Volume 1, Issue 1

T he h

Published in the interest of the Soldiers and families of the 1st Cavalry Division Rear Detachment


America’s First Team

F ronT

June 2007

Cav at the rodeo ...

June 2007

Coming Soon
Happenings and goings on...
Nana Puddin’ Children’s Show 6:30 p.m. @ Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center God and Country Patriotic Concert 3 p.m. @ Bell County Expo Center III Corps and Fort Hood’s Freedom Fest 1 p.m. @ Hood Stadium Belton Military Appreciation Rodeo 6:30 p.m. @ Bell County Expo Center 1st Cav Prayer Breakfast 7 a.m. @ Ironhorse II Dining Facility 1st Cav Family Fun Run 6:30 a.m. @ Cooper Field 1st Cav Town Hall Meeting 6:30 p.m. @ Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center 1st Cav “Tween” FRG Event @ Horse Detachment Barn Purple Heart / Volunteer of the Month 10 a.m. @ Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center


A look inside this issue ...
From the desk of ...
Col. Larry Phelps Page 3 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Wedding another First Team first Page 3 Killeen Rodeo – Cav Style Page 4 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

June 29

Home Front News

July 1

July 4

Family First

‘Dark Horse’ leader reflects on what it takes to be an Army Dad

July 6

Baghdad Brief

Page 6 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– If you need them, they will come Page 7 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– May Town Hall minutes

July 11

July 12

Town Hall

July 18

Helpful Info

Page 9 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Phone numbers and resources Page 10

July 20

July 24

1st Cavalry Division Rear Detachment Commanding Officer Rear Detachment Command Sgt. Maj.

Col. Larry Phelps
Public Affairs Officer

Contact The Home Front at (254) 287-9400, DSN 737-9400 or email robert.j.strain@us.army.mil. Editor, The Home Front The Home Front is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Daily Charge are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Army or the 1st Cavalry Division. All editorial content of the Daily Charge is prepared, edited, provided and approved by the 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office.

Sgt. Maj. William Wallace Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl

Sgt. Robert J. Strain Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert, Spc. Alexis Harrison
Contributing Writers

Rear Detachment Public Affairs NCOIC

Staff Sgt. Colby Hauser

June 2007

From The deSk oF ...
need it. 

... Col. Larry Phelps
Family, friends, and Troopers of America’s First Team, First, thank you all for keeping informed, keeping in touch, and keeping the faith as we all work through the uncertainty of the Department of Defense extension announcement. I am happy to report that, due to a whole lot of hard work by the staffs forward and rear, we think we are now ready to give you some better information about what the extensions mean, unit by unit. We have attended all the required conferences, we have worked hard on the transportation arrangements, and we think we have identified some good windows for the return of our forces. We have rescheduled our monthly Town Hall for 1830 on

Ok, I will see you all next week! Please keep our Troopers and our families in your prayers. I will close with a big THANK YOU to all the hard working members of the Rear Detachment and all of our wonderful volunteers. You continue to make it all happen... and we appreciate you! First Team! 25 June. BG(P) Brooks will be our guest speaker from Iraq. At this Town Hall, BG Brooks will lay out the best information we have about our Troops return dates. I urge each of you to come. Childcare will be provided, but I urge you to sign up NOW...it is limited, and we want to make sure you get childcare if you Cav’s got your back. God Bless!


Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno sends ...
To The Soldiers of Multi-National Corps-Iraq: Tuesday, there were reports in the media about possible further extensions of tours of duty in Iraq, based on coverage of Acting Secretary of the Army Geren’s Senate confirmation hearing. Let’s be clear, no one extended here now to 15 months will be extended further. I ask leaders to move quickly to quell potential rumors. Inform your Soldiers and Family Readiness Groups without delay. RAYMOND T. ODIERNO Lieutenant General, U.S. Army

June 2007

home FronT newS
together for two years, first meeting each other at the intelligence school at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in 2005, Keikiaina said. She explained that she was at a doctor’s appointment at the hospital on Fort Huachuca, and Ludwig was the driver sent to pick her up. “I asked him if he was my coachman, picking me up with the white chariot,” Keikiaina laughed, referring to the white vans driven by unit duty drivers. After that they started getting to know each other and soon became best friends, but it wasn’t until after their training at Fort Huachuca that the couple started dating each other. Keikiaina was stationed with the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, and Ludwig was stationed with the First 

Wedding another First Team first
By Sgt. Robert J. Strain 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
“I do.” Those two small words have been spoken throughout generations, marking the beginning of a new life for the couple who speaks them. For one couple who spoke these words June 16 at the 1st Cavalry Division’s headquarters building here, they reached not only across the generations, but across thousands of miles, as well. First Team intelligence analyst and Sacramento, Calif., native Spc. Matthew Ludwig and Honolulu native Lilani Keikiaina tied the knot through a video teleconference ceremony broadcast from Fort Hood to Ludwig in Baghdad. Ludwig and Keikiaina have been

Team here. “So, he started coming down [to San Antonio] on the weekends, and I would come up here and visit him,” she said. During that time, Ludwig got to know Keikiaina’s two daughters Corina, 13, and Cierra, 7. Keikiaina explained that they had planned on waiting until after he returned from Iraq to get married, but when the extension was announced they decided to go ahead and do it now. For Ludwig, June 16 holds a very special meaning. This year would mark his grandparents’ 51st wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, they both passed away before realizing their dream of seeing their grandchildren get married, Keikiaina said.

See WEDDING, Page 5

Killeen Rodeo - Cav Style

Spc. Adam Byrd (left) and Sgt. 1st Class Troy Gorman, troopers with the 1st Cavalry Division’s Horse Cavalry Detachment, attack balloons with their 1880s-era pistols during a mounted cavalry demonstration at the 60th annual Rodeo Killeen June 1 at the Rodeo Arena in Killeen, Texas. Cavalry troopers demonstrated all the skills needed by the horse cavalry during the 1880s, including rifle and pistol marksmanship, riding ability and saber skills.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert J. Strain, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

June 2007

home FronT newS 

WEDDING, continued from page 4 ––––––––––––––
They even went ahead and bought wedding gifts for all their grandchildren when they did get married. In order to honor his grandparents, Ludwig always wanted to get married on the 16th of June. With Keikiaina’s two children and the difference in time between Texas and Baghdad meant that when the couple got married, it meant that Ludwig also became a father on Father’s Day there in Baghdad. Keikiaina described the ceremony as bittersweet. She was glad to see Ludwig, who she hadn’t seen since his rest and recuperation leave in February, but at the same time he was still thousands of miles away. The ceremony, which was brought together by the efforts of the family readiness group of the division’s intelligence section, had started out as a small ceremony using webcams at the house of Mandi Stai, the section’s FRG leader. Keikiaina is a Solider now, but will be making the transition to civilian later this summer when she gets out of the Army. “I wanted to make sure I was a part of helping her through that transition [from Soldier to spouse]. She didn’t have access to all of the stuff that we

Justice of the Peace Garland Potvin reads the wedding vows to Lilani Keikiaina (center) from Honolulu, while her groom, Sacramento, Calif., native Spc. Matthew Ludwig, an intelligence analyst with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Cavalry Division, watches from Baghdad during their wedding ceremony June 16 at Fort Hood, Texas. The couple were married via video teleconference, the division’s first.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert J. Strain, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

had, she didn’t have the webcam, she doesn’t have the FRG support, she didn’t have anything,” Stai said. The FRG wanted to ensure that Keikiaina was welcomed into the First Team family properly, and let her know that they are there for her. “We just kind of thought that it’s

Two video teleconference screens show Honolulu native Lilani Keikiaina (left), and Sacramento, Calif., native Spc. Matthew Ludwig, an intelligence analyst with the 1st Cavalry Division in Baghdad, during their wedding ceremony June 16 at the division’s headquarters building on Fort Hood, Texas. Because he could not be present for the official ceremony, the couple plans to renew their vows in a large, more traditional wedding on their first anniversary.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Robert J. Strain, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

tough enough starting out with being apart,” said Molly Kaufman, an FRG member and one of the coordinators of the wedding. “If there’s a way that we as a family readiness group and as a rear detachment rear command can make a family’s life a little bit easier for something special like this, then we’re going to do whatever we can,” Kaufman said. After vows were exchanged and the ceremony was complete, the newlyweds were given time to talk to each other using the VTC, although Keikiaina said there wasn’t much to tell each other – other than “I love you.” As a final surprise to the newlyweds, the unit sponsor – Toyota of Killeen – donated a three-day honeymoon getaway for the couple at Lake Tahoe, Calif., in February, after he returns from Iraq. The couple plans to renew their vows on their first anniversary next June 16 during a big ceremony with all their family and friends.

June 2007

Family FirST 

‘Dark Horse’ leader reflects on what it takes to be an Army Dad
By Spc. Alexis Harrison 2nd BCT Public Affairs
FOB PROSPERITY, Iraq – In the movie “We Were Soldiers” a young lieutenant who’d recently become a father asks Mel Gibson’s character, Lt. Col. Hal Moore, what he thought about being a Soldier and a father. “I hope that being good at one makes me better at the other,” Moore replied. Moore’s words spoke volumes about the relationship a father has with his children and the relationship a leader has with his Soldiers. For one senior noncommissioned officer, the word leadership is completely synonymous with fatherhood. Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, the top noncommissioned officer for the 4th “Dark Horse” Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, has been in the Army for more than two and a half decades. Although his military career is long and, according to him, nowhere near close to an end, it’s only about a year longer than he has been a father. Twenty-five years ago, Daniels

Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels, the senior noncommissioned officer for 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, stands with his wife, Marilyn, and two daughters, Demeka and Janel, during a family gathering. Daniels credits much of what he’s able to do as a father to his family being strong and constantly supportive.

(Courtesy photo)

Command Sgt. Maj. James Daniels in Baghdad.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Alexis Harrison, 2nd BCT Public Affairs)

enlisted into the military with full support from his entire family. Two of his brothers were already in, so it made the decision a little easier on his family. They knew what to expect. More importantly, his father, a pastor at the time, gave him his blessing. “He was a great mentor,” he said. “I followed him everywhere he went. He had his Bible; I had my Bible. “He told me to cherish your family,” Daniels recalled. “They will always be there for you through thick and thin. You will always have your family to fall back on. The closer you are to your family, the stronger the bonds are, and no one can break those ties.” Daniels said that his father had a huge role in his own fathering skills after he had his first child, Latrice. Shortly after having his first child, Daniels was assigned to a station in Germany where his dependants weren’t allowed to go with him. This was his first test as a father in the military “[The deployment] taught me that being away and still having that bond,

you really don’t lose anything,” he said. Early in Daniels’ career, things like mid-tour leave didn’t exist. He and his family had to rely on the bonds created from triumph and tragedy. His first child was killed in a motor vehicle accident when he was only 18 years old. Although the pain was great, Daniels said it made his family even stronger. “It strengthens you,” he said. “It makes you closer as a family to lose a loved one, much like during a deployment.” Daniels’ advice to fathers not only in his squadron, but to all service members is simple: build strong relationships and bonds with your family while you can. They’ll rely on those bonds while you’re away. He noted that if good bonds are made, they are almost impossible to break and your family will appreciate its time with you that much more. The troops from the Dark Horse

See DAD, Page 8

Baghdad BrieF If you need them, they will come
June 2007 By Sgt. 1st Class Rick Emert 1st ACB Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq – The saying goes that only two things in life are guaranteed: death and taxes. In battle, there’s only one: MEDEVAC. A medical evacuation crew from Company C, 2nd “Lobo” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, proved that to be true on Memorial Day as they picked up two wounded Soldiers who needed urgent care. Despite flying in adverse weather and coming under enemy fire, the MEDEVAC crew managed to evacuate the wounded Soldiers to a combat support hospital within about 30 minutes of being called. “The weather was below marginal conditions,” said Lt. Col. Timothy DeVito, acting commander of 1st ACB, who hails from Orlando, Fla. “No Multinational DivisionBaghdad or Multinational Division-Center aircraft were flying, but in true MEDEVAC fashion, the condition of the injured Soldiers on the ground is what drove them to conduct that mission.” “The visibility was less than two miles,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Walls, the pilot in command on the MEDEVAC mission, who hails from Tampa, Fla. Additionally, the crew had to fly without an AH-64D Apache escort. “There was no Apache available (to provide security), but the mission was approved,” said Sgt. Dale Hlavacek, a medic from Co. C, who calls Des Moines, Iowa home. “We had a (UH-60 Black Hawk) chase helicopter and the


ground guys to provide security.” The nine-line MEDEVAC request had warned that there were enemy forces to the north, but the landing zone itself was secure. “We were told (the landing zone) was secure, but you really don’t know what can go on once you get down there,” Walls said. The weather turned out to be the least of their problems. Moments after the two Black Hawks landed, they came under mortar and small arms fire. “We landed to the south,” Hlavacek said. “I saw the ground element at our three o’clock. I got off and started assessing the patients. One of them was a litter patient, so I called for the crew chief (Pvt. Bryan Makepeace, from Avon Park, Fla.) to bring a litter. I heard an explosion and small arms fire. I signaled the crew chief for the aircraft to take off.” Chief Warrant Officer 2 Corey Mallard, another pilot on the MEDEVAC crew, immediately knew something was wrong. “I heard two explosions at our six o’clock,” said Mallard, from College Station, Texas. “There was small arms fire hitting the ground to our left. I told Makepeace to get on the aircraft. Once he got in and I saw that we were all clear, we took off. There were tracer rounds to our left, and they followed us all the way out.” Walls said it appeared the enemy initially was firing at the chase helicopter from 3rd “Spearhead” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment. The chase helicopter was between

See MEDEVAC, Page 8

(U.S. Army photo courtesy of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment)

Soldiers from a MEDEVAC crew that came under fire but still evacuated wounded Soldiers stand near their UH-60 Black Hawk MEDEVAC helicopter May 31 in Kalsu, Iraq. Pictured are, from left to right, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Walls, Sgt. Dale Hlavacek, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Corey Mallard and Pvt. Bryan Makepeace.

June 2007

wrapping up
They were close.” The firefight lasted for about a minute, Hlavacek said, and then the aircraft were cleared to land again. Hlavacek got smoke from the ground unit and moved the landing zone closer to where the injured Soldiers were located. They loaded the Soldiers on the MEDEVAC helicopter and took them to the Combat Support Hospital without further incident, Hlavacek said. “Everything is briefed (before the missions), and we have been doing this for a few months,” Walls said. “I didn’t have any concerns about (Hlavacek); I knew that he would be safe with the ground guys. He knew that we would be back to get him. We talk about this every day, about what we will do in this situation, and we did it just how we had planned. We brief this and talk it beforehand, and everyone just reverted to their training.” Hlavacek said that his reaction was second nature, because of previous training and the crews’ many briefs on this scenario. “Once I heard the explosion, my mind 

MEDEVAC, continued from page 7 ––––––––––––––
the enemy forces and the MEDEVAC helicopter, he said. “I could see tracer rounds in front of the helicopter. It looked like they were shooting at the chase helicopter while we were on the ground, because they were closer (to the enemy),” Walls said. “As we took off, they were shooting at both of us.” Hlavacek remained with the two injured Soldiers. One of the injured Soldiers had sustained a gunshot wound to the leg and the other had a gunshot wound to the head. The Soldier with the head wound was able to walk. Hlavacek and a few of the Soldiers from the ground unit got the injured Soldiers to cover. The enemy forces “were in a ditch. I could see the rounds skipping off the dirt and hear them going by,” Hlavacek said. “I think they were targeting both of the aircraft. Once we got the patients to cover, I began to return fire with the ground unit. I always take my M-4 with me when I depart the aircraft, but this is the first time I have had to return fire. Usually when we land, the enemy forces will bug out and leave. These guys stayed and fired at us.

went right back to the training I have had,” Hlavacek said. “If a situation comes up, the aircraft has to leave (the medic behind). You don’t want the aircraft to be damaged. “It was surreal,” he added. “Everything that went through my head is what I have encountered in training. The ground guys did a great job in controlling the situation. It went really smooth.” Although he goes on MEDEVAC missions just about every day, Hlavacek said that he doesn’t get into a routine on the missions. “It may seem like the same thing every day – we do this whenever guys out there need us. You never know what’s going to happen when you go out to pick up patients,” Hlavacek said. “You have to be ready. I would tell my peers to stay open to things; it’s never going to be the same thing out there. Anticipate the worst.” But one thing remains the same for ground forces in Baghdad, as this crew from Co. C, 2-227th, has proven: If you call for MEDEVAC, they will come.

DAD, continued from page 6 ––––––––––––––––––
Squadron, who Daniels watches over, have a multifaceted job in Iraq. Not only do they guard the base with heavy machine guns atop towers along its perimeter; they maintain peace in what used to be a violent, volatile area just north of the International Zone in the heart of the city. For many fathers in 4-9, this isn’t the first time away from their families. Although the many veterans are well-honed warriors, they admit that leaving their wives, daughters, sons and friends doesn’t get any easier no matter how many times they do it. To help his Soldiers, Daniels assumes the role of a father figure every time he sees them. He said that many of the little things like a pat on the back or a few words of encouragement can make all the difference. The origin of Father’s Day can be traced back as far as 1909 when Sonora Smart-Dodd first came up with the idea to honor her father for what he’d done. William Smart was a Civil War veteran who was widowed and left to raise his six children on a farm near Spokane, Wash.

Dodd was at a Mother’s Day sermon when the idea came to her. About a year later, the mayor of Spokane chose the month of June to celebrate the American father because June was the month of William Smart’s birthday. It wasn’t until 1966 when former President Lyndon Johnson declared the third Sunday in June to be considered Father’s Day for a national observance. In 1972, former President Richard Nixon signed the bill making it law declaring Father’s Day a national holiday. For people like Daniels, it’s more than just a holiday, especially while he’s deployed. It’s a time for him to reflect on not only his accomplishments, but those of his children and his Soldiers. Daniels said one of the most rewarding things about being a father and a leader is watching those you look after flourish and grow into something to be proud of. Whether it be his children attending college with aspirations of becoming doctors, or his Soldiers making it to the next rank of responsibility, Daniels said seeing them succeed is about as rewarding as it gets to him.

June 2007

Town hall
FileCabi, social networking sites MySpace, BlackPlanet and Hi5, music sites Pandora, MTV, 1.fm and live365, photo-sharing site Photobucket. Our understanding is that these sites are not banned if the Soldier has purchased internet service from a private contractor for his/her personal computer 

May’s Town Hall Meeting minutes
From Open Forum with Col. Larry Phelps First Team Rear Detachment Commander
Did or has FOB Warhorse receive more troops? There are troops rotating in and out of the FOBs all the time. The number of troops on a specific FOB depends on the current mission. What level of injury/harm does my Soldier have to have for me to get notified? If the injury/incidents generates a casualty report downrange, we do a notification If you are not being notified, please let us know ASAP The Army Times published a list of deployment dates. What’s up with that? I thought we were getting notified after May 21st – 23rd. What’s up with that? Remember, until you hear it from us, its RUMOR How does a Soldier get to use R&R centers like Freedom Rest and Qatar? There are a certain number of allocations for each unit. Soldier must first let their Chain of Command know they are interested in this Will of course depend on the mission at the time as to when the Soldier will be allowed to go Used as a morale booster/time away 3-4 day trips to an area the Soldier can relax and get away from the battlefield for just a while, allowing them to recharge and get back in the fight We have orders for my Soldier to report to school in Jan 08. With the extension, we are thinking that may be delayed. Can you give us some guidance? All scheduled schools will require some additional work/ scheduling Schools that are scheduled within 90 days of the unit’s return, can still be worked If a Soldier has a Deployment Savings Account, would it still accrue interest during an extension? Is any kind of paperwork required for this to continue? Yes, it will continue to accrue interest during the extension No, no more paperwork is required What’s up with the banned websites? The websites that have been banned by DOD have huge files associated with them and take up bandwidth This interferes with the mission and creates operational problems List of banned websites are as follows: video sites YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos and

Since the surge, we’ve received more casualties. Can you comment on this? Every casualty we take is serious, we know. One is too many, but statistically, casualties have not gone up for 1CD units There are many more troops operating in our area, and more patrolling RUMOR – The extra $1000 a month is cancelled. All the Soldier is going to get is one extra day of administrative leave for each month over 12 they are deployed. NOT TRUE $1000 AIP still in effect Additionally, for those Soldiers who have had back to back rotations over the past 24-36 months, there is a special nonchargeable leave accrual based on the number of days they have been deployed This is an extra incentive, not a substitute for the AIP We owe you details of the admin leave plan Once we get them, we will post those details Can CAV plan an event like the fall fest for the children during the summer while they are out of school? Yes – what do you want us to do? Submit your ideas to your FRSA. Nana Puddin’ – a puppet show with target audience being elementary school kids – is in the works Currently working the next Teen FRG outing Also looking at doing something for the “Tweens” those a little too old for the kiddie stuff, but not quite old enough for the teen events (10-12 yr olds) Again, send ideas of what you would like to do through your FRSA We are still hearing rumors that the 15:12 might not affect all BCTs. Can you comment on this? We simply don’t have all the details yet Standby! When we get them, we’ll let you know

June 2007

helpFul inFo
287-8657 288-5003 287-AFAP 286-6600 287-VOLS 287-CARE 287-CITY 288-2089 287-6070 286-6774 288-7570 288-2862 288-5155 287-4ACS 287-4471 630-6218 630-6240 383-2571 383-3684 383-1631 288-2794 287-2286 618-7443 288-2863 287-4471 618-7584 286-6774 702-4953


Army Community ServiCe ContACtS
ACS Volunteer Program Army Emergency Relief (AER) Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Army Volunteer Corps Child & Spouse Abuse 24/7 Hotline Consumer Affairs Office Employment Readiness Branch (ERB) Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Family Advocacy Program (FAP) Family Assistance Center (FAC) Financial Management Classes FRG/RDO Classes Information, Referral & Outreach (IRO) If you do not know who to call Lending Closet Military Family Life Consultants (MFLC)

FAmily reAdineSS ContACtS
1st Cav FRG Assistants
Division Team Leader
2-21-02 Carol Livengood

Wendy Edwards

1st “Ironhorse” Brigade

Laurie Siegel

2nd “Black Jack” Brigade

Lori Carpeneter

3rd “Grey Wolf” Brigade

Mobilization & Deployment New Parent Support Program (NPSP) Parenting Classes Relationship Enrichment Program (REP) Relocation Readiness Program Stress/Anger/Conflict Management Classes Victim Advocate Crisis Line

Jenny O’Rourke

1st Air Cavalry Brigade

Charles Lyons

15th Sustainment Brigade