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Lee Asian-American, Pacific Islander event set for May 16, theater; to feature dance demos, food sampling, more SEE PAGE 4

Fort Lee

SERVING THE COMMUNITY OF FORT LEE, VIRGINIA, SINCE 1941

May 2, 2019 | Vol. 79, No. 18

Senator Warner vows to improve privatized housing deficiencies during Fort Lee visit, roundtable

‘You Deserve Better’ SEE PAGE 3

Starting his military service as an enlisted Soldier here 26 years ago, Lt. Col. Denis L. Fajardo is now a seasoned officer with lots of field and deployment experience to share

DAD LEARNS FROM SON’S DILEMMA Frequent military moves can be troubling for kids, and parents can’t dismiss those feelings as trivial

MORE TIME ON THE TRACKS Recent exercise reflects Trans School interest in training that incorporates more hands-on scenarios

SPORTS DAY RAISES SHARP AWARENESS QM troops learn value of teamwork, supporting each other during SAAPM track meet at Williams Stadium

SEE PAGE 5

SEE PAGE 2

SEE PAGE 8

SEE PAGES 9

GUARDIAN BATTALION GETS NEW COMMANDING OFFICER


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coMMenTaRY | FAMilY MAttERS

Take time to listen to kids during moves, deployments Eric Pilgrim

Fort Knox Public Affairs Office

Eric Pilgrim

The youngest member of the Pilgrim clan leads the family down the long hallway of a hotel during a move from eastern New Mexico to Kentucky in August 2017. She has moved twice in her five years; her brother has done so seven times with six additional local-area relocations in between.

My son’s frustration grew with each move, but I chose to ignore it. I had a new job with unique stressors and expectations to focus on, so I didn’t feel I had the luxury of devoting time to his feelings; he would get through it, just like he did the last time, and the time before that. When we reached Fort Knox in September 2017, however, his frustration had reached a tipping point. “Dad,” he said tersely after we arrived, “please don’t move again.” He was not being disrespectful. He was simply voicing his exhaustion – the frustration over packing up his life again, saying goodbye to close friends, enduring the stress of another cross-country trek sitting next to his annoying baby sister, being trapped in dull hotel rooms,

and arriving at a new world with no friends to hang out with, no fond memories to lean on, and no favorite places to look forward to going. He had put up with four major moves in seven years and multiple minor ones in between. I appreciated my son’s candor and courage at that moment. As a former Soldier and a father of four children who have endured a combined seven moves and two deployments, I have personally witnessed what military kids go through over the course of their parents’ careers. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin recently visited Scott Middle School to deliver a signed declaration recognizing April as Month of the Military Child in the state. Throughout the ceremony, Bevin acknowledged that military children experience an average of six-to-12

moves during their school years. He and others used many words to describe the children as a result: brave, resilient, strong and adaptable. A different word, however, came to my mind while I stood there in the gym: happy. Do military children have bad days? Of course. Do they have times when they’re sick of moving? I’m sure of it. But one of the great things about their resiliency is they go through it, and grow through it, together as part of a family. Still, we as parents have a responsibility to acknowledge our children’s hurts from the difficulty of a move or deployment. We owe it to them to listen – actively, without distractions. In a Military.com article titled “10 Things Military and Veteran Parents Should Know,” the writer Dr. Carolyn Greene recognized that being a military parent can be tough and strongly suggested they “invite their children’s questions,” “be prepared for tough responses,” and “use a positive approach” to help kids understand their contributions.

SEE miliTARy childREN, page 10

Qué pasa with Cinco de Mayo? Contributing Writer

Assuming you’ve heard about a little celebration this weekend called Cinco de Mayo, there are a few things that should be clarified to avoid the embarrassment of mistaken assumptions typically connected to the May 5 observance. First and foremost, it is not a Mexican holiday despite the

Fort Lee

Commanding General ................... Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg Garrison Commander ....................... Col. Hollie J. Martin Public Affairs Officer ............................. Stephen J. Baker Command Information/Managing Editor ...Patrick Buffett Senior Writer/Special Assignments .......... T. Anthony Bell Production/News Assistant Editor .................. Amy Perry Production Assistant............................... Ray Kozakewicz To reach the Traveller Staff, call (804) 734-7147.

The Fort Lee Traveller is an authorized publication for members of the DOD, printed by Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc., a private firm in no way connected with the U.S. Government, under exclusive written contract with U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee, Virginia. Contents of the Fort Lee Traveller are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government or the Department of the Army. The editorial content of this publication is the responsibility of the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee Public Affairs Office. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute endorsement of the products or services advertised by the U.S. Army or Gatehouse Media Virginia Holdings, Inc. Everything advertised in this publication will be made available for purchase, use, or patronage without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchaser, user, or patron. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher will refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation has been corrected.

on THe coveR

lisa Smith molinari

infused cocktails, ice-cold cerveza, nacho platters and Carne Asada steaks. Our nation excels at misinterpretation for the sake of best efforts of retailers to make stimulating and savory satisfaction. To the people of the it seem so. Our amigos south of Emerald Isle, green beer and corned beef are about as Irish as Metro Creative the border will not be concocting Lucky Charms, but Americans gobble the stuff on St. Paddy’s big batches of bean dip and salsa or purchasing truckloads of Day. In the Far East, you can’t find fortune cookies, egg rolls, tortilla chips in preparation for special weekend get-togethers. orange chicken and cardboard take-out containers with red That’s right, Cinco de Mayo is purely American, but pagodas printed on the sides, but Chinese take-out night in SEE ciNcO dE mAyO, page 15 an awesomely exciting excuse to overindulge on Tequila-

Patrick Buffett

Senator Mark Warner assures Fort Lee community members he’s 100-percent committed to fixing maintenance and quality control deficiencies in privatized military housing during a roundtable discussion here April 25. Warner visited two on-post homes before the late-afternoon meeting that allowed him to hear the experiences of 17 installation residents. See story, photos, Page 3.


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(LEFT) Talking to Fort Lee residents at a roundtable discussion here April 25, Senator Mark Warner expresses the frustration he said he feels over the manner in which privatized housing contractors have treated military families. “You deserve better,” he noted. “You ought to have safe housing.” (ABOVE) Fort Lee family member Patricia Santos shares her concerns about inadequate upkeep of privatized military housing during a roundtable discussion led by Senator Mark Warner here April 25. Her home was one of two visited by Warner. She showed him photos of a plumbing issue that took several months to repair and mold that was recently remediated. “For (the senator) to show this level of interest in being a champion for military families is very reassurPhotos by Patrick Buffett ing,” she said after the meeting.

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Senator Warner tours Fort Lee homes, hears resident concerns at roundtable Patrick Buffett Managing Editor

Senator Mark Warner visited two homes and led a round-

5table discussion with residents here April 25 as part of an as-

sessment of privatized military housing conditions and what’s being done to correct deficiencies. Earlier in the day, Warner visited Virginia’s Naval Station Norfolk with a similar purpose. The inadequate quality of privatized military housing across the services has national attention. At a community town hall here at the end of February – attended by a representative from Warner’s office – residents shared stories of chronic maintenance deficiencies, mold, questionable pet fees and other issues. “You have your leadership’s full attention,” Warner assured the 17 service members and spouses who were invited to share their experiences with Virginia’s top democratic leader. Sitting near the senator in the housing center community room was Maj. Gen. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, Col. Hollie J. Martin, garrison commander,

and their senior enlisted leaders. “The truth is … you shouldn’t have had to go through this kind of hassle,” Warner said. “Your families shouldn’t have to live in circumstances where their health could be in jeopardy. As a father of three daughters myself, I would be frantic.” Remedial measures must be long-range and sustainable, the senator emphasized. Funding that would allow greater oversight of privatized housing contractors is part of the proposed National Defense Authorization Act that will soon be voted on by legislative leaders, and Warner told the group it is getting bipartisan support that makes passage likely. Also in the works is a “Resident Bill of Rights” that will empower military families with assurances of command support if unsatisfactory living conditions are not being resolved. One portion of the declaration sets parameters for withholding rent payments as leverage to get chronic health and safety deficiencies corrected, according to the senator. “You have my promise that I’m going to stay on this as long as it takes to get it fixed,” Warner stated. “What I need from

you is a commitment to stay engaged. We can’t fix it if we don’t know about it, so keep talking to your leaders if you’re not getting the results you think you deserve.” Fort Lee family member Amanda Vargas was the first to offer feedback to the senator. “It seems to me there’s a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding in regards to how dangerous mold actually is,” she observed. “Of the strains testing positive in our home, we learned one inhibits cell growth, which is irreversible. It scares me every day to think about what that could be doing to my kids. We just need to make sure these contractors are trained in mold certification, and the cleanup work is being done correctly.” Air Force Staff Sgt. Jolene Pickens described an incident in which a maintenance worker entered her home while she was in the shower. Others around the table cited instances of “sloppy patchwork” repairs, lack of cleanup after mowing and mold remediation being performed by uncertified technicians. Revisiting the mold issue, family member Leticia Lewis

SEE SENATOR Warner AT ft. lee, page 16


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File Photo

Tonya Jones, representing a Samoan high chief’s daughter, prances on stage in full ceremonial regalia during the grand finale of a Samoan Taualuga dance performance at the 2018 AsianAmerican, Pacific Islander Heritage Month Observance in the Lee Theater. This year’s event is set for May 16, 11:30 a.m., at the same location.

AAPIHM Observance set for May 16, theater

All community members are invited to an being the first Samoan to attend the United Asian-American, Pacific Islander Heritage States Military Academy at West Point, N. Month observance set for May 16, 11:30 a.m. Y. She graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of - 12:30 p.m., in the Lee Theater. Science degree and a commission as an active Under the theme of “Unite Our Mission by duty officer in the Ordnance Corps. She reEngaging Each Other,” the free tired in November at the rank program is being presented by of full colonel. Yahn’s last asthe 59th Ordnance Brigade in signment prior to leaving the partnership with the Fort Lee service was Deputy Chief of Equal Opportunity Office. The Staff for Logistics, G-4, for event and the month of May First Army in Rock Island is a time to celebrate the conArsenal, Ill. Earlier she comtributions of Asian and Pacific manded the 404th Army Field Americans who have proudly Support Brigade. served as community leaders, Yahn now serves as chief of Contributed Photo providers of professional serstaff for Congresswoman AuRetired Col. Leafaina Yahn vices, defenders of democracy, mua Amata Coleman Radeeducational icons and so much more through- wagen of American Samoa. out recent U.S. history. Those attending the annual observance In 1978, Congress passed a joint resolu- can sample Asian-Pacific food and view live tion to commemorate Asian-American Heri- performances by Soldiers from the 59th Ord. tage Week during the first 10 days of May. Bde. who will demonstrate the Muay Thai The date was chosen because Japanese im- and Kali Dance; the Samoan, Tahitian and migrants arrived in America on May 7, 1843, Tongan Dance; and the Haka Dance, among and the Transcontinental Railroad was com- other performances. An ensemble from the pleted by Chinese laborers on May 10, 1869. 392nd Army Band also will provide music. In May 1990, Congress voted to expand it to For more information, contact Master Sgt. a month-long celebration. Tracie Carolina, senior equal opportunity adThe guest speaker at the upcoming Fort visor, at 804-734-6601 or email tracie.caroLee observance will be retired Army Col. lina.mil@mail.mil. Leafaina Yahn who holds the distinction of – Staff Reports

Traveller Accepting Grad Tribute Submissions

The submission deadline for the 2019 Fort Lee Traveller high school graduation tribute is May 31. Parents who want their graduate included must submit a head-and-shoulders photo of the individual(s) with the first and last name of each student and each parent; the parent’s rank (if applicable); the parent’s status and place of duty; the student’s age and high school; and a telephone number to be used (but not published) if additional information is needed. The photo submitted should be copyright-free (if taken by a studio or commercial vendor), 5-by-7 inches, 200-dpi or greater, and in JPEG format. Parents who do not have a photo of their graduate can make arrangements with the Public Affairs Office staff to have one taken. Materials can be submitted via email to fortleetravellernews@gmail.com or armyfortlee.pao@mail.mil. For questions, call 804-734-6948.

Newcomers Orientation Schedule Changes to Biweekly

The Army Community Service-sponsored Newcomers Orientation sessions for spouses, service members and civilian employees will now be held every two weeks instead of weekly. The next four scheduled dates are May 6, May 20, June 3 and June 17. The briefings begin at 2 p.m. in the Soldier Support Center, Room 125, building 3400, 1401 B Ave. Participants will learn about the Army and Air Force Exchange, Child and Youth Services, Directorate of Public Works, Safety, Housing, Family and MWR, and other community support agencies. For additional details, call 804-734-6762.

ALU Plans Drivers, Riders Safety Event

The Army Logistics University will conduct a Drivers and Riders Safety Event on May 16, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the motorcycle training range on the corner of Mahone and A avenues. It is open to all ALU staff, students and family members. The event will include vehicle safety inspections, child seat checks, motorcycle riding demonstrations, static displays, prize drawings and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site. Supporting organizations include the Fort Lee Fire Department, the Virginia State Police, Colonial Harley Davidson, and many others. For further details, call 804-765-8120.

Prince George Seeks Commencement Volunteers

Prince George County is in need of volunteers to assist with its High School Graduation Commencement June 15, 7:30 a.m. - noon, at 7801 Laurel Spring Road. To volunteer or for more information, contact Beth Andersen at bandersen@pgs.k12. va.us, Paola Jones at pjones@pgs.k12.va.us, Karen Webb at kwebb@pgs.k12.va.us or call 804733-2720.

SRMC Taking Applications for Teen Program

Southside Regional Medical Center is accepting applications for its 2019 Junior Volunteer program for teens, ages 14-18. The six-week program runs July 12 - Aug. 22, 8 a.m. - noon, Monday-Thursday. Applications can be picked up at the SRMC Welcome Center, 200 Medical Park Blvd, Petersburg, and must be returned by June 3. Junior Volunteers will be required to submit to a drug screening and TB test. For an application, visit http://bit.ly/2GaBoAV. For more information, contact Lisa Mason at 804-765-5786 or lisa_mason@SRMConline.com.

‘Favorite Father’ Nomination Window Open

Nominations are being accepted for the Favorite Father Awards, a special recognition event set for June 4, 6:30 p.m., in the Living Learning Center, Virginia Union University, 1500 N. Lombardy St., Richmond. The awards – part of the International Fatherhood Conference – will recognize dads throughout the commonwealth who are making a difference in their families and in their communities. Nominations must be submitted through www.facebook.com/ strongerparentsVA by May 17. Multiple recipients will be chosen from around the state. For details on the conference, visit www.npclfathersandfamilies.org/register-today.


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Lt. Col. Fajardo takes charge of 244th QM ‘Guardian’ Battalion

Amy Perry

Production/News Assistant Editor

Lt. Col. Denis Fajardo took charge of the 244th Quartermaster Battalion during a change of command ceremony April 26 in the central quad area of the organization’s barracks and headquarters campus along A Avenue. Serving as the 23rd QM Brigade commander, Lt. Col. Brian Neill presided over the formalities in which the Guardian Battalion’s command flag was passed from departing Lt. Col. Daniel Horn – who will be attending the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pa. – to Fajardo, previously the secretary of the joint staff, U.S. Southern Command Headquarters, Doral, Fla. “I toyed with the idea of making this the shortest brigade commander speech in the world by saying ‘Bye Dan. Bye Heather. Have fun storming the Carlisle,’” Neill said lightheartedly as he opened his remarks. Then he pointed out that Horn might not get the “Princes Bride” movie reference, being more of a NASCAR fan, and he would be remised to not reflect on his many accomplishments. Having previously served as a battalion commander at the same time as Horn, Neill said he is the epitome of what the Army had in mind for leaders in that position. “You made sure every Soldier was trained to be the best he or she could be when they left the Guardian Battalion,” Neill said. “You truly made them ready on day one. I could always count on you to be the soul of the 244th QM Bn., and lead them in excellence while accepting no excuses wherever you went.” Before the change of command, Horn received several awards including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Order of the Saint Martin medallion. He humbly expressed appreciation for those acknowledgements, but emphasized in his

Photos by Amy Perry

(ABOVE) Serving as the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade commander, Lt. Col. Brian Neill hands the 244th QM Battalion guidon to Lt. Col. Denis Fajardo during a change of command ceremony April 26 in the central quad area of the organization’s barracks and headquarters campus along A Avenue. Fajardo took command from Lt. Col. Daniel Horn, who will be going to the Army War College for training.

(LEFT) Lt. Col. Daniel Horn, outgoing 244th Quartermaster Battalion commander, talks about his time as the leader of the organization during the April 26 change of command ceremony. (RIGHT) Lt. Col. Denis Fajardo, incoming 244th Quartermaster Battalion commander, acknowledges the significance of his new position during remarks at the change of command ceremony.

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remarks that those who keep the battalion running – drill sergeants, instructors, company command teams and other staff – are what make the organization great. “The cadre’s inspirational leadership extends to the classrooms, the field, our presence in the barracks, courtesy patrol … 24/7 they are living by the Army values and warrior ethos,” Horn said. Fajardo – a native of Santiago, Cuba – started his Army career as an enlisted Soldier and graduate of the QM School’s Automated Logistics Course here 26 years ago. He was commissioned in 2001 and has since completed various leadership assignments at the U.S. Military Academy, the Pentagon and elsewhere, as well as deployments to Iraq and service as a linguist in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Istanbul, Turkey. Neill welcomed Fajardo and his family to the Dragon Brigade. “As you’ve experienced over the last week,” he said in remarks, “it is a very strong family and a great thing to part of. I truly believe you belong with us. The Army sends us the best of America’s sons and daughters … and you have been passed that responsibility.” In his first action as the new battalion commander, Farardo recognized the military service of Col. Gregory S. Townsend, the previous 23rd QM Bde. commander, who died April 22 from injuries he suffered while helping a stranded motorist. “Although this day is by name a ceremony … it is with a heavy heart that we also gather here on this field,” he said. “The mighty Dragon Brigade has become what it is under the leadership, guidance and care of Col. Gregory S. Townsend. His charismatic personality will be missed by all.” Fajardo further used the opportunity to thank Horn for the leadership given to the battalion during his tenure. “It will not be easy to follow such a great leader … this is definitely not a ‘cleanup’ job,” he said. “I promise to do my best, take care of our cadre, and train and educate 92 Alphas and 92 Yankees to be ready on day one.”


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Recognizing Civilians | Spotlight

Kimberly Castle Hometown: Blackstone Length of federal service: 34 years Job title: Program Services Analyst for the Logistics Exercise Simulation Directorate Job duties: “I manage the funds. We do a lot of travel. I manage a lot in the Defense Travel System and their government credit cards. I do some personnel actions. I’m a little one-stop shop.” What do you love most about your job? “I love the people here. It’s a good organization to work for.” What do you consider your greatest achievement? “Being able to stay on the job as long as I have. I have a few health issues, but I just do my best and I like what I do. From a personal standpoint, my greatest success is being married 38 years in December. That’s a pretty good achievement.” Do you volunteer? “I do with the Civilian Welfare Fund. I also volunteer with a local Eagles chapter (a fraternal order). I like to help whenever I can. It’s exciting with all the

different things that come up.” What do you expect from your leaders? “To listen. To be fair with whatever is going on. To take care of their people.” Where would you most like to live? “The Caribbean. I went on a cruise down there, and I loved it. But I would need to make sure my grandkids could come with me.” When and where were you happiest? “At the hospital when my two grandchildren were born. I was in the room with my daughter, and it was great. I loved it.” Do you have any pet peeves? “Someone who wants to lie to your face when you know it’s a lie.” What is your marked characteristic? “Kind-hearted. Because I’ll help anyone. If you need me, I’ll help you.” What is your greatest extravagance? “A cruise. We went on one and I loved it.” Which talent would you most like to have? “I wish I could sing better.” Who is someone you admire? “My dad, Clint. He passed away, and I miss him every day.” What is it that you most dislike? “When

Amy Perry

someone tells you they are going to do something, and then they don’t do it.” What is something people would be surprised to know about you? “I love the show ‘Criminal Minds.’” What are your future aspirations? “I have 34 years; I would really like to reach 40 years of federal service, and then retire.” – Compiled by Amy Perry


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Post troops pin proficiency badge

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Dani Johnson, CASCOM Public Affairs Office

CASCOM leaders honor Monroe

Brig. Gen. Heidi J. Hoyle, Chief of Ordnance, and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry D. Burton, Ordnance Corps CSM, place a wreath by the gravesite of President James Monroe during a birthday commemoration ceremony Sunday at Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond. The Ordnance Corps command team, representing CASCOM and the Army, was fulfilling a long-standing White House tradition of honoring former presidents at their resting places. Monroe, born 1758 in Westmoreland County, was the fifth president and served his term 1817-1825. His administration was marked by the Monroe Doctrine, which opposed the expansion of European colonialism in America. Fort Lee’s participation in the ceremony also included a color guard.

Dani Johnson, CASCOM Public Affairs Office

Thirty-one Fort Lee-area Soldiers pose for photographs during the closing moments of an April 24 ceremony at which they were presented German Armed Forces Proficiency Badges. The event took place at the Army Logistics University. Initially, 67 candidates representing CASCOM, Kenner Army Health Clinic and Virginia State University began the qualification trials two weeks ago. To earn the badges, military members are required to demonstrate proficiency in a swim test, fitness test, shooting competition, ruck march and other events. Lt. Col. Paul J. Kassebaum, KAHC commander, and Lt. Col. Elizabeth S. Pura, ALU Support Battalion commander, presented the badges. Also present was German Army Sgt. Maj. Ronald Schiller, CASCOM German Liaison Office, the event’s coordinator and administrator.


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Transporters

in training learn to prepare vehicles for rail travel

Photos by T. Anthony Bell

(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP) A Transportation School student in the 88N Transportation ManageManage ment Coordinator Course guides a vehicle over slats connecting railcars during rail-load training here April 18. A class of roughly 30 military personnel is learning how to prepare equipment for transportation via railway. ● Staff Sgt. Vivian Ayers, an 88N instructor, directs student tasks. ● Pvt. Damyon Charles uses hand signals to guide a vehicle. ● Pvt. Tatiana Simmons secures slats to railcars using ratchet straps. ● The six-week 88N course teaches Soldiers how to prepare and stage personnel and equipment for travel on various modes of transportation. New field training initiatives are being implemented by the Transportation Corps’ command team. The Traveller will continue its coverage of the training changes in an upcoming edition.


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On Track for SHARP Photos by Amy Perry

(ABOVE) Command Sgt. Maj. Lisa Haney, 23rd Quartermaster Brigade CSM, encourages attendees to speak out against sexual assault and harassment during the 23rd QM Bde. third annual Sexual Harassment/Assault and Response Program Track Meet Saturday. Hundreds of military members from the Air Force, Marines and Soldiers -- Quartermaster and Ordnance -- participated in the event. (LEFT) Soldiers from the 266th, 244th and 262nd QM battalions give it their all down the final stretch in the 4x100 meter race. The 244th -- in green -took first place.

(ABOVE) A Soldier from the 262nd QM Bn. races over the finish line to grab first place in front of a Soldier from 244th in the men’s 4x400 competition. (RIGHT) Soldiers in the 4x100 female race pick up the pace in the final stretch of the event. The 244th, in green, took the win.

Ordnance team members exchange the baton in the 4x400 male race for advanced individual training Soldiers.


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Military children,

continued from page 2

Kenner Army Health Clinic’s 57th annual Neon 5K and Health Fair was a success Saturday with more than 360 participants. There were blue skies and plenty of smiles from everyone as they learned about various services here, rocked to the music of the 392nd Army Band and took part in the scenic jaunt through Petersburg National Battlefield.

Sgt. Vu Khuong Spc. Erica Griffi th gives Spc. Ka itlyn Davis a piggyb ack ride to the finish line durin g the 5K.

Lesley Atkinson

tkinson

Lesley A

Family and MWR employees Jamie Siimpoeg and Ashley Dandridge sported their tutus while handing out information.

(ABOVE) Sterling Newson supports the Armed Services Blood Program during the Health Fair. He also took part in the 5K. (RIGHT) A family participates with a furry friend. The theme of the day’s activities was “Rev Up Your Health.” Sgt. Vu Khuong

In a September 2013 Army.mil article titled “Military Families: children grow through challenges,” Dr. Jacqueline Delano, a behavioral health expert at the Child and Family Assistance Center, Evans Army Community Hospital, emphasized that children do in fact suffer during and after moves. “We see a lot of adjustment disorders; short-term conditions caused from a major stressor,” Delano said. “Some kids might not have a behavioral disorder, but their behavioral problems are a result of these difficulties adjusting.” My son is amazingly resilient. Besides the moves, he has grown up away from nurturing relatives, adjusted to his now fiveyear-old sister entering his life, dealt with the sudden death of a close cousin, and most recently, the unexpected death of his brother in January 2018. All of this pain and suffering has affected

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our entire family in various ways, but our shared grief can easily dismiss the quiet, unassuming pain of a 14-year-old. So, when he broke through the silence with his simple request, I listened. I recognized I had wrongfully assumed my son should just suck it up and get through it. These days, I am learning to slow down a bit, put work-related stressors on the back burner a little longer, and engage in my son’s world more often. And as many children of Soldiers and veterans do, my son smiles more. That big belly laugh I so fondly remember from his childhood is beginning to return. Will we move again? I can’t make that promise to him, and he knows it. Will I ignore him if we do? No - that I can promise,A and he knows it. O One word comes to mind when I’m withe him: happy. 1


Life at Lee set for May 18

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Contributed Photo

MOMC supporters enjoy post tour File Photo by Lesley Atkinson

A Fort Lee family interacts with goats in a petting zoo during the 2016 Life at Lee celebration here.

hOnce again, the kid-friendly animal area will be among the featured offerings of the 11th annual

event set for May 18, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., on the back lawn of the Family Housing Welcome Center, 1510 Sisisky Blvd. In addition to the petting zoo, the event will feature a bounce house, the Splash Park, a Kona Ice machine, face painting, a DJ, prizes, a picnic lunch and more. Life at Lee is open to all Fort Lee Family Housing residents, and the event will be held rain or shine. For further information, call 804-733-1558.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Timothy Skelton and Staff Sgt. Tyler Champion from the 345th Training Squadron pose with volunteers from Altria, USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia, and Hands On Greater Richmond after the group toured the Air Force Transportation School April 25. The community supporters were on post to assemble care packages for military children at Fort Lee’s Youth and School Age Centers. A few hundred goodie bags containing fidget spinners, sunglasses, notebooks, pens, activity books, fun sweat bands and other items were created. Each was accompanied by a card letting the recipients know they are appreciated. The project was held in recognition of the Month of the Military Child.


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Installation honors six civilians for stellar service, volunteerism Six DOD Civilian employees representing various organizations across the installation were recognized for their innovative service, volunteerism and charity work on- and offpost during an award ceremony here Tuesday. John E. Hall, deputy to the CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, presented the awards in the James Madison Room of Mifflin Hall. All honorees received a certificate of appreciation, a DOD Civilian employee pin and a one-of-a-kind Outstanding Civilian Service Award coin in a mahogany commemorative box. “This award is unique and special because the recipients were nominated by a peer for their volunteerism in the community,” Hall remarked before his presentation. “I don’t know of an award program like this on any other installation.” The Fort Lee Civilian Welfare Fund manages the biannual recognition program for Fort Lee. In her remarks, CWF Chairwoman Barbara Vonada said the charitable work these six civilians do reflects positively on the post and the DOD Family. The award recipients and highlights of their service are as follows: Holly R. Allman is an FMWR employee with 2 years of civilian service. “(At work,) she is the first to stand up and accept any new challenge or take on projects,” read her award nomination. Allman volunteered to serve as the much-needed assistant fund manager for CWF, and she created that organization’s holiday card that was displayed on the Lee Club lawn in December. Outside of Fort Lee, Allman volunteers with Relay for Life, serves as a coach and mentor to children and teens through community associations, helps improve facilities and courts at local parks, and assists friends and neighbors with minor house renovations and decorating projects. “Everything she touches is gold!” her nomination stated. Dale A. Blake is a 345th Training Squadron resource adviser with 1 year of civilian service. “He developed an innovative solution to dorm renovation, saving $17,000 … and cutting implementation cost by 50 percent,” according to his nomination. Blake counsels

Susan Garling

Outstanding Civilian Service Award recipients proudly pose with the certificates they were presented at a ceremony Tuesday in the James Madison Room of Mifflin Hall. Also pictured are John Hall, deputy to the CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, far right, and Barbara Vonado, Civilian Welfare Fund chairwoman, far left.

church members in financial management, helping to build workable budgets for limited incomes and reducing the need for external support. He contributed more than 150 hours of community service to the Theater Company of Fort Lee and served as a theater ambassador during the VIP event for “The Sound of Music,” which received great reviews and raised approximately $10,000 for the group. Michael A. Brown is a retired first sergeant now serving as an education and training technician with the Ordnance School. He has seven years of civilian service. Brown developed a Center of Army Lesson Learned program from scratch. A TRADOC accreditation team described it as “one of the most efficient and effective ones” they’ve seen. Brown participates in Hopewell’s Neighborhood Watch and Adopt-A-Street programs. He has served for many years as a member and trustee at the Rock Church in Petersburg. He has been formally recognized by the Governor of Virginia and Hopewell’s mayor for his unwavering and continued efforts to enhance the quality of life for all in his community Patricia A. Eason is a Department of Public works employee with 33 years of civilian service. “The employee has proven time and again that her dedicated efforts make a difference in the lives of our military, their families and the community at large,” her nomination

read. Eason oversees base operations and maintenance contracts here. She also plays a key role in many events, including 4th at the Fort, the Army Birthday, Run for the Fallen and Grand Illumination. Eason volunteers with the Combined Federal Campaign, the Army Emergency Relief Campaign and dedicated many years of volunteer service with the Central Virginia Food Bank. Bertie Eddy is a DeCA Headquarters Administrative Division employee with 48 years of civilian service. “A hallmark of Eddy’s career is her affinity for mentoring employees, and co-workers of every stripe and grade,” a portion of her nomination read. “(She) is a joy to work with and to know, and many people admire her integrity and character.” Performing volunteer work with her fellow parishioners at the Church of the Sacred Heart, Eddy spends her weekends assisting

others aboard the health screening vans that serve under-insured congregants. She comforts grieving family and friends during funeral mass receptions, and makes and sells chocolate Easter eggs to raise money for mission work. Eddy also prepares food for the annual Polish/Slovak festival in Prince George County. Bill Neshelaar is a military retiree who now serves as a technical writer with the Quartermaster School’s Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department. “He sets high goals and far exceeds them, handling roadblocks or issues with aplomb, and making a long-term positive impact on the organization and its mission success,” read a portion of his award nomination. Neshelaar is a key contributor to his agency’s Triannual Airdrop Malfunction and Safety Analysis SEE CIVILIAN AWARDS, page 16


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Summer Camp Registration | Ongoing

Registration is underway for summer history camps at Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. A series of two- and three-day camps are offered for children, age 4 through fourth grade. The first camps begin June 17, 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Participants will be immersed in 17th century colonial Virginia and the American Revolution through hands-on activities and programs. Space may be limited. For further details, visit https://www. historyisfun.org/learn/youth-and-familyprograms/broadside-summer-history-camp/ or call 757-253-4732.

TARP Briefings | May 8

L ocal A ctivities

for the

F ort L ee C ommunity

by May 9 to www.militarybridge.com/ blog/2019/3/21/1336/register-to-attendthe-2019-heroes-at-home-military-spouseawards. The Military Spouse of the Year announced at the event will receive a 7-night Mexico resort vacation and an additional $2,000 to use for flights, tours and more. For further details, call 804-734-7955.

Library Hosted Journalism Class | May 9

The Fort Lee Community Library will host a free class for aspiring writers and photographers May 9, 3:30-5 p.m., at the TenStrike Bowling and Entertainment Center, 2403 C Ave. Journalists from the Fort Lee Traveller and Petersburg Progress-Index will discuss the process of writing news stories and feature articles and offer tips on taking “eye-appealing” photos. For other details, call 804-765-8095.

The next Threat Awareness and Reporting Program briefings for this year are set for May 8, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the Lee Theater. The training is a mandatory annual requirement for military members, DOD employees and contractors with a security clearance. Personnel are reminded to bring their CAC for verification of attendance and to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start time to complete the sign-in process. Additional quarterly brief- Youth MakerSpace Activity | ings are scheduled for Aug. 21 and Nov. 13. May 10 For other details, call 804-734-1569 or The Fort Lee Community Library will offer email charles.s.white8.civ@mail.mil. its next MakerSpace program May 10, 5 p.m., Free Homebuyers Course | May 9 in Bunker Hall Cafe, Army Logistics UniverThe Virginia Housing Development Author- sity campus. Those interested should arrive as ity will present a free First Time Homebuyers close to the start time as possible in order to Workshop May 9, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., in Room complete the project before the event is over. MakerSpace is free and open to all ages. 102A of the Soldier Support Center, building Participants use tools, techniques and hands3400, 1401 B Ave. Participants will learn about personal fi- on learning to nurture their interest in science, nance, credit issues, qualifying and applying technology, engineering, art and math. For other details, call 804-765-8095 or 765for a loan, how to receive a first-time home8173. buyers closing grant and more. The workshop is open to active duty military and spouses, reservists, National Guardsmen, veterans, DOD Run for Fallen | May 11 Registration continues for Fort Lee’s Run Civilians and their spouses. for the Fallen, taking place May 11, 8:30 a.m., For registration and additional details, visit at Williams Stadium. Participation is free and www.vhda.com or call 804-765-3862. open to the public. Spouse Luncheon RSVP Pre-registration is available through May 7 at lee.armymwr.com/programs/runforthefallen Deadline | May 9 The Central Virginia Military Spouse or by calling 804-734-6445 or 734-6446. Appreciation and Awards luncheon is set for Event day check-in begins at 7 a.m. UnregisMay 16, noon-1:30 p.m., at the Lee Club. tered individuals may sign up then. The rain Attendance is free to all spouses of active duty date is May 18. Photographs of fallen service members for service members. Additional guests are $15. Community members should RSVP display along the run route may be submit-

ted to angela.m.bellamy2.civ@mail.mil or christine.i.murphy.civ@mail.mil through May 7.

Overnight Backpacking Adventure | May 10-11

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“Anything Goes,” the final production of the Theatre Company at Fort Lee’s platinum season, opens May 17, 8 p.m., at the Lee Theater, building 4300, 1100 Mahone Ave. All performances are open to the public. The musical runs weekends through June 2. “Anything Goes” premiered in 1934 and has had three major New York revivals. The show features a cast of 28 with many Lee Playhouse veterans. Additional performances are Fridays and Saturdays, May 18, 24, 25, 31 and June 1 at 8 p.m., and Sundays, May 19, 26 and June 2 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 (adults) and $7 (youth). For reservations or more information, call the box office at 804-734-6629.

Fort Lee Outdoor Recreation will host a backpacking trip to Dobie Mountain in George Washington National Park May 10-11. Registered participants will depart at 7 a.m., May 10 from the recreation facility at 15014 5th St. The group returns Saturday afternoon. The trip is open to ages 16 and older. The cost is $69 per person. Mother, Son Sock Hop | May 18 For signup, call 804-765-2212. A Mother and Son Sock Hop is set for May 18, 5-8 p.m., at the Middle School Teen BuildMother’s Day Brunch | May 12 ing on Yorktown Drive. A Mother’s Day Brunch will be held There will be a photographer, door prizes, May 12, 1 p.m., in the Lee Club on the food, cake and give-a-ways. It is open to boys, corner of Mahone Avenue and Battle Drive. 6 weeks to 18 years old, and their mother (or Reservations are required by May 9. the mother figure in their life). The cost is $45 The meal will feature prime rib, grilled per mother and son, and $10 for each additionand steamed shrimp, stuffed chicken breast, a al child. Tickets can be purchased at Parent breakfast bar and more. The cost is $26.95 per Central Services. Registration closes May 10. adult, $13.95 per child (3-10 years old) and For additional details, call 804-765-3852. free for children 2 and younger. For more information, call 804-734-7541. FMWR Whitewater Rafting |

Big Band Concert | May 14

An Armed Forces Day concert featuring musicians from Fort Lee’s 392nd Army Band and the TRADOC Band at Joint Base Langley-Eustis is set for May 14, 7 p.m., in the Grace Street Theater, Virginia Commonwealth University, 934 W. Grace St., Richmond. While admission is free, tickets are required due to limited seating. To reserve a ticket, visit www.facebook. com/392ndarmyband.

May 19

FMWR Outdoor Recreation will offer a rafting trip on the James River in Richmond May 19, starting at 1:45 p.m. Participants should meet at the Stone Brewery parking lot, 4300 Williamsburg Ave., where they will receive helmets, life jackets and paddles. Rafters must be at least 10 years old. The cost is $65 per person. Registration is required by May 17. The rapids are rated Class III. For other details, call 804-765-2059.

Kayaking on Appomattox | The Virginia Employment Commission is May 22

Veteran’s Hiring Event | May 16

sponsoring a veteran’s Spring Hiring Event with the American Legion Post 284 May 16, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., at 505 Springdale Ave., Colonial Heights. Over 20 area employers are scheduled to be on-hand. For further details, call 804-862-6155.

‘Anything Goes’ Opening Night | May 17

A kayak excursion on the Appomattox River, coordinated by Family and MWR Outdoor Recreation, is scheduled for May 22, 5:30 p.m., at Roslyn Landing, 265 Charles Dimmock Parkway, Colonial Heights. All equipment and a trip map will be supplied. The cost is $25. Participants must register at least two days prior to the session and should arrive at the boat dock by 5:15 p.m. For more information, call 804-765-2059.

For more installation and outside the gate events and activities, visit our online calendar at www.fortleetraveller.com/calendar


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CiNCO DE MAyO, continued from page 2 America is no fun without these ethnic treats. Furthermore, why would anyone stomach the sauce-disguised organ meats of real French cuisine when they can just grab a croissant and a Diet Coke at Au Bon Pan and still feel fancy? We don’t really care that no one in Italy eats spaghetti and meatballs, fettucine alfredo with chicken, unlimited breadsticks and bottomless salad bowls because, in America, “That’s Italian!” Americans are so intent on bastardizing ethnic cuisines, we even do it to ourselves. On Thanksgiving Day, few if any eat the gamey venison, goose and clams our Pilgrim and Wampanoag predecessors served with their wild turkeys. Instead, U.S. consumers supplement their Butterballs with green bean casseroles topped with frenchfried onions, canned yams layered with minimarshmallows, and chocolate chip pumpkin cheese cakes slathered with nondairy Cool Whip. Perhaps our huge American egos and unfettered ethnocentricity has brought us to this, but should we be condemned for making our own fun? Over a decade ago, I was invited to a friend’s Cinco de Mayo fiesta when our family was stationed in Virginia Beach. The hosts were a Navy pilot and his wife who threw great parties. They rented a frozen margarita machine, set up their karaoke player and a dance floor complete with chili pepper lights in their garage, served a complete buffet of Mexican foods such as jalapeño poppers and seven-layer bean dip, and passed around lime and tequila Jell-O shots. At the time, I had no idea what Cinco de Mayo history was, but I had a blast celebrating it nonetheless. I even brought along our 86-year-old houseguest, Mabel, who was visiting from England, where we had been

stationed several years before. There she sat on a folding chair in the garage, tapping her cane to the beat of Los Lobos and the Gypsy Kings’ “LaBamba” while munching chips and salsa from a sombreroshaped platter. As an Englishwoman, she knew even less about Mexican history than we did, but as long as the queso dip and tequila were flowing, ignorance was bliss. Actually, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor blip on the calendar. When it falls on a weekday, no federal offices or public schools are closed. Historically, it’s connected to the one-day FrancoMexican War Battle of Puebla in 1862 when a thrown-together army of poorly supplied and outnumbered locals defended the town against an attack by 6,000 French troops. This was not a strategic win for Metro Creative beleaguered Mexico – the French didn’t withdraw until 1967 – but the courageous victory made the history books nonetheless. Thus, the event is “virtually ignored” by the citizenry, limited mostly to the area where the battle took place. According to research performed by UCLA’s Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture, Mexican-Americans in Southern California began celebrating Cinco de Mayo as early as 1863. It was seen as a way to bind Latinos and other Californians together in a collective identity. Perhaps that sparked the national trend, but nobody can say for sure because – in the words of researchers – “We remember it’s important, but we don’t really know why.” So, before you embarrass yourself while under the influence of adult beverages at a party this Sunday, just remember: Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of LatinoAmerican culture. It is not Mexican Independence Day, which happened on September 16, 1810, and involved the Spanish, not the French.

Fort Lee

Classifieds Reach more than 10,000 active duty military, civil service employees, retirees, their spouses and the civilian community.

CONTACT: Susan irgens

susanlou.irgens@gmail.com

757-477-7104

DEADLiNE Reader & Display: Thursday 4:00pm (week prior)


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SENATOR Warner AT ft. lee, continued from page 3 said, “What it all comes down to at the end of the day is our health. We shouldn’t have to go through this. I am now seeing more specialty doctors than I ever had before I came to Fort Lee. My son was hospitalized in the pediatric ICU for three days because his oxygen levels were so low. … I want an apology. I think my family and everybody in housing here at Fort Lee is owed an apology.” Air Force Staff Sgt. Nicholas Machado said he was pressured to accept his on-post home unseen or risk losing it and being bumped off the waiting list. “In my family’s situation, we see on-base housing as a necessity because of everything that’s nearby like the CDC,” he said. “We decided to take the risk of declining it and waiting for the second offer. On the day that came available, we literally were given 15 minutes to look at it and accept it.” The staff sergeant then held up a fourpage list of maintenance issues they are trying to get fixed. “This was supposedly a good-to-go house and, so far, it has only giv-

en us stress and the hassle of making phone calls and waiting for repair people to show up. On top of that, I’m now hearing about all of these health issues with mold, and I’m worried it’s going to happen to my kids if all (housing) did was paint over it.” Warner continued to listen intently as the remaining roundtable participants described dilemmas similar to what was voiced earlier. Summing up what he experienced at Norfolk and what he just heard, the senator said, “It’s been a pretty damn frustrating day.” “You deserve better,” he continued. “You ought to have safe housing. All these things with maintenance issues, kids with asthma, people experiencing respiratory issues … it’s enough to make someone crazy having those circumstances with no place to turn. “I very much appreciate you coming and sharing your experiences,” Warner concluded. “On behalf of the American people, I offer my apologies. You shouldn’t have had to live through this. We’re going to get this right, you have my commitment.”

Air Force Master Sgt. Segonia Cameron said she appreciated the senator’s engagement and concern. “I think it’s great that all of this is being brought to light, and it’s motivating real changes that are being immediately implemented. “As one of the people here stated, this is about the men and women who are serving our country,” she further observed. “The last thing they should be worrying about is the safety and health of their children in the homes where they reside. I think it’s great that these leaders are taking an active role in trying to rectify this situation.” “I know I felt a lot of anxiety when I came here today, and it got even worse when I heard what these other residents were experiencing,” Machado said. “I have a family and kids. Is this another thing I have to worry about; them getting asthma and having breathing problems? “Then I realized who was at the table – a senator, a general, our sergeant major all backing us up. That gave me confidence. I know something is going to happen, and it gives me hope. It’s going to get better.”

CIVILIAN AWARDS, continued from page 12

Review Board, ensuring information is made through a milSuite web page. He is a life member of Disabled American Veterans, and voluntarily works to keep veterans informed of changes in legislation that may impact their benefits. He also helps them understand the Veterans Administration process and where to find benefit information. The Outstanding Civilian Service Award program originated from a survey of post employees in which the No. 1 request was more recognition for noteworthy achievements. This Fort Lee award honors DOD Civilians, nominated by their peers, who go above and beyond in their work on Fort Lee, and through volunteerism and charitable work within their communities. Six recipients are chosen twice a year, in April and October. The Civilian Welfare Fund is honored to manage this program for Fort Lee. For more information, contact your agency representative or CWF Secretary Carrie Williams at caroline. williams@deca.mil. The organization’s website can be found at www.fortleecwf.com. – CWF

Profile for The Progress-Index

Fort Lee Traveller | May 2, 2019  

Fort Lee Traveller | May 2, 2019