TF 1-182 C CO (1207TH FSC)
Bataan Remeberance On Sunday morning, 20 March, members from all the services as well as civilian employees here at Camp Arifjan gathered together to remember and show respect for a dark moment in US history. Nearly seventy years ago, American and Philippine armed forces were forced to march from the Bataan Peninsula to prison camps in the Philippines. This was after their surrender to Japanese troops in 1942, during the early days of World War II. The march itself and the concurrent treatment of the prisoners were horrific, and rightly considered both a war crime and a crime against humanity. While certainly a tragic event in US military history, those who gathered together on Sunday placed their emphasis on honoring the courage, stamina, and spirit of those who endured SGT Giggey's ready to march what became known as the “Bataan Death March.” The participants in Sunday’s 12.5 mile road march approached the task with a mixture of humility and respect. Sergeant James Giggey, a march participant, praised the way members of the various services came together and as he put it, “stepped out of their comfort zone” and with an almost uncharacteristic grace donned their ruck sacks. Sergeant Giggey did think it was “pretty cool, that so many men and women chose to honor the victims of the original march.” He was also troubled at how few of today’s Soldiers are not at all SFC O'Keefe and SGT Beliveau familiar with this chapter in prepare for the march our history. Another participant, SFC Deb Neylon expressed the thought that “events like this offer the opportunity for today’s service member to connect with their history and tie the bonds between yesterday and Members of Charlie Company who participated in the march: Front row (left to right): SGT Giggey, CPT today.” The march route and participants Fielder, SGT McCoy, SGT Beliveau. Back row (left to We at the 1207thwould like to thank those who walked on Sunday, and carry the legacy, passed to us from that greatest of generations. 1 -PFC Steven W. White
right): SFC Neylon, SPC Mercurio, SFC O'Keefe, 1LT Bobroff, SPC Khim
Ceremony On 20 March, two members of Co. C / TF 1-182 were brought before the assembled unit to be rewarded for their hard work, professionalism, and steadfast determination in their work ethic.
CPT Fielder gives a congratulatory handshake to newly promoted SSG Joseph Turner.
SPC Christian Dunham was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for exemplary performance during mobilization training. SPC Dunham who is the sole medic for the company is tasked with maintaining the medical readiness of all personnel. He performs this function by tackling a myriad of problems unique to each individual, be it physical, psychological or even bureaucratic. SGT Joseph Turner was also recognized in the form of a long-awaited promotion to Staff Sargent (E6). SSG Turner has endured multiple deployments with a diverse list of RI Guard units. This promotion signals a point in which SSG Turnerâ€™s career begins a track of increased responsibilities. First is that he will be placed in charge of a larger number of Soldiers and secondly for training to take charge of that greater number and greater responsibility. Congrats to both individuals. -PFC Steven W. White
CPT Fielder graciously awarding the well-deserving company medic, DOC Dunham.
SSG Turner with other members of his squad: SGT White and SPC Tiner.
Newly-promoted SSG Turner receives congratulations from fellow Soldiers.
Return of the Jedi Well he may not be a Jedi, but he does quite often perform “Jedi Mind Tricks” on many of our Soldiers. First Sergeant Keith Smith has returned from a 50 plus day TDY (temporary duty) assignment in Afghanistan. Top Smith’s professional expertise and vast military "These aren't the Soldiers you're looking for." experience was so valued that the army asked him to augment various sustainment missions throughout his time in Afghanistan. Top is back safe and sound, and already making his presence felt. While he has been tight-lipped about most of his experiences away from us, one thing was obvious. He was happy to return to the unit, work with the men and women of the 1207thonce again, and enjoy the sumptuous amenities available here at AJ. -PFC Steven W. White 1SG Smith early in the deployment with CSM Considine.
Good for you Thanooe Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, Command Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard, awards a National Guard coin to SPC Thanooe Paul of Cumberland, R.I. at a dinner at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, April 5. Paul is assigned to Charlie Company, Task Force 1/182, Michigan Army Guard, Camp Arifjan Quick Reaction Force.
Photo and caption courtesy of Sgt. Brian Gordon, 197th
Golf anyone?? Despite disagreeable weather, several members of our unit took the opportunity to play golf at a prestigious Kuwaiti golf course. The event was sponsored by the MWR and other generous corporate sponsors who took the initiative in making these soldiers/golfers special day. More than just a simple day on the links, it was a chance for the 1207th’s most passionate golf enthusiasts to enjoy one the region’s best courses. The group which included SFC Wilson, SSG Boyle, SGT French, SGT Thomas, SPC LeBlanc and SPC Buchanan, traveled to the Sahara Golf Club for a tournament and luncheon. The course itself was described as “exquisite” by SFC Chad Charlie Company Golfers: SPC Buchanan, SFC Wilson, SPC LeBlanc, “Rocky” Wilson who went on to say that SGT Thomas even though his team didn’t win or place in the tournament, they had an excellent day and he had bigger muscles and a more distinct walk than any other participant. SPC Chris LeBlanc thought it was an excellent day also, “after all it was a chance to get out and have some fun,” he summized. SGT Jason French, one half of McFrenchy, said “it was an awesome day, the facilities are beautiful!” SGT French who claims to be a “big golf fan back home” seemed very impressed with not only the course but the generosity of the sponsors. SGT Terrence Thomas was awed by the luncheon itself, a lavish buffet with lamb, shrimp, pasta and multiple samplings of Middle Eastern cuisine. He was both delighted with the food and yet worried that such rich fare would go straight to his hips. Overall it was a great opportunity for the 1207thto engage in a little R&R. The men and women of our unit send their thanks to all the people at the MWR, the Sahara Golf Club and the various sponsors. -PFC Steven W. White
Range Time Several Soldiers from the 1207thFSC now Co. C / TF 1-182 were able to go to the Camp Arifjan rifle range recently to brush up on their marksmanship skills. While the combined service time of the shooters would exceed decades, shooting itself is a perishable skill and needs constant refreshing. The five Soldiers who participated in the familiarization fire or FAM FIRE as it is known, all volunteered to do so because it is always fun to fire weapons and it’s always good to train on marksmanship skills. The team of shooters included PFC Cabral, SSG Barroso, and a newcomer to the Members of our unit enjoy a sun-filled day at the range: SSG Barroso, 1LT Bobroff, SGT Giggey, PFC Cabral.
1207th PV2 Ema Donlagic. -PFC Steven W. White
Sand Storm We have had two unique (at least for us) events occur recently. The first and most exciting was a sudden sand storm which took all of Kuwait by surprise. The storm came in so fast and in such dramatic fashion that a scheduled company class was canceled and the majority of the company took shelter for the rest of the evening. Described by one of our Soldiers, “It looked as if a black cloud of death was steadily approaching.” The second and far less serious is that with the arrival of warmer weather, the indigenous creatures known as “dub dubs” have come out of their hideaways. The lizards which can reach up to over a foot long, are naturally shy and gentle creatures. -PFC Steven W. White
The sand storm as it approaches right outside of our barracks.
Specialist Gerald Knight show's a desert lizard,commonly referred to as a "Dub Dub" that had been lurking around our area.
The Trials and Tribulations of Company Sports I’ve said before in this newsletter and will continue to stress what an honor it is to serve in this Company and alongside our Soldiers. Our Soldiers are unmatched when it comes to living the Army Values and being professional service members. Sporting events, on the other hand is another story. It started in December when we enrolled in a company-level softball tournament. During the 1st game of the tournament we were playing very well. We had a 12-7 lead going into the last inning. Things were looking great until the other team took its final at-bats. The final score was 13-12 (bad guys) and that was just the beginning of our woes. We went on to lose 2 more games in that tournament and finished 0-3 in the Christmas Classic. Later on was company-level basketball. We did manage to win 2 games during that season, ending the season at 2-7. There is no truth to the rumor that our first win came against the Kuwaiti National Under 10 Junior Team and that the second win came against the resident Camp Arifjan TCN All-Stars. This is simply not true. The wins were hard fought and well-deserved by our Charlie Company cagers. Fast Forward to the present. We are now in the midst of the Company-level softball league. After playing in a scrimmage game and practicing on the Zone 6 field, we were ready for our 1st challenge of the season. We showed up for our 1st game and departed victorious. What a relief! This now brought our year-long softball record (to include the December tournament) to a whopping 1 win and 3 losses. By the way, our one win that day was due to the fact that our opponents failed to show up to the game. After earning a win due to the forfeit in our first game of the season, I made the team a promise that after our first win in which we actually defeat our opponent on the field, I will treat the entire team to post-win pizza. Before heading to our second game, I walked to the MWR to load funds onto my Eagle Cash card. I was looking forward to buying pizza for my fellow teammates, and I wanted to ensure that I had the funds to do so. I had the smell of pizza along with the possible taste of non-forfeit victory running through my mind all day. We hopped into the bus 45 minutes prior to the game. This is it. This will be our day, I can sense it. We all could sense it. Everyone on that field knew what the outcome of the game was to become. Unfortunately, the other team could smell it also. We lost the game 15-5. After the loss, the smell of victory and pizza that our Soldiers could sense just hours earlier turned into the bitter taste of defeat yet again. Although as coach of the team, my drive and determination is still steadfast. I vow that we WILL win at least one softball game on our own merit. We will hit. We will not commit 12 unforced errors per game. We will indulge in several pepperoni pies from the Pizza Inn in Zone 1, located just seconds from the ball field. During the bus ride home that evening, outfielder SPC Matthew Tiner summed it up nicely by stating, “You know what our problem was today Coach?” “What’s that Tiner?” “The other team showed up.” -1LT Gonsalves 1LT Gonsalves drumming up participants for the Company-level Softball league.
Tay Tum’s 500 mile club When I came up with the idea for the 500 mile club, I failed to mention how the idea came to me. It was simplicity at its best. One afternoon, I happened to notice a couple of guys from another squad running the track on their day off. I didn’t think much of it, after all my squad mates hit the track regularly, and it isn’t uncommon to find one squad member pacing another, particularly on PT tests. That is when it occurred to me. Charlie Company has a lot of soldiers doing a whole lot of PT. It couldn’t possibly hurt to recognize such hard work and devotion, especially since it is Soldiers doing all of this on their own, for themselves. While it would be easy to mention guys like Specialists Hewitt, Dasilva, Morales and Mata, some of the top PT studs in the company. The true story is about guys like SPC Matt Blake who get out and run just for themselves, or SPC (DOC) Dunham who has taken his running and mileage to a whole new level. But most impressive are the true comrades like SSG Turner and SPC Iona Simmons, who run with their friends as pacers, coaches and perennial inspirations. The 500 mile club is alive and well!! -CPL Tum
Newest member of Charlie Company: PV2 Ema Donlogic.
New Kid on the Block Over the past several months C Co./1207th has become a family. A close knit unit, where people have come to trust and depend upon each other, but that does not mean there isn’t room for more people to join our family. That being said, we would like to welcome whole heartedly, Private Ema Donlagic to our team. Ema is from Bellmont, New Hampshire, a fellow New Englander. She is a 92A, which is the MOS for Automated Logistic Specialist. PV2 Donlagic is 20 years old and is a volunteer replacement from the 744th FSC. She will be with us for the remainder of our time and will be returning to the States when we return. She brings with her the “CAN DO” spirit which is emphasized by all members of our Brigade. In her own words, her deployment goals are “to learn to the best of my ability any job or mission assigned to me, that way I can go home with a sense of accomplishment.” PVT Donlagic’s enthusiasm and team spirit stem in part from her background as both a soccer player and coach. She intends to return to finish college with an emphasis in sports management. As she puts it “if you haven’t guessed, I love soccer – of course I do like the Guard, maybe I’ll make it a career.” We hope that Ema’s tour with the 1207th will be as fun and fulfilling for her as it is for the rest of us. I personally am ecstatic to have her as she is currently the only Soldier in the Company that I outrank. Welcome aboard Ema!
CPL Tum showing his typical happy self.
-PFC Steven W. White
What Grinds my Gears: By SPC Tavarez In a new segment of our unit newsletter, company mechanic, SPC Edward Tavarez will inform us on what has been “Grinding his Gears.”
What Would Thanooe Do? By: SPC Thanooe Paul Dear Thanooe, I would like to know how you cope with the stress of a long distance relationship. -SPC Christopher Fredette
You know what really grinds my gears? . . . People who use the last staple in the stapler and don’t replace them. How long does it take to replace the staples people? Honestly. . . Now, I have two holes in my papers because you forgot to refill the thing and I dry-stapled. This is worse than that time that I played pool without any pockets on the table. And that my friends, is what really grinds my gears.
Thanks Chris, that’s a great question. First of all I can empathize with you completely. I am also in a long distance relationship, my girlfriend and I have been seeing each other for 4 years now and I really miss her. All I can say is that trust and communication are the keys to success. Chris, the opportunity to talk with our significant others so often is a double edged sword. It is great to be able to talk to my girl every day, but sometimes we spend more of our conversation on trivial matters, like finances or each other’s work issues, when we should be enjoying each other’s company, even if it is only a phone call. So my advice to you is spend your time together in a quality way, emphasize your feelings, hopes and goals together. Be sure to use the time in actual conversation. Don’t turn it into a business meeting. -Thanooe
SPC Taverez: Lookin’ so Fly like a G6
SPC Thanooe Paul.
Be sure to check us out on Facebook!! There are now 3 Facebook pages where one can see what’s been going on out here. Follow us on the Facebook page of the 197th FiB at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Granite-Thunder/109224655804175 Just search for “Granite Thunder.” Find us on the Facebook page of the 182nd FA Battalion at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/182nd-Field-Artillery/132626463453842 Search for “182nd Field Artillery.” And now, thanks to the efforts of several of our Soldiers, Charlie Company – TF 182 now has its very own Facebook page. Find us at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/C-co-TF-1-182-Camp-Arifjan/110720475667027 Facebook search “C Co. TF 1-182 Camp Arifjan.”
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TF 1-182 C CO (1207TH FSC) Currently Reporting From:
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
Read about the Bataan Remembrance March; 1st Sgt. Keith Smith's Afghanistan mission; the 500-mile club; and sound relationship advice from S...