Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Transfer of Authority

It's starting to feel like reality...they're COMING HOME! Praise be to God! Many have already arrived but as normal, Nick was chosen to "turn the lights" out. The nervous butterflies are back and the wait is on.

The Squadron colors are cased during the Tranfer of Autohority ceremony at COB Delta, Iraq. The ceremony marked the offical transfer of authority for the battle space from 3-1 Cavalry and elements of 3AAB to the Seconad Squadron of the 3ACR.

Click here to watch ceremony

A Final Mission With Lasting Impact

Capt. Andrew Hubbard, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, smiles as shoes donated by Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., are distributed to Iraqi children in Babil province, Sept. 16. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Johnathan Roland)

Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs
Story by Pfc. Erik Anderson

BABIL PROVINCE, Iraq – As soldiers of the 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division prepared to leave the five provinces in southern Iraq they have been responsible for, there was still one last mission to complete.

In coordination with supporters at Brookstone School in Columbus, Ga., Phenix City, Ala., and Fort Benning, Ga., the soldiers dropped off donated shoes to the children of Iraq.

“There is nothing better than seeing the look on a child’s face when you give them something they need,” said 1st Lt. Jonathan Roland, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment. “Even though we don’t speak the same language, you can see the excitement.”

The project, in coordination with the Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, started with a modest goal.

“It is an idea based on the partnership between Brookstone School and two local Iraqi schools,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Boston, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd AAB. “When we started, Cindy Sparks [Brookstone School] estimated 50 to 70 pairs of shoes would be donated, but through the efforts of our supporters in the tri-city area and Brookstone School, nearly 1,000 pairs of shoes were donated.”

During this deployment, 3rd AAB executed an advise and assist mission while working closely with the Iraqi people.

“For the brigade, it is another example of our enduring partnership,” said Boston. “This project takes it one step further; it shows the enduring partnership that exists between Americans and Iraqis.”

The partnership started by the 3rd AAB will continue with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

“The children of Iraq are the future,” said Boston. “Our commitment begins with them.”

Thursday, September 16, 2010

3rd Brigade Soldiers Return to Fort Benning From Iraq

About 300 soldiers return home from Iraq

Spc. Xavier Valles was greeted by a dozen balloons. Spc. Chana Patterson was greeted by about a dozen relatives.

The two were among approximately 300 U.S. soldiers returning to Fort Benning from Iraq Tuesday evening.

They are members of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, that has been deployed for a year.

Six hundred members returned in August. Two more groups are expected to fly into Lawson Army Airfield by the end of this week bringing the September total to 750.

“It’s great to be back,” said Valles, whose wife, Joalice, and two young children greeted him.

“I made sure to get some Boston Red Sox balloons,” Joalice Valles said. “He’s from Boston.”

The time away has been difficult. The couple’s youngest child was 6 weeks old when he left.

“This is very emotional,” she said.

Patterson of Tuskegee, Ala., was overwhelmed to see her large welcoming committee in Freedom Hall.

“My mother, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces,” she said. “Super.”

Fidel DeJesus of New York began cheering before his daughter, Spc. Rebecca DeJesus, entered the room. The Puerto Rican native, a small American flag sticking out from his cap, pumped his fist into the air when he saw his daughter depart the airplane.

“I’ve been this nervous for a year,” he said, holding his hands wide apart. “Now, I’m this nervous,” he said, bringing his hands practically together.

DeJesus, his wife, Libia, and daughter, Teresa, made the 20-hour drive from New York to greet Rebecca.

“We’re all very proud. She is serving her country and that’s what she wants to do,” Dejesus said. “Rebecca came home for a short visit six months ago but my mother had passed and I didn’t get to see her. It’s been a very long year.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Outstanding Accomplishment

Congratulations to Nick on his recent Bronze Star Medal. Another example of a true American Hero. You should be so proud of your many accomplishments which are an example of your true dedication. Another job well done!!!

As the tour is winding down, it is no suprise to me that the dedication and commitment is still as strong as ever. Our Soldiers have done an outstanding job and should all be proud that they have made a difference in so many lives. Thanks for your many sacrifices! We can't wait until you are all home safely!

U.S. Army Individual Decorations
Chapter 3, Army Regulation 600-8-22
(Military Awards)

The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February
1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962).

The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any
capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941,
distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or
service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with
military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military
operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United
States is not a belligerent party.

Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances
described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the
Silver Star.

The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for meritorious achievement or
meritorious service.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Operation New Dawn In Iraq

I see light at the end of the tunnel! Counting the days until Nick's safe return home!!! God bless all our Soldiers!