we have finally taken over all civil and military operations in West Paktika Province, Afghanistan. I couldn’t be more proud of everything our Soldiers here are doing. In just a few weeks, the Black Knights have conducted multiple successful partnered operations with the Afghan National Security Forces, developed strong relationships

with the people and village elders of West Paktika and started development on nearly 40 projects that will greatly improve the Afghan peoples’ quality of life. We are incredibly excited about our role in shaping and developing the progression of this area. Although the Soldiers of the Black Knights are doing a great job and are excited about our task here in Afghanistan, we miss everyone back home. There’s no doubt in my mind that the strength and drive of our Soldiers to accomplish this mission is based on the support we get from our Families and friends.

You are the ones that give our brave Soldiers the strength to fight and keep fighting until this mission is complete and the Black Knights are back in Germany. I’m incredibly proud of the Black Knights and I owe it all to the Families. Keep holding down the fort back in Germany and I promise that we’ll get everyone home safely and soon as possible.

Curtis D. Taylor


PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan-- The American flag, Afghan flag, Division colors, and the colors of Task Force Blackhawk fly for the very first time together after the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, Task Force Black Hawk uncased their colors Aug. 7 and assumed control of the remote Afghan province (US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)


172nd Infantry Brigade

THE

A PHOTOGRAP


Blackhawk Rolecall

PHIC RECORD


172nd Infantry Brigade

14 The Battle Cry


PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan-- A young Afghan boy smiles for the camera as he watches Soldiers patrol in the Sharana bazaar. Task Force Blackhawk Soldiers with their Afghan Uniformed Police counterparts patrol the city of Sharana. Partnered patrolling between Coalition Forces and Afghan National Security Forces is a key factor in the transition process of securing Afghanistan. (US Army Photo by Sgt. Charles Crail)


172nd Infantry Brigade

Task Force Blackhawk

[Story | Maj. Joseph Buccino, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade Publi

Remember the r savages. Remem happiness of his is as inviolable i Almighty God, as own-William E. Gladstone

The 172nd Se r


Transfer of Authority

k soars over Paktika

ic Affairs Officer}{ Photos | Spc. Robert J. Holland, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade Public Affairs Specialist]

rights of the mber that the s humble home in the eye of s can be your

eparate Infantry Brigade assumes responsibilty for Paktika Province


172nd Infantry Brigade

“Today marks an imp the Curahee’s & Blac T

o the Pashtun attendees, fatigued by 8 days of Ramadan and 30 years of dehumanizing conflict, the 104-degree sun must have felt like a design of oppression. To the Blackhawk Soldiers and leaders, the sun may have emblematized a potential for an enlightened future for Paktika province. Duality of symbolism aside, the practicality of the event was clear to all: the responsibility for all combat operations in Paktika province, one of the most forsaken, treacherous regions in Afghanistan, changed hands from 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Currahee, to the mighty hands of the Germany-based 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, Task

Force Blackhawk, in a transferof-authority (TOA) ceremony on Forward Operating Base Sharana, Aug. 7. The Soldiers of TF Blackhawk have spent the past six months training intensely for this mission. The preparation culminated in a mission readiness exercise in March and April 2011, upon completion of which, the brigade departed for leave prior to deployment. In July, the Blackhawks began flowing into Afghanistan from Germany, building combat power in preparation for assuming full responsibility for this mission. Since mid-July, TF Blackhawk and TF Curahee Soldiers have been

working side-by-side to ensure transition between the two units For many, the casing of the colors ceremony held in Grafenwoehr, Germany, June 11, which marked the beginning of the brigade’s yearlong journey, seemed to have occurred in another lifetime, perhaps in another existence. The tradition has finally come full circle with a somber Command Sgt. Maj. Boom uncasing 172nd Sep. Inf. Bde’s colors were uncased at the end of the TOA ceremony signifying the complete transfer of responsibility complete. Col. Edward T. Bohnemann, commander of Task Force Blackhawk, explained that with the ceremony complete, it is now time


Transfer of Authority

portant day, for both ckhawks” to get to work assisting the Paktika government with security and development. “Today marks an important event as we transition responsibility for partnering with Governor Samim,” Bohnemann said. While the symbolic meaning of the blazing sun was nebulous, the end state for the men and women of Task Force Blackhawk, as described by Bohnemann, was not. “We are going to work shoulder-toshoulder with all the Afghan Security Forces in the province, standing with all of the good citizens throughout the province, working to make Paktika Province safer and more secure.”


PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan-- A young Afghan boy chews on a piece of candy in the Sharana bazaar. Task Force Blackhawk Soldiers with their Afghan Uniformed Police counterparts patrol the city of Sharana. Partnered patrolling between Coalition Forces and Afghan National Security Forces is a key factor in the transition process of securing Afghanistan. (US Army Photo by Sgt. Charles Crail)


172nd Infantry Brigade

How to

L

ast fall the 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade received word that it would be deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. At the time, it seemed as though there was a good deal of time before the goodbyes would begin. Fast forward and now here we are, boots on ground in Afganistan. If you are like many of us facing this moment, your thoughts right now may be something like, “I am not ready for this!” You are not alone. Navigating the stresses of deployment is never easy and there is certainly no single right way to hand the challenges that you may face. However, there are plenty of wrong ways to deal with the stresses of deployment. For those preparing for deployment with small children, there are some guidelines or principles that can make this process go smoother and make the time of separation more bearable for all. The majority of the marriages in the brigade are between spouses under 30 years of age. People under 30 typically have children under the age of seven. What follows will be some principles that can enhance spouses and children’s ability to cope with the challenges

and loneliness of separation. The target age range for the children that these principles applies to is children between three and seven. Some of these ideas will apply to children under three years of age and some will apply to children over seven. The first principle for preparing children for deployment is to convey to them through actions, words ,and emotions that mom and dad have a happy, stable, and loving marriage. There is no greater gift that parents can give their children than the peace of knowing that mom and dad deeply love and care for each other. Parents need to regularly show their love and affection for each other, and they need to allow that love for each other to overflow to their children. Children that have the confidence that mom and dad love each other and are in a healthy relationship are far more likely to be at peace with themselves and the people around them. This is a gift that pays dividends throughout the child’s life. So show your love for your spouse as often as you can and in as many ways as you can throughout the deployment though phonecalls, emails, letters, packages, etc. You can even get the kids to help you think of ways to do so.

[Story | Maj. Kevin Forrester, 172nd Separ [Photos | Spc. Robert J. Holland, 172nd Se

The second principle to prepare your family is to establish realistic expectations for the deployment. Do not promise things to your spouse or your children that you cannot bring to life. If you are deployed, your certainly have obligations to be as involved as possible with your spouse and children while you are gone. They need to know that you desire them and that you are thinking about them. But they also need to know that there will be serious limitations to how involved you can be given your location and mission. Do all that you can to stay in touch, but set realistic expectations so that all will


Will my child be ok? navigate the stresses of deployment

rate Infantry Brigade Chaplain] eparate Infantry Brigade Public Affairs Specialist]

understand the challenges to communicating back home. A third principle is to emphasize and maintain any routines that you have, and try to maintain those routines while deployed. For example, I have always said a blessing over my children every night since they were born. My children also returned the blessing to me after they heard it for so long. While I am gone, I

have multiple copies of the blessing recorded through a variety of means. I have video-taped it .I have recorded it on the answering machine. I have digitally recorded it, and I will always give it when I am able to call home. Maintaining this routine helps me to feel connected to my children and helps my children feel connected to me. If you have an established routine with your children, seek to maintain it while deployed

to the degree possible. A fourth principle to ease deployment stress is to break the deployment down into manageable chunks a child can understand. Children in the three to seven range don’t really grasp what it means to say that Mommy or Daddy will be gone for one year. So the best way to help them is to visually present the timeline to them in a way

they understand. You could have a jar or a bowl that you fill up with coins, marbles, candy kisses or other items. At the end of 30 days you could have some type of special celebration to commemorate each month that has passed. You could have a little party, go some place fun to play or do any number of things to celebrate each month that brings you closer to reunion.


172nd Infantry Brigade

The final principle to share with you for navigating the stress of family separation during deployment is to get the entire family involved in planning for R&R leave during deployment and for leave after the deployment. This would be true regardless of the age of your children. Let all the family members plan together (to the degree their age and maturation allow) and reach agreement on what you do for leave. This gives all a stake in the process and it helps keep family members looking forward rather than focused

on the challenges of the present circumstance. These are only a few suggestions to help children and families cope with the stresses of deployment. There are many other things you can do and there are many resources available to help. The good people at Army Community Service have a host of ideas and resources to make the deployment more manageable for spouses, children, and friends. Additionally, caring chaplains will be

downrange and both Grafenwoehr and Schweinfurt.Let them be a source of blessing and hope to you and your family members.


Helpful Resources

Feauture

www.deploymentkids.org

A site sponsored by Elva Resa Publishers, publishers of My Deployment Journal. Offers free downloadable activities, including a time-zone chart, distance calculator, and spotlights on different areas of the world where a parent might be

www.militaryonesource.com Resources on preparing and dealing with deployment are offered to military families. Available by phone or online, our free service is provided by the Department of Defense for active-duty, Guard, and Reserve service members and their families. The service is completely private and confidential, with few exceptions.

www.militaryfamily.org

Resources on what to expect regarding communicating with the service member during the deployment, who to go to for information or assistance when the service member is gone, what support services are available. Deployments are stressful, but utilizing the resources available will help manage the challenges and make the best of the experience

www.militarychild.org

A model of positive leadership and advocacy, the MCEC’s work is focused on ensuring quality educational opportunities for all military-connected children affected by mobility, family separation, and transition. The MCEC performs research, develops resources, conducts professional institutes and conferences, and publishes resources for all constituencies.

www.militaryfamilybooks.com An independent book publisher whose main imprint specializes in resources for military families and whose mission is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. The vision of MilitaryFamilyBooks.com is to offer a range of carefully chosen, high quality resources catered to military families’ needs and lifestyle. A portion of the profits from MilitaryFamilyBooks.com supports programs for military families.

(US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)


172nd Infantry Brigade

Blackhawk Community Shout Outs

PFC. Brent, I love you & miss you so much! We are all here waiting for you & cannot wait for you to be home safe. I love you, my hero, my soldier, my husband. Love Amy | SPC Meza, me and the rest of the family are so proud of you. Keep up the good work and be safe out there! Bear says hi and that he loves you! I love you verrryyy much and cannot wait to see you again! Lots of love, Anna | PFC Adam Connors we miss you so much! We can’t wait to see you again. Stay safe and strong. Remember we are always with you! Love Amber &Isaac xoxoxoxo | Spc Kronschnabl, You have All my Love and Support! You are incredibly Brave, Strong, and Smart. The whole Family is Very Proud of You! Love Always - Your Wife | PFC Baustert, Cameron and I miss you so much, but don’t worry we are keeping each other busy to pass the time until you come home! Cameron reads the “daddy book” every night. We love you stay safe see you soon! | PFC.Anderson. I am very proud of you. Stay safe. I love you and miss you so much. XOXOXOXO Ashley Anderson. | 1LT Joshua Lazzara, we love you and are so proud of you! Thinking about you everyday and counting down! Stay safe and we’ll stay strong. Love, Melissa, Audrey, and Rocco XOXO | To PFC Cavins, I am so proud of you babe! You mean the world to me and even though it gets rough sometimes, I wouldn’t have our life any other way. I love and miss you. Forever & Always - Rachael | SPC Taschke, I love you and am so proud of you!! I miss you and pray everyday for your safe return!! We love you daddy,we can’t wait till you are home. Xoxo Love,All your Girls | SSG DEFAN.. pls be safe and our prayers are with you and your guys.we miss you so much.come home soon.gubadagem bo’or!melly&aly | SPC Andrew Nash, we are so proud of you! Thank you for the sacrifices you are making! Stay safe! Love, Chelsea, Emily and Kaleb | Pvt. Kevin-Your sister and I are very proud of you. Love you and miss you.Stay safe and keep in touch. Love, Mom | Shout out to PFC Gabriel Andrade from your Bebebo and your sons! We are so proud of you and the boys and I miss you very much!! Everyone back home is very proud of you to and say Hello. Please don’t forget to write and send us video’s! The boys will love that. So please take care of yourself and be safe! See you soon my love! | Sgt. Shay Lomas, My heart is yours, It’s you that I hold on to, That’s what I do...I saw Sparks! Whether your gone 1 day or 365 we miss you like its been a 1000! Cant wait to be harassed by you and hug you tight! We are so proud of you, never thought 10 years ago that this is where we would be today. We LOVE you to the Moon! Love your White Girl and Rugrats! | SFC Chad Kloeckl, we are proud of you. Stay safe out there and hurry home. Love you so much, Heike, Brianna and Jayla xoxoxo | SPC VALENZUELA Words can not explain how proud I am of you! Thank you for everything bebé! I love you & I miss you so much! I’m anxiously waiting the day of your return, stay safe! -Your wifey, Raquel | SSG James Farris, Your family loves and misses you. Stay vigilant and safe. Hope to have our hero home soon. Your loving family~~ Joanna, Breanna, Mira, and El | 1LT HENRY HARPEN - I’m so proud of you! You’re my hero! I love you! | SPC Robert Berry! I miss you and cant wait to have you back! Everybody says hi! Stay safe honey-im proud of you! I love you, Janine | PFC Morgan, Brandon We are so proud of you and all that you do for us! We love and miss you very much! Stay safe and hurry home! Love, Your girls :O) | We love and miss you here in Texas. Your in our hearts, prayers and thoughts every minute of every day. I love you boyo. Mom | PFC NICK LENCIONI.I am so proud of you.We love and miss you.Kids say hello. Stay safe.Waiting for you,alwasy yours.HOPE | SPC Ali Garner,Husband and Father we are so proud....We miss u soo much ,we always have youre back!! We love you | SSG Criss be safe and come home quick cause I cannot wait to marry YOU. Love and miss you. Your Soon-to-be | SPC Roberson, We “love you to the moon and back” ! Stay safe, we are all thinking about you and praying for you! Can’t wait to have you back in our arms again! Love, Am and Lace | SPC Roberson, We “love you to the moon and back” ! Stay safe, we are all thinking about you and praying for you! Can’t wait to have you back in our arms again! Love, Am and Lace | LTC Chris Cardoni - Domi and I love and miss you very very much! You all are in our thoughts and prayers! Stay Safe! Falcons First! | Hey Nick-man! We are all thinking about you from several corners of the world. Stay safe. We are proud of you! We love you, Mom and Greg | PV2 Riggs, Jonathan, We are so proud of you! Remember America is “The land of the free BECAUSE of the brave!” We love you & miss you greatly. Dad, Mom, & Hollie | This message is for my husband Sgt. Molina we miss you, we cant wait to see you, and we are VERY PROUD of you! Cuidate mucho, y aki te esperamos con muchos abrazos y besos! Dalia | SSG Young~We are so very PROUD of you! We love and miss you so very much! Always and Forever Your wife and kids | Sgt. Molina we miss you, we cant wait to see you, and we are VERY PROUD of you! Cuidate mucho, y aki te esperamos con muchos abrazos y besos! Dalia | ssg mikel franklin, we love you and miss you. can’t wait till your back home with us. stay safe and hurry home. love you baby. | Ssg Haesler..we miss you every single day that you’re not here with us and we’re more than proud of what you do for your country!!the house is very clean and quiet..so please come home soon, we miss everything about you:) your loving wife,son&mom! | Sgt. Timothy Deckard! We are so proud of you son and so thankful for the outstanding man that you are! We miss you and your precious family and look forward to hopefully coming to Germany next year:)! Just remember we love you and we are ALWAYS thinking about you! Mom & Dad! | Hey Griffin: Daddy and I love you and miss you. I will send you a “care package” soon with some snack food. Be glad when you can call us. | We love and miss you every single day.Be strong and be safe at all times.Thoughts and prayers are with YOU til you come home safely to us our Soldier, our Hero, Our daddy,..Much alofas,your triple R-Ricky,Rosaline,Richard esp mommy,Nwuahhhh.xoxoxoxo. | SPF Eric ....we are so proud of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers nonstop. We love you so much and miss you tons. Mom, Rick, And baby sisters. | PV2, Hatton, Christopher,You are our Hero, We are so very proud of you and We love and miss you so much Dad, Mom, Nick and our dog Bella. | SGT Stephen Turowski I love you and miss you so much! Just wanted to let you know we are all thinking of you and everyone over there we all pray for your safety and strength through this deployment. Take care of each other over there. See you soon. Love Always and Forever, Mrs. Kenlyn Turowski | CPT Smith we are lucky to work with you, your awesome. We salute you.


DeploymentShout Blackhawk Diversions Outs

How To Send Your Own Shout Out

Spouses, do you want to tell your Soldier you miss them? Soldiers, do you miss your kids, spouse, or parents and want to let them know? Well, here is your chance! Shout outs must be 160 characters or less (including spaces; think 1 SMS message), photos can be submitted as well(highest resolution possible). We will try our best to publish every shout out but cannout gaurantee that everyones will be published. Send your shout out today to 172SIBPAO@ googlemail.com!


(US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)

Regensburg

[Researched, Compiled, & Photos | Spc. Robert J. Holland, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade Public Affairs Specia

Moments of Happiness

Writers, politicians, some of the greatest figures in world history have made surprising assertions about Regensburg. And they have been proven correct. Famous men and women have instantly fallen in love with the city, have been captivated by friendly people, attractive views, fascinating buildings, and the incomparable charm of Regensburg’s streets and squares. Take a deep breath now and preserve these moments of happiness. Only an hour away by car from Grafenwoehr Military Community sits one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Germany—Regensburg. Yet, for many Soldiers and their families this city, deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, goes unvisited and unexplored. Regensburg made it on the Thrifty Traveler’s list because the city itself is easily accessible by car (approximately $20 in gas roundtrip) and train ($42 for the Bayern pass good for 24 hours; up to 5 people). Once in the city, Regensburg is the perfect place to explore on foot. After walking just a short way and allowing Regensburg’s magic to work upon you, you will sense that Regensburg would like to tell you it’s story. Regensburg is steeped in history. Since the 18th century, the fortunes of ancient nobility have been closely connected with those of Regensburg. Coming into the city center from the river, you can see Germany’s most ancient stone building, the Porta Praetoria, a gateway dating from 179 A.D. Giant blocks of stone were used to construct this gate in the northern wall of the Roman military camp. It survives as a reminder of Castra Regina, the Roman settlement.

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all Budget Adventure For The Family


172nd Infantry Brigade


From BUDGET Page 1 Practically unharmed in the Second World War, Regensburg is today regarded as Germany‘s sole surviving medieval city. In 2006, the “Old Town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof” was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in recognition of it’s former political importance, and role the city had as a medieval trading center, and was known for the outstanding quality of its urban architecture and structure. It was from here that Regensburg made history. The Holy Roman Emperors frequently summoned

princes, bishops and ambassadors to the Old Town Hall to discuss affairs of state at imperial assemblies, and above all at the Perpetual Imperial Diet. The Imperial Diet Chamber still contains the same furniture, including the benches that gave rise to an often-used German expression “to put something on the long bench”, i.e. to postpone it indefinitely. “Document Neupfarrplatz”, the most extensive archaeological excavations ever to take place in the center of Regensburg, offers, in the most literal sense of the word, an insight into the city’s two thousand year history. Descend the steep flight of steps through earlier layers of history, from Antiquity to the founding of a resistance group against Hitler in the early 1940’s. and an underground air raid shelter from

feature World War II. St. Peter’s Cathedral (modern day building took 600 years to complete and construction started in 1260) is indisputably the city’s spiritual center. The façade of this imposing Gothic building is ornately decorated with kings on horseback, foolish virgins, and gargoyles with animal and human faces. The cathedral is considered the most significant Gothic work in southern Germany The “Cathedral Sparrows”, the cathedral boys’ choir dating back to 975, are always associated with Regensburg, just as much as the Cathedral. Hearing them sing at High Mass in the Cathedral on a Sunday morning is an unforgettable experience. The choir has performed for the Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Queen Elizabeth II, and numerous other heads of state.. City of Towers, City of Dreams. There are 1200 historic buildings clustered together in the center of Regensburg. Particularly characteristic are the mansions built by rich patrician families who traded with cities as far away as Kiev in the east and Venice in the south. They proudly displayed their wealth by building great houses with towers that rose high into the sky. The residents of Regensburg take pride in quality and originality. The city is a mecca for those looking to purchase traditional handmade wares. Which is the standard in Regensberg. Sausages have been grilled over an open fire here by the Danube for hundreds of years. Some residents even claim that you haven’t been to Regensburg if you haven’t been to the Historische Wurstküche, the ancient sausage kitchen. If Sausage is not your thing, there are plenty of other pubs or restaurants to choose from. See BUDGET, Page 24


172nd Infantry Brigade City of Regensburg www.regensburg.de/tourismus

Regensburg has a thriving nightlife, where, often locals can be spotted chatting, flirting and laughing together later into the night. Immerse yourself in the relaxed, gossipy atmosphere of the cities beer gardens, some which offer a panoramic view of the city skyline.

The Deutsche Bahn www.bahn.com

The city is filled with numerous festivals throughout the year including the traditional Christmas markets during the holiday season. One that stands out is the Regensburg’s Jazz Weekend. For nearly 27 years now, it has drawn jazz enthusiasts to the Danube from all over Europe. With almost 50,000 visitors, it breaks records for events of this kind. Regensburg is a perfect choice for a weekend getaway with the kids or even just a simple day trip by yourself. Transportation is inexpensive; by car the trip approximately costs $20 in gas and the train cost $42


Feature

Tokyo Kyoto Running Sushi Bar Ludwigstr. 7, Regensburg, Germany, 93047 + 49 941 5865877

for the Bayern pass(which is good for 24 hours and covers up to 5 people). Once in the city, Regensburg is the perfect place to explore on foot. There are also plenty of options for dining out on a budget, from the classic street vendor food to nice sit down restuarants that offer amazing lunch deals, like the Tokyo Kyoto Running Sushi Bar which offers an all you can eat sushi lunch special for $15. The real bang for your buck is that many of the attractions can be seen for free opening up at bigger budget for accomadations and food earning Regensburg the deployment distraction of the month. (Information from Regensburg Tourismus GmbH informational package was used in this story)


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1: SET REAR SIGHT ELEVATION TO ONE CLICK PAST THE 8/3 SETTING. 2: AIM AT TARGET CENTER AND ADJUST SIGHTS TO BRING SHOT GROUPS AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO CENTER OF CIRCLE. ADJUST FRONT SIGHT ELEVATION ONLY. 3: SET REAR SIGHT ELEVATION BACK TO 8/3 SETTING. WEAPON WILL BE ZEROED FOR 300 METERS.

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www.172battlecry.com Download this target! http://www.bobdbob.com/~deneb/

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172nd Infantry Brigade

(US Army Photo by Sgt. Charles Crail)

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s we dive into this deployment, it is vital that you and your leadership helps you stay prepared for your present and future operational environment. Medical readiness is so much more comprehensive than just what can be annotated on your medical record. Therefore, the ‘medical warriors’ wanted to open the floodgates and not limit our discussions of well being to just what is checked during your yearly physical. As a representative of the Blackhawk medical leadership, We wanted to use this column to help field questions pertaining to your individual questions that you may be embarrassed to ask your healthcare provider. No question is off the table. This is a direct question and answer opportunity with your medical leadership. The question and answers we are looking for are those questions that are true to our human experience, not just typical Army PowerPoint talking points. We have so many brigade medical resources that specialize in things that even an experienced and battle tested, medic would have trouble pronouncing that it would be foolish not to put their collection genius to work on things other than vision, height, weight and, yes, even prostate exams. So email your medical questions to Medicalwarriors@172Battlecry.com. No personal identifying information will be released your email will remain confidential. THERE ARE NO OFF-LIMITS QUESTIONS!

This column is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. Through this column a

or throughout the magazine, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your phys

believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your chain of command and/or h rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other healthcare provider to assist you in interpreting any


Hey Doc, what’s wrong with me!?

Q

Doc, I have never been a big dreamer but when i started the Malaria pills I am having incredibly wild dreams? A Concerned Soldier

Last night I was sitting on top of the highest mountain peak overlooking all of E. Paktika Province. I sat their speaking with a village elder, an elder who weathered many wars and was very wise to unfancy things. He had a sloped shaped forehead with jagged lines that seemed to slither across like five lines of Pashtu verse. Dark eyes, almost black, sunk wishfully in two pitted sockets. His eyes gave way to an unnaturally large nose and a beard that glowed fiery red. I began questioning him about life, the morality of Man and how to shape happiness for oneself. As he spoke, I heard in the distance a mellow transic beeping. As time passed, seemingly nanoseconds, the beep grew so intense I could no longer hear my teacher. From a distance I can hear my battle buddy cry out to me, “wakey wakey eggs and stanky, shut your effing alarm clock off”. This is how I sleep and wake up on FOB Sharana The single most asked question since pushing into our AO has been “Doc why am I having such vivid dreams”? Being the good Doc that I am, I posed these questions to the Brigade Surgeon Dr. (CPT) Baca. Does Doxycycline affect sleep and if it does, what can we do about it? According to Dr. (CPT) Baca’s extensive research, No! There is no correlation between the use of Doxycycline and sleep disturbance. The most likely culprit is a combination of psychological effects of entering a combat zone and environmental factors such as elevation. Do-Keep taking your Doxy, Malaria gives you the runs. Do-Give your body the time it needs to adjust to its new environment. Don’t- over exert yourself (take it slow at the gym, ease into it).

More Shoutouts PFC DEHART, I love you and am counting down the days for your arrival. Taya and Ezra are screaming how much they Love you and wants you home soon. Yours, Mrs. De Aidan Hammond, you are the best! So very proud of you and think of you all the time. Stay safe and close to God. Love you tons. Hugs, Gma Sam- We are all very proud of you! Love, Mom, Dad, and Joe Spc. Temple-your family and your fiancé are so proud of you. You are always in my thoughts. Take care of yourself and come home safe to us. Love, Kenzie. SPC Henson I’m so proud to be your wife. Remember Will and I are here for you. We support you 100%. Be safe and come home. I love you Daddy!! J RAMIREZ Babe I miss u more than words can say but each day’s another day closer to being together again. Please take care &know I’m ALWAYS thinking of you. ILY! Hi Aidan. Just wanted to let you know how proud we are of you and that we are praying for God’s light of protection over you. Love you, IE and Bob SGT Jeffery King I wish you had a clue how much I miss you and how very proud I am you. I love you always MOM

and magazine , 172nd Infantry Brigade provides general information for educational/entertainment purposes only. The information provided in this columm,

sician or other healthcare provider. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SEEK MEDICAL CARE. If you

healthcare provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this column or magazine. Never information in this publication, or in applying the information to your individual case.


PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan--Two young Afghan girls watch timidly as Soldiers patrol in the Sharana Market. Task Force Blackhawk Soldiers with their Afghan Uniformed Police counterparts patrol the city of Sharana. Partnered patrolling between Coalition Forces and Afghan National Security Forces is a key factor in the transition process of securing Afghanistan. (US Army Photo by Sgt. Charles Crail)


172nd Infantry Brigade

Welcome to the Family A Blackhawk mom “adopts” single Soldiers

[Story & Photos | Spc. Robert J. Holland, 172nd Separate Infantry

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he sun floods through the kitchen, the subtle crackle of bacon and mouth-watering aroma dances through the air tempting the senses of the sleeping Soldiers. Slowly, one-by-one, the Soldiers rise. This isn’t Katherine Ann Hartlef Villerss first time at the rodeo. She has the coffee ready and the table set. “ I could eat this bacon all day long,” Spc. Stephen Davidson, Echo Troop and Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, said. “ I’m going to have to run like 20 miles after eating this.” Though Davidson said he was only joking about the running, Katherine lightheartedly said to all the Soldiers that no one is on a diet in this house and that your going to eat everything she cooks and better yet your going to enjoy it. Katherine had made a complete American breakfast: Pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bacon. The Soldier’s were happy to get a taste

of home. The Boston accent is thick in the room. Between bites, the young Soldiers attempted to mimic Medina and Katherine’s accent by poking fun at the parking situation in Harvard yard. The echo of hearty laughs filled the apartment. With a smile across her face, Katherine had accomplished her mission and for that moment the Soldiers had let the stress of a upcoming deployment go. Katherine doesn’t mind sharing her house to her son’s battle buddies. She said that if you need a place to escape, unwind, and get a homemade meal that only a veteran mom could cook, her house is the place to go and word has spread among the Soldiers. Katherine’s son, Gilbert Medina, B Company, TF 3-66, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, had come back home the night before. The trip exhausted Medina and the two other Soldiers that had accompa-

Brigade Public Affairs Specialist] nied him. Unlike most Blackhawk Soldiers, Medina doesn’t have to travel far to get home—Only six hours from Grafenwhoer by car. For the last, 12 years Katherine has been living in Leverkrusen, Germany with her German husband, whom she met online and fell in love with back in the States. Since Medina has been with the 172nd he has brought Soldiers home offering them a respite from the training and a chance, if only for a few days, feel like they are back home with family. Medina knows he is lucky to have his family here in Germany. However, he still hasn’t forget about his brothers in arms who aren’t has lucky has him to have family within driving distance. Every trip home, he fills the car with Joes who crave a taste of home. For many of the Soldiers Medina


Feature has brought home Katherine has declared them her ‘adopted kids’ and has issued a standing invitation to return anytime for any reason. Katherine said she knows how it feels to be a foreigner living far from home away from friends and family and that even if just for a day or so she can make a homesick Soldier feel better she has done her part to support the army her country, and most of all her son. “It was quite possibly one the best weekends I have had in my two years here in Germany, “ Davidson said. “As soon as I walked in it felt like I was back home and with family. I can’t wait to come back and that was just after my first visit.” Katherine and the Army have been acquaintances for quite some time now and she knows the stress it can have on a Soldier and their families, especially during deployments.

“My father was in the army and he always said when you’re in a unit, you got to stick together, “ Katherine said. “You have to protect each other and be there for them when they need you. For me, family is the most important thing in the world.” Katherine has even taken her weekend hospitality a step further and has offered a new Army wife, who had come to visit, with her husband, on a previous visit, to come stay with her anytime and could stay as long as she wanted be it 1 day or the entire year.

Kevin Forrester, chaplain, 172nd Infantry Brigade, said. Both Soldiers downrange and the families back in the rear. “Soldiers and family members need to know that they aren’t alone,” Forrester said. “ Deployments, don’t need to destroy you, your family, or your relationships. Reach out for help when you need it, there is no shame in that.”

“I love being able to make those out of their country, feel comfortable, feel at home, It’s my way of giving back to those that serve.” A vital part of being prepared for deployments is having a support channel in place and knowing that there are people out there that care and are willing to help., Maj.

(US Army Photo by Spc. Robert J. Holland)


PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan--After an EOD Soldier, attached to Task Force Blackhawk, suspects there may be a secondary device in the area so escorts an Afghan boy to a safer distance behind the cover of their armored vehicles while the rest of hi s team clears the I ED. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Charles Crail)


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172nd Infantry Brigade

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Question & Answer

Please send your burning questions to us at Questions@172Battlecry.com and the research team will try to give you the best answers possible. Be creative, we enjoy a challenge.

Q: How long does it take to send mail or a package to Afghanistan?

A:Between 7 and 20 days, with 2 weeks being about average. During holidays, count on it taking 3 weeks to arrive in Afghanistan.

Q: How Much does it cost to send a letter? A: All letters and cards 13 ounces or less are sent domestic First Class Mail, as follows: Standard-sized postcard no more than 1 ounce = .29 Standard-sized letter (no more than 1 ounce) = .44 Anthing greater than 13 ounces is sent Priority Mail, which starts at $5.10

Q: How Much does it cost to send a package? A: $4.95 - 12-1/2” x 9-1/2” for Flat Rate Envelope (document mailer) $10.95 - 11” x 8-1/2” x 5-1/2” for Flat Rate Box O-FRB1 (similar to shoebox) $10.96 - 11-7/8” x 3-3/8” x 13-5/8” for Flat Rate Box O-FRB2 (similar to shirtbox) $12.20 - 12” x 12” x 5-1/2” for Large Flat Rate Box (similar to tall shirtbox)

Q: How large of a package can I send?

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A:Your package can’t be more than 84 inches long or be more than 130 inches when you total up the length (the longest side) plus the girth (thickest portion), or weigh more than 70 lbs.

Q: What are the restrictions on sending items?

A: Alcohol and alcohol-production products and ingredients, Fruits, live plants and animals, pork and pork by-products, pornographic and sexual materials (including nudes and semi-nudes), obscene materials and horror comics, non-authorized political materials, religious materials contrary to Islam in bulk quantities,firearms and ammunition, cash, coins, securities or precious metals in their raw state, hazardous, flammable,

Q:Do I have to address a package to a specific soldier?


More Shout Outs

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toxic and radioactive substances. Items that may melt, leak, explode or turn onUse common sense and realize that packages can be subjected to high heat and bouncing around. Use Ziploc bags and lots of padding where applicable: batteries in summer, aerosols and other pressurized products, liquids in glass containers, perishable food products that can spoil, electronic devices with batteries installed

Q: Do I need a specific address?

A) Yes, the Department of Defense mandates that all mail and packages must be addressed to an individual soldier, not to “Any Soldier” or “Any Serviceperson”.

Don’t send food and scented products together. Several weeks in transit at 120°F+ temperatures will result in deodorant-flavored cookies.

Aidan I am so proud of you, your dedication and service to our country. Only one who walks in your shoes can turly appreciate the stamina it takes to be a soldier. Oh, Yankees are 21/2 games behind the Redsox. Gma Patti

What is the MPSA? Until 1980, each military service and government agency managed its own mail program. In 1980, the Department of Defense designated the Secretary of the Army as the single military mail manager. The Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) was created to perform this task, with a jointly-staffed headquarters located in the National Capital Region. MPSA is required to adhere to United States Postal Service (USPS) rules, federal laws, and various international laws and agreements for movement of military mail into over 85 countries. MPSA is the single DoD point of contact with the USPS. It conducts DoD contingency planning and provides postal support to theater Combatant Commanders through Services’ theater postal commands. It serves as a proponent of DoD’s cost control policy for DoD official mail and as the functional director for military mail. MPSA also monitors transportation funds dedicated to overseas mail movement.

SGT PIEL, Nascar races aren’t the same without you. The kids and I miss you and look forward to when you will be back home. We love you sweetheart, Stay safe! Always & Always, Skye, Aiden, & Alana. PFC Althouse, as the journey begins always remember you have mom and dad, along with many others who love you and will be praying for you. We are so proud of you and what you are doing SPC Matt Peyton. We love and miss u a lot! Go Hawks! Pv2 Cauley I could not be more proud of you. I love and miss you so much and cannot wait for you to return home. Be safe... Forever & Always Meagan 2Lt Alex! Sending u thoughts & prayers w/ great pride throughout everyday. Thx 4 all u r doing, & stay safe! Luv MI, MN,KY&OH.,Mo m,Vicky,Augie,etc

SPC J.T.Carter, we LOVE and MISS you! take care and hurry up home! gremlin and her mommy


PAKTIKA PROVINCE,Afghanistan--Afghan children gather around to have their picture taken while their village elders speak with Task Force Blackhawk’s Paktika Provincial Reconstruction Team members about any problems they might have in the village of Kala Hagi Azgar and the possible help the PRT could provide Aug. 10, Sharana, Afghanistan. The PRT partnered with Afghan Uniform Police to ensure the village’s living conditions were appropriate. (U.S.Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Chad C. Strohmeyer)



The Battle Cry