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Tony horton visits bondsteel

Army 10-miler

GUARDIAN east October 15, 2011

The official magazine of Multinational Battle Group East

soldiers enjoy hispanic herritage month on Camp Bondsteel

Supporting Bondsteel

Motivate me!

story and photo by Ardian Nrecaj

The support varies from administrative and legal work, to food preparation, haircuts and laundry. The work locals do contributes to the quality of life and mission success for KFOR soldiers who often face time constraints due to their busy schedules.

Burim Jashari, from Kumanova/Kumanovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and is currently working at the Judge Advocate General’s office. He started working at Camp Bondsteel in 1999 as an interpreter where he was assigned to translate legal documents. Since 2009, he has been working in the same office as a legal clerk assisting with administrative, military justice, fiscal and contract law. “I basically assist the Army attorneys in various aspects of the law,” said Jashari.

has been here for years, he knows more about politics and assists us in coordinating missions and meetings.”

KFOR soldiers often meet with politicians, local leaders and the public. This is where Xhelil Hyseni has found work by helping Soldiers maintain a professional military appearance. Hyseni has 20 years of experience as a barber; his last ten years have been cutting hair for U.S. Soldiers. Hyseni started working at Camp Monteith, Gjilan/Gnjilane where he worked for five years prior to coming to Camp Bondsteel. When he compares his previous experience in the local economy with work at Camp Bondsteel Hyseni said, “Working at Camp Bondsteel has provided me with a lot of experience and helped me grow professionally because we serve 30 to 40 people a day.” Hyseni, with a smile, added, “More work means better pay.”

The service provided by the barber shop is used regularly by Soldiers who are often busy with missions and training. Spc. Russell Coneaux, an infantry Soldier, said, “It saves time because it means we can come here, get a haircut, get something to eat and go back to work.”

Sgt. Jarod Bryan, a military policeman agrees.

“If they did not do it, I would have to do it myself, and since it is a good price and they are quick, I keep coming back.”

While 30 to 40 people may seem like a lot, Hyseni doesn’t think it is too hard. “Cutting hair in military camps is easier because hair styles that soldiers request are simpler since they have to abide to military grooming standard” said Hyseni. The barbers also maintain sanitary standards, disinfecting their equipment regularly.

“After every two customers we clean our hair trimmers, and twice a day we change the disinfectant for our combs and scissors,” said Hyseni. “Barbers in the local economy have started to use the same standard of work that Camp Bondsteel requires. They have been influenced by the way we work.”

“It is a great honor for me support and work along U.S. Soldiers,” Jashari said. “Through the years I have made many friends.”

t was intense, fun and very exciting,” said Sgt. Bess Wilson, supply sergeant here at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.

She was not the only one who shared those sentiments after a grueling 60 minute workout with P90X creator, Tony Horton.

“And through health and fitness, people can find solutions to solve life’s problems.”

Staff Sgt. Moreno Thomas, senior K9 handler, can attest to the program helping with more than just Continued, next page fitness.

Horton, who is currently on tour with the Armed Forces Entertainment, has been visiting U.S. service members around the globe and spent Oct. 10 with service members here at Camp Bondsteel. While on CBS, Horton conducted a morning and an evening P90X workout session for Soldiers.

For Wilson, who has been doing P90X for seven weeks, it was a chance to meet the man who has been motivating her. “To workout with this guy I’ve seen on my television screen for several weeks, to actually see and participate with him was a rare opportunity,” she said.

Capt. Donnial Hinds, a Legal Assistants Officer, truly appreciates everything Jashari does in helping them fulfill their mission.



story and photos by 1st Lt. Casey Staheli

Jashari and Hyseni both share the same satisfactions of working with and supporting the Soldiers and Camp Bondsteel.

Jashari is currently enrolled in his second year of law school. “I am planning to finish the law school, pass the bar exam, and become a lawyer,” he said.

“He is invaluable assisting with joint acquisition review board process and documents,” said Hinds. “And since Jashari

P90X creator, Tony Horton, signs an autograph for a Solider at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. After a two workout session, Horton interacted with those stationed here by holding a question and answer session and giving hands on fitness demonstrations. Afterward, Horton took time to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

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Soldiers deploy to Kosovo on nine-month rotations. During this time they are part of the Kosovo Forces mission and assist in providing a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for those in Kosovo. During their time here, U.S. soldiers will interact significantly with a number of locals from Kosovo who provide support to U.S. Soldiers by working at Camp Bondsteel.

Xhelil Hyseni, a barber at Camp Bondsteel, gives a haircut to Spc. Galarza Reynaldo, of Lebanon, PA. Hyseni has been working as a barber for ten years at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.

According to Horton, P90X is about more than just being physically fit, it is about being fit for life. “This program offers people a well-rounded fitness routine,” said Horton.

Soldiers at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo participate in a workout with P90X creator, Tony Horton. Horton conducted a workout session with civilians and service members here during a recent Armed Forces Entertainment tour.


Bondsteel Army 10-Miler

Motivate me, Cont.


story by Spc. John A. Montoya

noticed a drop in sick call and other health related problems,” said Dufour.

amp Bondsteel hosted an Army 10-miler on Oct 9. Despite the gloomy weather and cold, constant drizzle, 46 people participated in the event.

These are things Horton likes to hear as he tours around and meets with service members.

“I like hearing the success stories,” Horton said. “As a trainer that is what you want to hear, that people have found something that motivates and excites them, something they are going to stick Capt. Jason Dufour, the Task Force Medical execu- with and something that works.” tive operations officer, has done a full 13 weeks of P90X, lost 10 lbs, improved his Army physical fitHorton, who spent the night conducting a quesness test score and admits to feeling “awesome.” tion and answer session along with some hands-on demonstrations, had ample opportunity to listen to He is not the only one. Soldiers share their P90X accomplishments.

Spc. Andrew Gassner withstood the chilling rain to do something he enjoys. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to run the 10-miler,” said Gassner. “I love running, and rain or snow wouldn’t have stopped me.”

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“A number of Soldiers at TF MED have actively “I’ve seen my muscles become more defined, and regularly participated with me in P90X and my push-ups, sit-ups and run improved and my they have all seen a great improvement in their phy- overall Army physical fitness test score increased,” sique and overall fitness,” said Dufour. said Wilson. “P90X is a really motivating, flexible program which has provided me with a great founDufour believes a big reason the program has dation. Now I push myself harder than ever before.” been so successful is because of the unique way it works. Soldiers weren’t the only ones who felt motivated from the day’s workouts and Q&A. “P90X caters to an individual’s fitness level and that allows for a group of people at different levels “We’re glad we came to Kosovo because this is to exercise together.” the most fun we have had,” said Horton. “It is also a great honor to give back and meet with the service Working in the medical field, Dufour knows that members. I feel like I have a duty to come out, Soldiers fitness does not just benefit the individual work with military members and give something Soldier, but the Army as a whole. “I can say that back, since they give so much for us. They motivate as we have seen Soldier fitness improve, we have me.”

The main event is held in Washington, D.C., and thousands of runners participate every year. Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsors the event at Bondsteel as well as D.C. and its mission is to safely conduct the Army’s annual 10-mile race to promote the Army, build esprit de corps, support fitness goals and enhance community relations.

The MWR crew on Bondsteel held out against the miserable weather to make sure everyone who wanted to participate had the opportunity to do so. “Rain, snow, we still get the job done,” said Jay Dubois, MWR sports pro-

Soldiers at Camp Bondsteel take off for the 10-mile race Oct. 9. The soldiers finished strong, running quickly through the rainy course. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. John A. Montoya)

gram director.

In addition to simply hosting, the MWR staff is more than happy to see Soldiers participate in events like the 10-miler. “The Soldiers, they come out and support these events so we put it on. We enjoy coming out and we enjoy facilitating events for them,” said Dubois. The male participant with the best time was Vadym Libichenko,

All of the participants in the Oct. 9 Army 10-Miler pose for a victory photo. Congratulations to everyone involved for making the event a resounding success! (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)


Capt. Jason Dufour, the Task Force Medical executive operations officer, poses for a picture with Tony Horton. Dufour is holding cutouts of his daughter Hannah (left) and Mara (right). Dufour has taken the cutouts with him to various places in order to keep his family in his mind.

from the Ukrainian contingency, with 1 hour 14 minutes and 32 seconds. Staff Sgt. Phoebe Begay was the fastest female participant with the time of 1 hour 31 minutes and 32 seconds.

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“I discovered P90X during this deployment and it has been a great way to relieve stress and keep motivated while I am away from family, friends and loved ones,” Thomas said. “More than anything else, it has helped me stay mentally focused. Since I’ve started the program I’ve set a number of school and career goals, and a daily workout keeps my motivation and focus on them. It is providing me with a great sense of accomplishment.”

A runner prepares for the start of the Oct. 9 Army 10-Miler. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Evan V. Lane)


Admiral, ambassador visit jarinje gate

Polish soldiers qualify on U.S. weapons

U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, center, speaks with a Romanian gate guard during his inspection of Jarinje Gate in northern Kosovo Oct. 6.

2nd Lt. Darius Demski, the S3 air operations officer at Camp Novo Sello, and 1st. Lt. Michael Kwitek, the Polish liaison officer at Camp Novo Sello, receive their U.S. Army Marksmanship Certificates and small arms qualification badges following range certification. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. Sonia Wise)


igh-ranking officials from NATO and the U.S. State Department visited Jarinje gate recently to observe and inspect the Kosovo Forces and EULEX mission there. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of Allied Joint Force Command in Naples, Italy, and Christopher Dell, U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, familiarized themselves with the layout, soldiers and policy behind the newly established KFOR position at Gate 1.

Following the briefings, both Locklear and Dell inspected the gate, perimeter and facilities at the Jarinje gate camp, prior to returning to Camp Film City, Pristina.

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story and photos by Spc. Evan V. Lane

Novo Sello Strong man competition

Col. Michael D. Schwartz, commander of Multinational Battle Group East, led the two on separate days through the immediate area surrounding Gate 1. Both Locklear and Dell were briefed on the current state of events by Schwartz and the German contingency commander, Capt. Kevin Uehlein. This included briefings and video of the protests on Sept. 26 and 27 due to KFOR elements attempting to eliminate illegal roadblocks erected by locals. “Everyone in Naples was impressed with how the situation was handled,” said Locklear, “It was very stressful but you all did a fine job.”


Dell also made a point to recognize the soldiers’ professionalism, “You had a crowd that was behaving very aggressively, yelling in their [soldiers’] faces. It escalated to throwing rocks, throwing grenades. The soldiers showed remarkable discipline in holding back.”

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, commander of Allied Joint Force Command and commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, speaks with Col. Michael D. Schwartz, commander of Multinational Battle Group East, during his survey of Gate 1.

U.S. Soliders drag a Humvee 100 meters during the strongman competition Sept. 18. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Soliders participate in the tire flip portion of the strongman competition Sept. 18. (Courtesy photo)




KFOR 14 honors Hispanic heritage month on Bondsteel right here, right now. “Not only the Hispanic Soldiers, but also all of KFOR 14. We’ve As well as fighting and dying for their coun- gotten a lot of accolades from everyone who’s come try Hispanic service members have also risen to top and visited and we’ve had very good rotation so far. of the ranks to lead their fellow service members I’m expecting that to last the next two months,” said and they have received the nation’s highest award, Giron. the Medal of Honor. “43 men of Hispanic descent have received the Medal of Honor,” said Giron.

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Soldiers from N.M. and 900 made it back.”

“Horatio Rivera, of Puerto Rico, was the first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral,” said Giron, “and we have to significant achievements from N.M., Lt. General Edward D. Baca the first Hispanic head of the National Guard Bureau and Brig. Gen. Carmelita Vigil-Schimmenti, the first Hispanic female general in the military.”

Soldiers from many nations and ethnic backgrounds came together Oct. 8 to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with food, song, and dancing. Throughout the month several events will highlight Hispanic contributions to society.


story and photos by Spc. Evan V. Lane

oldiers on Bondsteel celebrated Hispanic Heritage month on Oct. 8 at the southtown gym. The Soldiers listened to Danny and the Drivers play some traditional music, like cumbias, and some oldies by Ritchie Valens like “La Bamba” and “Come On, Let’s Go” while they munched on traditional Hispanic food from New Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Lt. Col. Ricardo Giron, the officer in charge of the personnel section for Task Force Falcon, said the ethnic food from New Mexico, such as the enchilada casseroles were brought in from New Mexico and the fresh ingredients for the Puerto Rican food was brought in from Puerto Rico.

Mexicans of all races including, a large number of Hispanics from the state, have had an enormous impact on Army campaigns ranging from the Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders” in Spanish American War to the Guardsman who manned the artillery and fought to the last bullet on the Bataan peninsula during World War II. “We’ve got the “Rough Riders”, in 1898, we (Hispanic Soldiers) were very instrumental with that campaign with Teddy Roosevelt and that’s very significant of course,” said Giron, “and then there’s the story of Bataan where you have 1,800

Both Soldiers thought that diversity in the military is good thing and that’s what Hispanic Heritage month highlighted. “I think diversity makes the military stronger and the military has always been known to be a leader in diversification,” said Giron. “The Army has been a place where different ethnic groups can come in and feel wanted and part of an organization.”

Rivera said Hispanics make the Army stronger, because “we make it diverse and we put our own spice into the military because we all come from different backgrounds.”

Hispanic Soldiers have helped to make the Army strong through its’ history, but they are currently helping to keep Kosovo Forces 14 strong

Sgt. 1st Class William Rosado, a Soldier from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard, prepares and plates dishes from the territory Oct. 8.

“I thought we had an excellent turnout on Sunday and we had a lot of food which was authentic,” said Giron. In addition to the food, Spc. Leslie Rivera, a cashier with the 717th Finance Detachment said she enjoyed the dancing and camaraderie of the celebration on Sunday. Rivera said, “It was fun, something different. It got people together, and danced to Mexican music, even though I’ve never danced to it before.”


Other than just celebrating the month both Soldiers reflected on what Hispanic Soldiers have done for the Army and military in general. New

Maj. Francisco J. Figueroa, commander of C. Company 1-150th Aviation, plays drums for Danny and the Drivers during the festivities.

Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15 11

Guardian East Newsletter  

Newsletter for soldiers, families and friends of MNBG E.

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