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Volume 5

Make It Happen Times


~ 168th BRIGADE SUPPORT BATTALION ~

December 2007 Happy Holidays


INSIDE THIS ISSUE
2 Battalion
Commander’s
Corner

3
Command HHC, 168th BSB
Sergeant Major’s
Corner Outlaws
4 HHC Outlaws

5 A-Train

10 Bravo Bandits
A Co., 168th BSB
57th A-Train
16
Transportation
Company

17 F. Co.,
151st Infantry B Co., 168th BSB
Liberty Bandits Delta
18 A Word from the
Chaplain

Holiday Soldier
19
Poems

57th Transportation Company

F Co.
151st Inf.
Battalion Commander’s Corner
Soldiers, Family and Friends,

Christmas season has come and gone and we are eager to get into the New
Year!! It will be 2008 and we’ll be coming home! While we all enjoyed Christmas with
our Army Family, we certainly missed being home with the ones we love. Technology
is a wonderful thing as many watched family and friends open gifts via webcams.
This is clearly not as good as being there, but it is better than nothing at all.

We celebrated by taking a much needed break. We didn’t push any supplies and
the work hours were reduced in areas that we couldn’t completely shut down. There
were a number of cookouts and gift exchanges to help Soldiers celebrate. We will
168th BSB Commander certainly remember where we were for Christmas in 2007!
LTC Todd Heussner
Our battalion continues to grow with the addition of a platoon from Fort Hood and
another 2 companies coming to us from Taji. The increased capability will allow us to
provide even more support in our area of operations. We look forward to teaching
them what “Make It Happen!” is all about.

The battalion continues to lead the way in every category of supply, maintenance
and transportation support. The 168th is constantly finding new and innovative ways
to accomplish the mission faster, safer and more efficiently. The Soldiers are
amazing in their drive, creativity and ingenuity. Every time I walk the battalion area I
find something new that wasn’t there the day before. It is the Soldiers who have
LTC Heussner displaying made this the BEST SUPPORT BATTALION IN THE ARMY!!
the 168th BSB guidon for
the first time in Iraq on 13 Of course we couldn’t do it without our family and friends taking care of the home
Aug 07. front. You all are even more impressive than our Soldiers in your ability to take a
challenging situation and turn it into an opportunity to do something great. You all
don’t get the credit and recognition you deserve for helping win this war. I wish I had
more to give than a simple, heartfelt thank you for doing such an incredible job. Our
team, both home and away, are truly making a difference in world affairs.

Attacks are at their lowest in nearly two years, Iraqis are out shopping and
enjoying their freedoms and citizens are standing up to the terrorists and taking back
their cities. All of this is possible because of what we do together. The support that
we provide to the 82,000 Soldiers in Baghdad contributes directly to the security and
LTC Heussner in front of stability of Iraq. Nothing happens without food, fuel, ammunition and the repair parts
the freshly painted “Make It that we provide every day. Together, we are shaping the future of an entire country.
Happen” barriers.
Your country has called and you have answered. Your actions are historic and
the results unprecedented. The incredible results are only possible through the
amazing teamwork and selfless contributions of everyone on the team. Soldiers,
family and friends you are making history and making people free! We can ask
nothing more of the greatest team in the Army!

God bless you, God bless our families and friends and God bless America!
LTC Heussner (right)
playing quarterback during
NCO vs Officer game.
Warmest Regards,

LTC Todd A. Heussner

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Battalion Command sergeant major’s Corner

To our families: Merry Christmas!

While we were not able to spend this Christmas at home, Soldiers here managed
to spend some special time together. Santa was spotted a few days early around the
battalion areas ensuring Soldiers were keeping up with the Christmas spirit. Sections
decorated their offices and Soldiers decorated their rooms. Many had their Christmas
parties while others enjoyed the mid day warm temperature (50s) to enjoy a BBQ.

Our “Make it Happen” Soldiers continue to work hard and are leading the way in
the support provided to units in our AOR. We will be gaining more units in the future
that will enhance our support capabilities and we look forward to making them a part of
168th BSB Command
this great team. After visiting some remote FOBs, it is obvious how critical everything
Sergeant Major
CSM Miguel Rivera that we are doing is for the warfighters. .

Things are obviously changing in this country and with the interaction I had with
few local nationals I think they feel more secure and that their country is moving
ahead. It is the will of its people that will make the difference here and they seem very
optimistic about it. Being here helps us appreciate the freedom we enjoy in our
country and gives us peace of mind knowing our kids will be better off because of what
we are doing here today.

We look forward to the New Year knowing that as each day passes we are closer
to returning home. I want to thank the Make it Happen families for all your support and
I wish you all Happy New Year. God has truly blessed us with you and we know the
CSM Rivera removing the success of this deployment has been in part because of your ability to care for things
flag cover from the at home while we take care of the mission and your Soldiers here in Iraq.
battalion guidon.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

“Make it Happen”

CSM Miguel A. Rivera

CSM Rivera with FOB


Delta’s Heroes of the Week.

CSM Rivera (background)


serving as referee during
first match of “Friday Night
Fight” event.

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~ J A N U A R Y P R O M O T I O N S ~
H H C O U T L A W S

We have currently been deployed for over 6


months! We all wish we could have been home for the
holidays and all the other events going on at home, but
we continue our mission here so that the rest of SPC Sergio Cedeno
America can sleep soundly at night. While we lie
awake at night worrying about our fellow Soldiers and
our families back home, and you lie awake worrying
about us, the rest of America sleeps safely knowing
that American Soldiers and their families are sacrificing
their own personal needs for those of the country. SGT Matthew Lee
This might possibly be the hardest time of deployment,
~ D E C E M B E R B I R T H D A Y S ~
but soon it will be over. We sleep a little better
knowing that we will all be back in your arms before
SPC Jansen
this time next year. Until then, we will keep doing our
jobs here while receiving continual support from home. LTC Heussner
Thank you for all that you do and everything you give
up for America. SGT MacAulay

SSG Diaz

PFC Brian Smith

1SG Malone

As you know, we just celebrated Christmas out here as best as possible. SSG Throne
While we all wish that we could have been home, we still made the best of it.
Here are some photos of sections celebrating! ™

Here is the S-6 section’s MSG Moreland, CPT St. John,


Christmas area, complete with and MSG Richardson ran in the
a tree, manger, and presents. Christmas Eve 5k!

The S-1 section also had a SPC Alvarez is showing off his
secret Santa party! gift, a guitar!

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December 25th. There will be plenty of chapel services
A - T r a i n available during this time period.
T h e c o m m a n d e r ’ s C o r n e r
The A-Train Christmas Party scheduled for 21 Dec is
going to be a big hit for the Soldiers. All the food,
decorations, and music was put together entirely by
the Soldiers. They planned a talent competition,
spades, dominoes, cookout, caroling, and drawings for
prizes. I’d like to recognize the committee for doing an
Hello A-Train Families and Friends, outstanding job in preparation, and the folks back
home for the decorations and goodies. It means a lot
It's hard to believe that the year is almost over -- and the to our Soldiers.
holidays are with us once again. This is a great time of
year, when there's excitement everywhere and the Committee
prospect of miracles is in the air. I want to thank each HQ: SPC WILSON/PFC REED/SGT COBB
and every one of you for a truly great year. We faced a SSA: SPC WALKER, L.
number of significant changes from time to time, but DISTRO: SPC TUINSTRA
you're a great support channel, and you rose to the STORAGE: SPC BARNES
occasion with hard work and dedication that was truly TRANS & AMMO: PFC STEVENSON & PFC
appreciated. We did it together, and we'll continue to do JOHNSON
so together. I have every confidence that our company,
working together will make next year our very best ever. The A-Train challenge has continued. The more
Meanwhile, we have the holidays to celebrate and its events we compete in, the more it brings out the best
incumbent on all of us to make the most of them, just as in all of the participants. The “Smoove Crew” shook off
we made the most of opportunity each and every day. all competition in basketball and soccer. While “Fired
Up” counted up the victory in dominoes. We’ve gotten
Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Joyous Kwanzaa down to the last two events. Here are the current A-
and a Happy New Year to All! Train Challenge Standings:

CPT Curtis Yankie Smoov Crew (HQ) 32


Dust Dawgs (SSA) 26
T h e 1 S G ’ s C o r n e r Guns and Hoses (POL Storage) 19
Shake and Bake (POL Distro) 18
Fired Up (Trans and Ammo) 16

Remember to employ some of these important safety


Ola, tips for the Christmas and winter season: Turn your
Christmas lights off before going to bed. Power strips-
I am pleased to be back on ground with our troops. They don’t connect one power strip to another. Driving- wear
continue to do an outstanding job for the unit and our your seatbelt, slow down for weather conditions, and
country. But it could not be done without your support on carry water and a blanket in your trunk.
the home front. So I Salute You! Thank You!
Have a safe and wonderful Holiday Season!
The Christmas season is upon us, and we are all making
adjustments as we celebrate away from home. We are Again, thanks for all of your support from the home
planning to spend a lot of this time together so we can front.
celebrate with our comrades in theater. Just to hit on a
few of the things we have planned, the Dining Facility will A-Train 7 Out!
lay out a huge dinner spread throughout the day on

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Hello to all our Smoove Crew families. As we We would like to wish all of our Smoove crew
close out another month of our deployment I and A-train families Happy Holidays.
would like to let you know that we are doing
great and all your Soldiers are in good spirits. S o l d i e r o f t h e M o n t h

A couple of notes for this month: Smoove Crew SPC Wilson won our first in theater Soldier of
leads the way in the A-Train challenge. 1SG the Month Board for A-Train.
Wright, SGT Thomas, SGT Cobb and SSG
Harrington lead the way to victory in H e r o e s o f t h e W e e k
Basketball. SPC Duarte jumped in to assist in
the success in our victory over our Soccer SGT Gee 14 Dec 07
tournament. SGT Thomas came in a very close
second in our Dominos game. All of this lead PFC Reed 21 Dec 07
the Smoove Crew to 1st place with a very
outstanding 6 point lead.

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We are very proud of all of these Soldiers. We would
also like to say congrats to SGT Andersen and his wife-
Trans/Ammo Platoon their wedding anniversary is 21DEC07, and
SGT Wiggins and his wife- their wedding
Alpha Company anniversary is on 20DEC07! The ITC also had several
new additions to the yard, SPC Furrh, SPC Rivero,
By: 2LT Lawrence Jenkins Trans/Ammo Platoon Leader PVT Graham, PVT Guajardo, SPC Miller, PFC Booker,
R, PFC Willemsen, PFC Taylor and PFC Joslyn.
Merry Christmas from all of us in Iraq to our loved ones These Soldiers will greatly enhance the mission
back home. We appreciate all of the letters and capabilities of the ITC.
packages that are sent from home with love, it has made
the Soldier’s Christmas. I would also like to thank a very S o l d i e r s p o t l i g h t c p l
special group this month for all of their continued support t i m o t h y c r i s p
of the Trans/Ammo Platoon. They are Express Cheer
and Dance out of Frisco, TX. When we first arrived in
country I signed myself up for Soldier’s Angels so I could
get items for the platoon. This is a group that sends care
packages to Soldiers from volunteer organizations.
Express Cheer and Dance drew my name and became
my sponsor. I asked them for all sorts of items for the
platoon like underwear, socks, razors and a few other
things.

During the month of December, CPL Timothy Crisp,


from New Orleans, LA, was instrumental in ensuring
that the ITC Yard was able to complete its INTERFOB
movement mission. CPL Crisp took it upon himself to
learn all aspects of being the INTERFOB NCO by
going out on missions with the Soldiers and meeting all
of the Points of Contacts at the yards they frequent.
This month they took it to a whole new level;
they asked me what everyone would like for Christmas. During a critical 72 hour period, there was a major
I told them I didn’t know but they would love to get change with the INTERFOB mission, the Central
something from anyone showing their support. I sent Receiving and Shipping Point (CRSP) consolidated all
them all the names of the Soldiers in the platoon, they of the cargo that is shipped to the entire Camp Liberty
then went out, got some families to “adopt” your loved Complex to the 168th BSB. In doing so, this increased
one and they have been sending them Christmas the daily mission for the ITC INTERFOB piece but it
presents. All the Soldiers in the platoon will receive a also caused a major backlog in cargo and material that
present from a complete stranger, which is what the needed to be shipped.
Christmas spirit is all about, giving. So, to Express
Cheer and Dance, you always say that I shouldn’t thank To ensure that logistic requirements were met, CPL
you because we are the ones that are sacrificing out Crisp spearheaded an operation to move the material.
here, but I would like to thank you for bringing joy to my It took CPL Crisp and his Soldiers a total of 35 trips,
Soldiers during the holiday season. Thank You 3500 miles and 49 hours to complete the mission. A
total of 232 pallets, 56 Connexes and over 150 skids of
We have also had a few of our Soldiers get promoted: cargo were moved. Proving once again Trans/Ammo
1LT Jenkins, SPC Conditt, SPC Rivero and PV2 Ochoa. and the ITC, Make it Happen!

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I m p r o v e m e n t s M16 that Soldiers use here because he feels he can
better control the weapon.
SPC Nicolas Spears and SPC Jordan Radway have
come up with a plan to improve the living conditions for
the Iraqi drivers here in the ITC Yard, both the Soldiers
and the Drivers are starting a major construction project
this month. They are building a new building for the
Iraqis, one that will be a living quarters and a DFAC and
will also include a prayer room.
“I shoot so well because I don’t want to have to depend on anyone
else, and they know they can depend on me.” SPC Barrigar

Not only did he shoot his weapon proficiently, he also


helped out a few other Soldiers with their qualifications
by giving great tips and coaching them. He also
helped the armorer on site with weapons malfunctions.

By: 1LT Lawrence Jenkins

This project was planned because the current living


P O L g o e s t o t h e r a n g e
conditions of the drivers were fair, but not great. They
have been living in tents that have been erected for over
During the Holiday Season it is easy to think that it is a
a year and have become badly damaged by harsh
time to have off and relax. Not for both of the POL
conditions. The tents had poor air circulation, cramped
Platoons. They spent the week before Christmas out
living and poor electricity.
at Butler Range.

The POL Platoon recently installed gunners’ packages


onto their M1088 Bobtails to help provide a secondary
defense for the convoys when they roll outside the
FOB on missions. The primary means of defense on
the convoys is still F 151, Infantry Gun Truck/Convoy
Security Company, but The POL Platoons have
To improve their living conditions the plan for the building
increased the availability of defense for themselves
is for it to be 10’ high, 38’ wide, and 64’ long. It will also
and others by installing these gunners’ packages.
have an additional room for a prayer room and an
addition to the side for the DFAC. The Building will be
To make sure that all of the Soldiers are qualified on
big enough to house 50 drivers, eliminating the need for
their weapons systems they are going to mount, they
the drivers to be stacked up 6 to a room or sleeping in
spent a week at the range training up and either
their trucks. There will be 25 bunk beds, wall lockers for
learning the skills needed or further sharpening those
their clothes and enough room to live comfortably. The
skills. All of the personnel that attended the ranges
project should be completed in 30-45 days.
qualified, and the majority of them took home an
expert rating.

SPC Barrigar displayed his Warrior Skills when SGT Royce


Timmons and
qualifying on the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon his crews are
(SAW). SPC Barrigar impressed the ranger personnel conducting Pre-
Combat Checks
with his ability to make every round count. At one point (PCC) before
during the range, there was a crowd of about 10 heading to
Butler Range.
personnel watching him fire his weapon. He was
overheard saying he prefers the M249 over the standard

By: 1LT Lawrence Jenkins

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SSA PLATOON “DUST BUNNIES” N C O / S o l d i e r o f t h e M o n t h

Season’s Greetings! My name is Specialist Britney Cox


and I am with the SSA Platoon. It’s beginning to look a
lot like Christmas around here. Well, we still do not have
any snow, but plenty of dust blows around. We have
SSG Lagunas-Booty SPC Wilson
done a whole lot of decorating around the warehouse to
give it that Christmas-y feel. We have even gone as far
H e r o e s o f t h e W e e k
as getting a real live Christmas tree! We have planned a
Platoon Christmas party where we will do a gift
exchange with another Soldier from the platoon.
SGT Livae
Everyone is getting excited! The Company has also
planned a Christmas party for everyone. We will be
SGT Gee
cooking on the grill, playing board games, and basically
enjoying some chit-chat time with the Soldiers from the
SGT Lampkin
other platoons.
PFC Reed
We have an adopted mascot that visits the warehouse
P R O M O T I O N S
every couple of days. A small cat has made the
warehouse her home away from home just as we have.
She is the new “official” Make it Happen Cat!

A lot of people have re-enlisted this month, SPC Bowen,


SPC Champion, and SPC Page. This unit as well as the
Army is blessed to have outstanding Soldiers like these
1LT Jenkins
reenlist. Now if they were only willing to share some of
their bonuses with everyone…

Happy Holidays from Baghdad


SSG Lagunas-Booty

SPC Brittany Cox SPC Cox after her baptism. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!

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They word on the street here in Victory Base Camp is
B R A V O B A N D I T S that the Bravo Bandits are setting the standards. Great
work by great Soldiers.

The Headquarters platoon finished up several


inspections this month and have set the standards for
the battalion. Supply, Arms Rooms, NBC and
Operations simply did outstanding in each of their
areas of responsibility. Watching the Soldiers and
leaders in their areas of expertise was an amazing site
The Bravo Bandits had to say goodbye to a great and I could not be prouder. Job well done!
commander. CPT, now Major, Darius Highsmith was
presented with a banner with all of the Soldiers’ As December passes, the Bandits continue to stick
signatures. MAJ Highsmith is the new S-3 OIC for the together and make things happen each day. I also
Make it Happen Battalion where his work is nonstop. want to tell the families back home that everyone is
We thank you very much for being the great commander well and that I, more than anyone, know the hardships
that you always set out to be. We would also like to take of being apart, especially during the holidays. For
this opportunity to say Happy Holidays to everyone back everyone’s hard work and sacrifices, I thank you.
home. This is a very special time of year where Soldiers
can share and reflect on the times spent out here on Bandit Chief
Camp Liberty, Iraq. As we embark on a new year, we CW4 May
have many more opportunities to shine and once again,
“Make it Happen.” ~ 1 S G ’ S P O I N T O F V I E W ~

~ C O M M A N D E R ’ S C O R N E R ~

First of all, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas


and Happy New year. The Bandits have joined together
this holiday season to make Christmas away from home
the best possible for every Soldier. This year ends with
some truly remarkable accomplishments and events that Happy Holidays to all. Bravo Company is rolling along
every member of the Bandit family can be proud of. I just fine during this time of year. The motor pools are
personally could not be any more proud of the Soldiers cranking out a lot of work, to which with out us, the
assigned to Bravo Company and would like to thank majority of the battalion would not roll. We have a lot to
each and every one of them for doing their part be proud of, and we should be. We are continuing to
improve our area of responsibility. The MWR has a
The Automotive Platoon continues to do an outstanding new coat of paint, new computers and pretty soon the
job in maintenance support for the Make It Happen new building will be up and running. Motor Pool 7 is
battalion. There is nothing they can’t fix and they have now operating a Material Handling Equipment RESET
pulled together as a winning team. The Ground Support type program and has already repaired and returned
Section at Motor Pool 7 is fully operational and is two forklifts to our costumers. They also completed
performing several new maintenance missions as well. numerous Gator and Polaris jobs that

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~ 1 S G ’ S P O I N T O F V I E W best decorated trailer. The prize is already in the bag;
C o n t i n u e d ~ Santa is hanging out outside of his trailer already! And
finally, the Christmas tree at motor pool 07 is up and
allow folks to get around on the FOB. Motor Pool 10 has all it is missing is a star. But that will be put up soon.
just recently been graveled in preparation for the rainy The milk and cookies for Santa are out as we wait for
season and they continue too push out a lot of jobs. The this beautiful year to pass. So, from all of the brave
headquarters element continue to provide support to the Bandit Heroes from Motor pool 07 we would like to
whole company by ensuring they have all the supplies wish all of our families and friends that patiently await
needed, and administrative paper work is done for things our return home a very Merry Christmas and a Happy
like promotions and pay. New Year.

To all the families back home, I hope you all have the
happiest of holidays and know that your loved ones will
be home soon. Thank you for what you do on the home
front and what you will continue to do until we come
home. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Bandit 7

H O L I D A Y C H E E R F R O M T H E
M W R

~ M E R R Y X - M A S F R O M M P 7 ~
SSG Anderson - MWR NCOIC

By: SFC Rodriguez - NCOIC

As we begin our final preparations to greet the holiday


season, the brave Bandit heroes of Motor pool 7 begin to ‘Tis the season of giving and receiving here in Iraq. At
look back at the many missions we have accomplished the MWR this month, we have been very fortunate to
throughout the year. Our Motor pool is now in full swing have received quite a few Christmas care packages
and there is no mission too tough for us to handle. We from loved ones back home. We have also received
have all the tools that are required and a great mix of care packages from those who send items to any
NCOs. That is the perfect recipe to make sure that there Soldier deployed. The workers at the MWR facility
is definitely “No Mission too Tough”. But the holidays have had a joyous time decorating to bring the spirit of
are not all about work; we try to enjoy the holiday season Christmas to all of us here. Even through this time of
as best as we can. The brave heroes of Motor pool 07 separation, joy can be shared by all. We have done
have started the softball team under Coach Kiel; and just that! With each patron that comes into the MWR
have already placed first in the December softball facility, we are delighted to instruct them to take
tournament. Under the direction of Santa Chief Davis, whatever they desire from the care packages to bring
Motor Pool 07 is doing its first annual “Street Santa” a little bit of holiday cheer their way.
trying to bring a little holiday joy to Camp Liberty, Iraq.
SSG Moreno, our premier runner has completed and
placed first in the Camp Victory Thanksgiving Turkey
Holiday Marathon. SGT Everly with his innovative ideas
is the front runner for the battalion competition of the

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S h o p O f f i c e success. The Soldiers in the platoon have worked
H a m m e r i n g o u t J o b s a n d extra hard as always. Their efforts are evident in the
P r y i n g o u t t h e c o m p e t i t i o n reports that are generated daily. The number of jobs
that appear on the report has decreased significantly.

Several of our Soldiers have gone home to spend time


with their families during the holiday season. We
eagerly await their safe return so we can accomplish
this mission as a team. We would also like to say
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our
loved ones back home.

1LT Nicolas Snyder and SSG Shane Mason manage the ~ D E C E M B E R B I R T H D A Y S ~

largest DS Maintenance facility in Iraq and support units


SGT HAMRICK - 7 DEC
all over the Baghdad area. Working with mainly LSI SGT EAVES, S—14 DEC
contractors they manage a enourmous workload, find SSG MASON—14 DEC
crucial parts when all hope seems lost, and they take the SFC HILL—15 DEC
time to “Make It Happen” when others would simply sit SGT SMRCKA—15 DEC
SPC MILNER—21 DEC
back and hope for something to happen.
SPC KEENE—22 DEC
SGT NICHTER—22 DEC
On a daily basis they are constantly trying to improve SGT WHITE—28 DEC
the operation and increase the customer base to pry out ~ R E E N L I S T M E N T S ~
the competition. Currently, the 168th DS Maintenance
Facility completes 2 to 3 times the work of any other PFC WATKINS
maintenance facility in the brigade. In the short 5
months that we have been here 1LT Snyder established ~ P R O M O T I O N S ~
a working Shop Stock which is a stockage of commonly
used parts in order to cut down on the usually long wait
times which helps get equipment back in the hands of
the war fighters. SSG Mason established a Battalion
pubs account and ordered several publications and
technical manuals for both LSI and the motor pools in 1LT SNYDER
order to ensure the most recent information is available.
Needless to say they ‘Make It Happen!’ 1LT DELGADO

H O L I D A Y N E W S F R O M M O T O R
P O O L 1 0

SPC ALBRIGHT
1LT Delgado, Motor Pool OIC
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
Hello family and friends! This month has been smooth
sailing for us in motor pool 10. Our team is building up Merry
and we are fixing equipment left and right like it’s
nobody’s business. Bottom line is that more then ever Christmas
we are enjoying our stay here in the sandy confines of from the
this precious little island called Camp Liberty. This month Bravo
SSG Everett rotated in the platoon sergeant position and
has implemented his ideas into the game with great
Bandits!!!

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On Christmas day we had a huge dinner in the dining
B R A V O B A N D I T S facility with all the favorites to remind us of home. SFC
F O B D E L T A Hill even got a slice of pumpkin pie. Soldiers received
an additional morale boost on Christmas day when
FROM THE DESK OF THE COMMANDER about two weeks worth of delayed mail arrived just in
time with presents from home. I think Santa may have
Greetings everyone, I hope the holiday’s were filled had a hand in that one.
with peace and joy for you all. December has been a
busy month for us here at FOB Delta with many great
and exciting things going on. We are proud once again
of SPC Ross for being named FOB Delta Soldier of the
Year and SPC Evans for winning the Soldier of the
month. Also this month, our Football team finished off
their season by winning the post wide tournament and
ending the season with an 11-1 record.

The holiday season can be lonely and a little As the year ends we look forward to all the
depressing when you’re not home with your loved ones, challenges that lay ahead in the New Year. We will
but here at Delta Maintenance we try to stay busy and continue to work towards completing our mission and
keep each other company. We had a Christmas party returning home safely to our loved ones in 2008.
on the 23rd where we celebrated together with our HAPPY NEW YEAR!! NO MISSION TOO TOUGH!!
coalition partners from Georgia and El Salvador as well
as the KBR and QDSS technicians that share our facility. CPT Taylor
A great time was had by all and many gifts and stockings
that had been received from various families and groups First Sergeant’s Corner
were passed out. We also passed out hand made pillow
cases sent to us from some wonderful ladies out of New Happy Holidays to everyone and I hope all had a safe
Mexico. enjoyable Christmas. The Soldiers at Delta enjoyed a
cook out and games on Christmas Eve along with
some of our coalition comrades. The MWR and
chaplain sponsored a bonfire with the telling of
Christmas stories and the singing of carols. The
Commander and I really enjoyed serving lunch to
Soldiers at the DFAC Christmas morning. I would like
to say thank you to all of those who sent cards and
stockings as well as other holiday cheer to make the
season bright. With Christmas behind us and as we
Thanks to everyone back home who took a few look forward to the New Year, let us continue to think
moments of their time to send gifts to help bring a smile ahead and maintain a positive attitude.
to the Soldiers’ faces. The FOB also celebrated on
Christmas Eve with a bonfire and the telling of the “No Mission Too Tough”. Bandit 7
Christmas story by CH. Hoffman accompanied by the
singing of Carrols.

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L o o k i n g A t T h e P o s i t i v e combined effort of SSG Vigil and SSG Copeland. That
very attitude trickles down to the other NCOs (SGT
By SSG Craft: Weishaupt, SGT Finley, SGT Delgado, SGT Espinoza
and SGT Owens) as well as the Soldiers who truly
As you are reading this, we (FOB Delta Bandits) are make it happen (SPC Sanders, SPC Wilkins, SPC
preparing ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally Afacalle, SPC Rushlow, SPC Nichols, SPC Bates,
to possibly return to Camp Liberty. The Delta Bandits SPC Davies, SPC Evans, SPC Keene, SPC Ross,
have created a very strong bond of camaraderie with our SPC Parochelli, SPC Santos, and SPC Goree). Oh,
brothers and sisters in arms from different Branches and and SGT (Haz-) Madison who ensures that no Soldier
countries. We arrived to FOB Delta and endured the makes an environmental mess.
hard task of integrating with the 118th Maintenance
Company (California National Guard). It has not always GSE (let me tell it) has the largest portion of the
been easy; however, we formed a cohesive team. Our Mission here. Not only have we went out, found all
team, The Delta Maintenance Detachment (DMD), is “uncared for” generators on the FOB, and attempted to
focused on one thing: Mission Accomplishment! That is get them to FMC status. We are also responsible for
exactly what we do on a daily basis; accomplish the the AC Units in every military vehicle on the FOB. We
mission by Making It Happen! We focus and discuss the have completed over 300 AC job orders so far. We
negative issues of our deployment so much, that I have maintained all forklifts on the FOB, and assisted
wanted to start looking at the positive. I speak for the the Navy/Air Force in maintaining the construction
majority as I say; we are hesitant to give up our mission equipment utilized at the numerous checkpoints. We
here at FOB Delta. We are responsible for every Tactical have worked on the pump units at the fuel point and all
Vehicle and every piece of military equipment owned or fuel trucks. SSG Dunham has mastered the Vehicle
operated by Soldiers of any country, on FOB Delta, flying Protection systems, and trained the entire section to
or convoying in or out of the FOB. The DMD provides troubleshoot, repair, and replace the systems. Another
Support for the Georgian Army (GA, our main tasking the MCS (SFC Hill) has hit GSE with. Every
customers) as well as the Kazakhstan, Polish, NCO and Soldier in GSE is now better-rounded than
Lithuanian, Romanian, El Salvadorian, Australian and before, as we stress the importance of teamwork being
US fleets. The US fleets consist of detachments and/or the only way possible to make it happen here at the
companies from units such as the Military Police, FOB. Our “Make It Happen” team, at FOB Delta,
Medics, Special Forces, Signal, Engineers, Field consists of SGT Escobar, SGT Arriaga, SGT Lynch,
Artillery, Air Defense, Logistical, Border Transition SPC Carter, SPC Guajardo, SPC Milner, SPC Wilson,
Teams (BTT), 82nd and 7th Sustainment Brigades. We SPC Thorpe, SPC Navarro, and SPC Barton. GSE
have KBR personnel on FOB Delta (but they augment continues to be tasked out the most, as SPC Daniels
us, for now anyway, in the maintenance arena). They are works in the Warehouse, SPC Presentine works in the
primarily responsible for the FOB, FOB quarters, NTVs tool room, SSG Lamb is tasked out as NCOIC of the
and FOB related equipment. RAID site. As they say, SSG Dunham is leader of this
team of misfits, I simply go to the meetings, analyze
Individually, the Sections all play their roles in what the what needs to happen, and ensure we have everything
DMD does. Automotive (let them tell it) has the bulk of needed to “Make It Happen”.
the Mission. They are responsible for every aspect of
(Operator/ORG and DS/GS) maintenance on every C&E (SFC Brooks says) has completed the most job
Tactical Vehicle on, passing in or out FOB Delta. This orders (over 600 so far). They provide communication
entails hundreds of vehicles (Georgian Army vehicles, and electronic maintenance to all units on the FOB.
and the fleets of all coalition Armies and US Forces). They have trained four GA Soldiers on Electronic
They support every convoy that rolls into the FOB, Maintenance; to perform installations of Satellite
ensuring that each vehicle is fully mission capable. They Systems and Sirens; troubleshoot and repair a variety
work on anything and everything. They replaced the of C&E equipment; proper troubleshooting; safety
engine on a tank, though none of them had ever standards, and proper repair of equipment within
performed this task. The epitome of “Making It Happen”. Georgian Fleet. They also provide maintenance for
This is a direct reflection of the attitudes of the NCOs, a Tracking Systems, Night Vision Devices, Computer

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Systems, Thermal Sights, COMSEC/ Radio Repair Shop all US & Coalition Forces personal and crew served
(Amplifiers, receivers, transmitters), Encryption Devices, weapons. They have familiarized themselves with and
Telephone/ Switchboard and repair of any electronic repaired Former Soviet Bloc Weapon Systems as well.
equipment needed. Led by SFC Brooks; SSG Alvarez, SGT Myers is currently actively engaged in the first
SGT Lewis, SGT Scott, SPC Watson and SPC Vidaurry Driver’s Training Program for our Coalition Brothers in
continue to make it happen as well. SGT Lewis also Arms.
manages the internet for the Bandit’s barracks (The
Alamo) and SSG Alvarez and SPC Vidaurry do the same Looking at the Positive; The Bandits at FOB Delta
for 118th. continue to display the “Make It Happen” attitude in all
that we do. We may not have the luxuries that Liberty
SSG Buckner’s S&R Section continues to be the laid or Anaconda have; no PX, no Food Courts; no Beauty
back team, emulating SSG Buckner’s personality. They Salon or Barbershop; no CHUs; however, what we
just make it happen, doing whatever, whenever, have at FOB Delta is a feeling of camaraderie, and a
wherever it needs to be done. They (SSG Buckner, SGT true sense of mission and job satisfaction. It is really
Santoyo, SGT Timmons, SPC Brooks and SPC Hughes) heart-felt when Soldiers (American, Georgian, El
have fabricated over 250 gunner shields; Installed 350 Salvadorian or any other country) roll their convoys out
Up-Armored Glass Kits on vehicle turrets and 12 Gunner of and back into the FOB, wave and thank you; or want
Protection Kits; Replaced 25 Turret Rings on vehicles; to to take a picture with us as they are returning home. It
protect the Soldiers who perform convoys on a daily is truly flattering to hear from Soldiers (not just from
basis. They have also fabricated over 30 vehicle search Officers) how much what you do is appreciated,
mirrors and performed hundreds of fabrications and bolt because we all know it is often a thankless job that we
extractions. They continue to stay busy repairing do. However, we have a sense of purpose and
damaged vehicles; as not all Coalition Soldiers complete direction which is all the motivation that we need. We
the driver’s training program that US Soldiers must love what we do here and wish the rest of the Battalion
complete. SSG Medzyk and SGT Myers head up the were here to feel what we feel. We will continue to
Armament Section which consists of SPC Albright and “Make It Happen” at FOB Delta; until we have no
SPC Morris. They maintain enough spare parts for choice but to leave.
different weapon systems which enable them to maintain

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unknown. Whether this is the first time overseas and
5 7 t h T r a n s C o away from home or the second or third trip, every
deployment is different and full of uncertainty.

We arrived in Kuwait in the dark of night.


Although there was not much to see at the airport
when we departed the plane, it was apparent to
everyone we were no longer at Fort Drum. The
country has its own smells and appearances (no
snow). 57th stayed on Camp Buehring and moved into
what was our homes for a couple of weeks; open bay
tents lined with cots on either side. The unit further
developed the camaraderie we began at Fort Drum by
sharing tents, eating together, and training together.
We also received some new equipment that would
th
CPT Jeremiah O’Connor, commander of the 57 further protect us in our mission. Finally after two long
Transportation Company, anxiously awaits the opportunity
to uncase his guidon during the unit’s TOA ceremony. weeks of training; we boarded a plane for Iraq.

Since this is the first edition of the 57th Transportation With the help of 32nd Transportation Company,
Company newsletter, the best way to begin is to say we started learning our jobs and improving our skills
“Greetings from Iraq.” The company began its mission on our new equipment. After a couple of weeks of
at the beginning of November on a stormy winter night. “right-seat rides” with 32nd we completed our transfer
We gathered the unit at the orderly room at Fort Drum, of authority (TOA) ceremony and took over the
NY and said goodbye to friends, family, and loved ones missions on our own. We have completed various
and boarded the plane for Kuwait. For some of us, this missions on and off Victory Base supplying water,
deployment will be the greatest adventure we will ever mail, mechanical parts, and other needed supplies to
have in our lives. For others, it is an ongoing adventure the units we support so they can continue to perform
as we continue our military career. But we all had the their assigned missions in Iraq.
same mixed emotions getting on the bird coming to
Kuwait; excitement, fear, and anticipation of the

CPT O’Connor and 1SG Zamora uncase the 57th Transportation Company’s guidon during the unit’s TOA ceremony.

Page 16 of 19
Donnelly arrived late in the afternoon with an
F C o . 1 5 1 I n f entourage of fellow congressmen. As soon as the
men of Fox Company arrived, Donnelly recognized
~ C O M M A N D E R ’ S C O R N E R ~ Specialist Mitch Nihart, a long-time friend who re-
enlisted just before the deployment and now serves as
F/151 IN soldiers are leading the way in every aspect of a team leader within Fox Company. It was Nihart who
the mission. I could not be more proud of them in what introduced Congressman Donnelly during Fox
they have accomplished these few months in theater. Company’s departure ceremony in May of this year.
Our Soldiers have logged thousands of miles, spotted
IEDs, decisively engaged the enemy, and have ensured
the safe delivery of commodity vehicles throughout the
Baghdad area.

I look back at how we started this deployment back at


FT. Dix. Soldiers were taken from over 20 different units
and brought together for this mission. I truly believe that
this Company has turned into a team with high
standards. Our Soldiers are executing the mission on a
daily basis. The Company has come a long way, and as As the men of Fox Company explored the palace,
we start our downhill path to redeployment I know our many of whom were exploring the palace for the first
Soldiers will continue to execute until the last day we are time, Donnelly took the opportunity to meet with
on ground. Soldiers.

CPT Steven Bell In keeping with the Christmas spirit, Donnelly and the
men of Fox Company exchanged gifts. For the men of
C O N G R E S S I O N A L V I S I T Fox Company, Donnelly presented a canvas,
decorated with messages and greetings from the
By Marcus Johnson families of the Soldiers, a gift created in collaboration
with the Family Readiness Group in Indiana. Donnelly
During his speech at the May 31st departure ceremony also brought scores of cards from schoolchildren from
in South Bend, Indiana, Congressman Joe Donnelly (D- the Northwestern Indiana region.
IN) stated his intent to visit with the Soldiers of Fox
Company, 151st Infantry during their mobilization at Fort For Congressman Donnelly, Fox Company presented
Dix, New Jersey, and in Iraq. the flag which was flown along one of the routes along
which Fox Company has run many of their convoy
Two months later, Donnelly kept his first promise, when missions.
he visited with the Soldiers of Fox Company during ASO
training. And on December 15th, Donnelly fulfilled his “It was my honor to be with our Soldiers just before
promise by meeting with an entourage of about thirty Christmas,” Donnelly said. “Their thoughts are of
Soldiers from Fox Company. home and family.”

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~ New Year Prayer ~ A Word from the Chaplain
God grant us this year a wider view,
So we see others' faults through the eyes Merry Christmas to the friends and families of the 168th Brigade Support
of You.
Teach us to judge not with hasty tongue, Battalion! This is the 2nd Christmas we have spent as a battalion and the first that we
Neither the adult ... nor the young. have spent away from home. We must remember that although much of the credit for
Give us patience and grace to endure the sacrifice goes to your Soldiers serving here in Iraq, that you have shared an
And a stronger faith so we feel secure.
Instead of remembering, help us forget
equally heavy burden and that you are very much a part of the “Make It Happen”
The many irritations that cause us to fret. team as your Soldiers are.
Freely forgiving for some offense
And finding each day a rich recompense. Although we have a tendency to reflect on the negative aspects of being
In offering a friendly, helping hand
And trying in all ways to understand;
separated from each other during this time of the year, it is still nonetheless a joyous
season. The Christmas spirit can breathe new life into what would otherwise be a
That all of us whoever we are ...
Are trying to reach an unreachable star. bleak situation. As a family, we have to remember those things that we are fighting
For the great and small ... the good and for. It is often explained to us that we are fighting to stabilize a nation torn apart by
bad,
The young and old ... the sad and glad war, or that we are fighting for democracy in the heart of the middle-east. But too
often we pay attention to the big picture and not enough attention to the small one.
Are asking today; Is life worth living?
The answer is only in, loving and giving. Yes, we are certainly fighting for those things mentioned above but we are also
For only Love can make man kind fighting for the individual Iraqi of all ethnic and religious backgrounds; Sunni, Shiite,
And Kindness of Heart brings Peace of
Mind. and Kurdish alike. We are fighting to preserve those rights that we take so much for
granted, the right to live our lives as we choose, the right to worship freely. We fight
By giving love, we can start this year
To lift the clouds of hate and fear. so that they have what we have, the freedom to celebrate their religious holidays with
the same passion and tenacity with which we celebrate ours.
Author: Helen Steiner Rice

So during this season of giving, please remember to include ordinary Iraqis in


your prayers, for it is the natural tendency and right of all human beings, American
and Iraqi to live in peace, to raise our children in a healthy environment, to make a
decent living, and to worship freely. Years from now, we can reflect on a time when
this nation was once wild and brutal and contrast that with a nation that is free and
peaceful and we can say to ourselves that we were directly involved, that we took the
reigns of history and made a difference, that we were here to Make it Happen!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

SPC Matthew Lee

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Holiday Soldier Poems
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
HE LIVED ALL ALONE, EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
PLASTER AND STONE. LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY I COULDN'T HELP WONDER


WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE. IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, THE VERY THOUGHT


A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
NOT EVEN A TREE. AND STARTED TO CRY.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, THE SOLDIER AWAKENED


JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES "SANTA DON'T CRY,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS. THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,


AWARDS OF ALL KINDS, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
A SOBER THOUGHT MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND. MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS."

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER


IT WAS DARK AND DREARY, AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY. I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,


SILENT, ALONE, SO SILENT AND STILL
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME. FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE


THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER, ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
NOT HOW I PICTURED THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER. SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

WAS THIS THE HERO THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED


OF WHOM I'D JUST READ? OVER,
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED? WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES SECURE."
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT. AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
SOON ROUND THE WORLD, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
Author: Autumn Parker
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

I am a small and precious child, my dads been sent to fight...


The only place I'll see his face, is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud. My daddy’s got your back..

I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war..


My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Everyday I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud. My son has got your back..

I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband soon to go.


There are times I'm terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack..
My heart may break, but I am proud. My husbands got your back..

I am a soldier. Serving Proudly, standing tall.

YÜÉÅ \ÜtÖ I fight for freedom, yours and mine by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing, the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I'll come home. It's me who has got your back.

Author: Unknown

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