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Shifting Sands TF 1-103 Sustain the Fight, Shape the Future, Play the Game!

Volume 4 February 2011 Inside this Issue: From the Battalion Commander Notes from the Command Sergeant Major News from Top HHB Commander’s Corner Valentine’s Day Greetings This Month’s Events: TF 1-103 Soldiers receive Combat Patch St Barbara’s Celebration Promotions/ Graduations MWR Events: Tug of War Camp Buehring 10k Run Home Run Derby

From the Battalion Commander

To the Family and friends of the 1-103rd, As I write this, we are watching you all prepare for another snow storm. We are aware of the incredible amount of snow that you have received back home. This has been a record season for snow fall. Unfortunately, we have not been there to help shovel you out, but we know the resiliency of our Families is strong and you will endure. I know that my family expects to get next winter off, as I will be assigned all future snow clearing details. With 4 months behind us, we have now begun our "leave" or vacation process. Over the next several months, service members will be traveling back to the United States or to other countries. This is an exciting time for us. Personally, I have no desire to see a beach. I need a break from all of this sand. We are also supporting a major event for the Kuwaitis. Kuwait has begun their “50/20” celebration, marking 50 years of Kuwait’s independence and 20 years of Kuwait’s liberation from Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces. Throughout February Kuwait, U.S. and coalition partners will participate in a number of events culminating with a parade on Feb. 26, which will be attended by Desert Storm Veterans from Kuwait and all partner nations. We have several Soldiers that participated in Desert Storm; SFC Donald Deslauriers, SSG Thomas Kay, SSG David Lopes, SFC James Pimental, MSG David Taillon, SFC Michael Heroux, SGT Henry Joly, SFC Jose Vega, SGT David Lowe, and SPC Kevin McKeon. February 14th is almost upon us and I want to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day. This day like many holidays and birthdays is a trying time for us since we are separated from our loved ones. However, we are more fortunate than many before us, since we have “Skype” and other video chat opportunities, along with reliable phone service and many e-mail opportunities. This only lessens the pain of separation, but it still provides us a bit of comfort. Your Soldiers continue to serve well and as their commander, I am very proud of their accomplishments. We continue to work relentlessly, looking forward to each step that brings us closer to home. Our replacements have already started making contact with us and that only seems to make our timeline checkpoints click by. So, once again, we all thank you for your support and look forward to a safe and speedy return. LTC Philipp Baumann, Commanding

Notes From the Command Sergeant Major Greetings from Camp Virginia, Here we are …just about in February!!! Time is going by quickly, or so it would seem for some anyway. Perhaps it is all situation dependent. Anyway, each day that goes by is another day closer to getting back to the cozy confines of Rhode Island or neighboring states. I hope you’re all enjoying the snow back home!! Or is it getting to be a bit much at this point? We hear you’re getting it pretty hard. Quite frankly I’d really enjoy shoveling some snow right now rather than be dealing with the blowing sand. I’m sure it will be mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, but let me mention the promotion of Master Sergeant Greg Jordan to the rank of Sergeant Major. That took place last week and it was well deserved. We’ll be looking forward to promoting a few more soldiers before we leave here. Soldiers are doing well. Everyone is fully engrossed in their particular jobs now and are executing the mission every day. Spirits remain high, morale is good and the Green Bay Packers are in the Super Bowl. Yes…I am a Packers fan!!!No camel bites this time around so 1SG Cardinal may not have much to say. Well…….maybe I should retract that statement as he usually likes to hear himself talk. We’ll watch out for each other here and I hope that all the families back home do the same. Stay well everyone, be careful out in the winter weather and God bless all. CSM Richard H. Lafond

Promotions This Month January 20th- MSG Jordan promotion to SGM

HHB Commander’s Corner Dear Family Members,

It’s a new month, where did January 2011 go? I’m sure most of you back home are saying good riddance to January since most of it was spent shoveling driveways and sidewalks. Not fun. In keeping with my New Year’s resolution (it’s the longest one I’ve ever kept) and my commitment to the outstanding soldiers of this organization, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank two more sections. January 2011 was a very successful month. It could not have been so without the hard work and perseverance of our personnel and human resources section (S-1). Our HR section is led by CPT Gary Helton and SSG Darlene Harding. Their team consists of SGT Nathan Nagbe and SPC Nathan Edwards aka “the boys.” Not only do they track personnel numbers for this unit, they track the numbers for all of the 1/103rd FA and 1207 FSC in Kuwait. It makes for some very early mornings and very late evenings. Here is a quick run-down of the numbers they maintain: they track all attendance rosters, medical rosters, soldiers on profile (work restriction due to illness or injury), APFT records (Army Physical Fitness Test’s), Army Height/Weight Standards of all soldiers, leave rosters, and NCO professional development schools. Not an easy task for a platoon’s worth of soldiers; they do it with four. They do a tremendous job, and we couldn’t be successful without them. The second section I’d like to thank is our supply section (S-4). If we need something, they find it for us. We never ask “how” or “where” did you find it, we just say thanks. Supply is led by CPT TJ Such, CW3 Don King, SSG Kevin Abbruzzi, SSG Steve Allen, and SSG Jorge Cevallos. Their staff is SPC Eric King, SPC Robert Toole, SPC Lemuel Rosario, and SPC Emery Outland. S-4 is the “go to” section for the entire camp. Their offices, warehouses, and huge supply yard basically supplies the entire camp with their needs. They manage all ice and water distribution throughout the camp. That’s a tough task now and we haven’t even approached nearly the hot temperatures Kuwait is known for. In a few months, water and ice will be distributed at “ridiculous” levels as we start pushing thousands of soldiers through Camp Virginia as they cycle home. They’re always on their “A game”; the result of this challenge will be nothing less than an outright victory. 1-103rd soldiers on Camp Virginia are doing great things on this deployment, which should not come as a surprise to anyone. When we leave Camp Virginia it will be a much different camp than the one we arrived at last November. The strides we’ve made in the two months since taking over the camp are remarkable. A common goal Army leadership wishes to attain is to leave a command better than you found it. We’ve already achieved that goal with much more in store. 5 months down 7 to go. CPT Anthony DeCristoforo

S1 “Admin Assault Team”

News from Top Everything is going well, morale is good, work is being completed, and everybody is pretty much healthy. I find time to cruise the strip with SSG Thomas Kay, in my Jeep Cherokee. I take him with me because I don’t know when I’ll have to push it. Well things are going downhill in the sports arena, lately we lost the Tug O War, lost the Soccer match to the TCN’s (Third Country Nationals) and the Flag Football Tournament. The Tug O War I can’t understand, we sure had a lot of beef on our side with LTC Philipp Baumann, CPT Peter Lawrence, SFC Donald Deslauriers among others. The Soccer match, I arrived at the end of the game and determined that the problem was with the Goalie, 1LT Albert Baysah, he thought that as the goalie he was supposed to count the balls as they went by. Someone should have instructed him that the goalie is supposed to stop the ball from going into the net, better luck next time. The Flag Football Game was lost in overtime. We should have won, SPC Emery Outland went right up the field and it wasn’t until they grabbed the flag and literally tore it off of him without unsnapping the clip. Wonder how that happened. 1LT Albert Baysah lost the crown of “ Ping Pong Champ”. He is currently in training though (waiting for the current champ to go on leave to schedule another tournament) to regain the title. The bad economy is making its way over here at Camp Virginia as well and we can see it in the Dining Facility. I went in for breakfast one morning and noticed that there were five “Food Service Specialists“ on duty. I questioned CW2 Gregory Stack, and he advised that the prior day there was a robbery. Someone walked off with the tray, all the plastic ware and the plastic plate full of food. He was determined not to have it happen again. The following morning, SPC Michael Petrillo foiled a plot to steal 6 packs of Pop Tarts. We have to remain vigilant. The “Saint Barbara” ceremony was held on January 9th at the Dusty Room . Awards were presented to six soldiers. The recipients were; CPT Gary Helton, SFC Donald Deslauriers, SSG Thomas Kay, SSG Ademildo Lopes, SSG Joseph Pearl, SSG Kim Krajczynski. The Company has started R&R leave ,with the first block leaving January 30. They are all anxious about going home or wherever , but are dreading the long flights. Please go easy on the “Honey Do” list. We do need them back here for a little while longer. Please take care of each other. 1SG Hubert J. Cardinal

St. Barbara award celebration9 January 2011

Camp Virginia Ministry Team Blessings during this season surrounding Valentine’s Day… Be encouraged during this time of your life on Earth. Please allow me to share a story of courage, and self-less service for the sake of love for others. Story of Valentines’ Day: There are varied ancient records that point toward Valentine’s Day’s origin. One story is as follows… Valentine was a priest who lived about 270 AD. He was recorded to have defied Roman Emperor Claudius II’s ban on soldier’s marrying. He was performing weddings for soldier’s, despite the capitally punishable law. The emperor had been enforcing the law because the empire was at war on nearly all fronts, and did not want his soldiers’ hearts to be focused on romance, but rather defense of the empire. When Claudius II met the priest, Valentine, he was impressed by his dignity and piety. He attempted to persuade Valentine to discontinue the illegal marrying of soldiers. He also tried to convert Valentine to the worship of his gods. Valentine was steadfast in his faith, diplomatically and honorably defying the law in order to obey 1 Corinthians 7:1, 2, and 9 out of concerned love for the faith of his parishioners which included Roman soldiers. When he, in turn, made an effort to convert Claudius II to Christian faith, he was executed at the emperor’s order. Apparently, he was martyred on 14 February. Legend has it that his last request was to sign a card to another Christian. He completed the card with, “Love, Your Valentine.” The signature lives on in infamy. During this season surrounding Valentine’s Day, please keep in mind that true love causes us to prefer one another and to even lay down our own desires and plans that the ones we love may benefit. To you, this year: it may mean not having to win arguments, but to merely listen to the other person and reflect on what they’re saying, whether or not you agree with them, so they will be heard and feel honored by that act of love. It may mean speaking openly, honestly, humbly, and non-judgmentally to someone you love. It may mean blessing someone with kindness no matter how much you may not feel like it, even in the face of their hostility. It may mean laying down plans and desires for another or others. Good friendships and marriages are created, established, and/or restored by these sorts of principles. Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether in romance or friendship, may we consider this story of true love. Sincerely, Chaplain (MAJ) Wolf

Warrior Leader Course Graduation

SGT Anna Annelli graduated from the US Army's Warrior Leader Course on Feb1, 2011 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. SGT Annelli is a member of the 197th FiB, New Hampshire National Guard, and is currently assigned to the 1-103rd Field Artillery Camp Command Cell, Camp Virginia, Kuwait where she works at the Dining Facility as a Technical Monitor.

January Highlights

January 1st- Members of Task Force 1-103 receive their “Combat Patch”

January 2nd- Tug of War

More Highlights

January 16th- Home Run Derby

January 22nd- TF 1-103 Camp Buehring 10k runners

Camp Virginia Contracting Section The Contracting section recently completed another very successful month due to the hard work from all team members. Camp Virginia is responsible for the largest set of contracts and projects throughout all of Kuwait. Through the efforts of MAJ Flyntz, who oversees the operations and maintenance of the camp, we are able to sustain large numbers of troops. SFC Price has been instrumental in coordinating all daily activities to ensure all projects are updated and the command cell is well informed. ISG Cardinal has recently been added to the team and has become an invaluable asset as he coordinated many projects with the assistance of SFC Milette, SGTs Purcell and Vasquez and Specialist Neal. At any given time in addition to daily sustainment activities, the contracting section is involved in approximately ten camp projects of varying complexity. One particular project, the main gym, was recently renovated and will open for business ahead of schedule. The families of those assigned to the camp contracting section should be very proud of their accomplishments as they have taken on a very complex task and have performed exceptionally well. LTC Parente

1-103rd Valentine’s Day Greetings LTC Philipp Baumann To Kim, Katelyn & Philipp, Happy Valentine’s Day. Love ya and Miss ya, Dad CPT Peter Lawrence To Tammi and Brenna, Happy Birthday Tam and Happy Valentine’s Day to both my loves. I miss you and wish I was home to help you shovel. Stay warm and know that I love you. SSG Darlene Harding Richard, I'm proud of you (even if I complain more than I say "thanks"), but hopefully you know how much I appreciate you being a part of my family! Take good care of those dogs and keep the house clean! Love you! Mom Adam, I couldn't be more proud of my little guy with all you've accomplished your first year in college. Set aside the frat and the drinking, and you make me proud every step of the way! I'm seriously happy that you work hard and decided to pursue the ROTC there. It will pay off in the end and as always, you'll thank me later (lol). I love you and keep your room clean! Love you boo! Mom CW2 Gary Paquette Catherine, with each passing day I miss you more and more. I look forward to having you by my side again, to be able to share the life we have made together. Life, Love, Home and Family forever. All My Love. Gary LTC Parente Hope, Laura, Melissa and Pete: Happy Valentine's day to you all. I miss you guys every day and look forward to the time when we are together again. Love Dad

Valentine’s Day Greetings SPC Josh Connolly To Sandra, my love, I am happy to be home and spend Valentine’s Day with you and I can’t wait to hold you close and tell you how much I Love You. SPC Michael Petrillo To Tina and Kaitlin, Happy Valintines Day. I love you both so much and I cant wait to see you girls. I will be home for Feb 14. Love you. SSG Jorge Cevallos Dear Bette, thank you for being by my side. You play a tremendous role in our family. Your job as a single parent caring for all of the children's needs and other responsibilities we both share is 10 times more difficult than what I have to endure on my own out here. I appreciate all that you do for our family and for me. I love you with all my heart, your guy. SGT Nathan Nagbe I want to wish my wife Tonia, my sons Reginald, Nathan, Ethan and Jaden a Happy Valentine's Day. Also, want to wish Ethan and Reginald a Happy, Happy Birthday" CW2 Gregory Stack To Maria, Laura, Anna, and Victoria, Happy Valentines Day! I miss you all so very much, and I can’t wait until June to see your beautiful, smiling faces. I think of you girls 24 hours a day! You’ve really made my life special—all four of you. I can’t wait to be home for Laura’s graduation, and then a week with you all in Bethany Beach, Delaware :) 1LT James Sykora Lorraine and Ethan, Happy Valentine's Day, I Love You both and miss you. See you in March!! SGT Eric Bassett Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me.

Valentine’s Day Greetings CPT Anthony DeCristoforo Anthony and Mya, Happy Valentine’s Day! Daddy Loves and Misses you both tons! Anthony, Happy 7th Birthday Big Guy! XOXO 1SG Hubert Cardinal To Therese and all my family back home. I miss you and love you all. I’ll be home soon. SGM Gregory Jordan Happy Valentines Melissa, Miss you and Love you very much. Love Greg MSG Scott Olson To My Loving Wife Kim Olson: See there's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me. SFC Roberto Matos To my wife Christine and our children Andrew and Emily, Happy Valentine’s Day I love you and I miss you guys very much. Hang in there I’ll be home soon. CPT Gary Helton Angela and Cathy, Happy Birthday Punkin and Happy Valentines Day to my girls. Take good care of my kitten! To all my family back home I love and miss you all. SPC Nathan Edwards Alana, I hope you’re having fun on your adventure in Europe, I wish I could be there with you but I look forward to all the stories you’ll have when I see you. Have a wonderful Valentines Day. I’m counting down the days till I see you in Germany.- Love ya! Nate CSM Richard Lafond To my wife, Lorna; Happy Valentine's Day!! With much love!! Happy Valentine's day to my daughters Angelique and Victoria also. I love you all.

Rhode Island's 1/103rd FA February 2011 Newsletter  

Check out the latest in training, promotions, milestones and Valentine Day shout outs for Task Force 1/103rd FA, Rhode Island Army Guard.