Tuesday, October 04, 2005
3rd/112th Armor BN (FIST)
Panther S-5 (Civil Affairs Team)
56th Brigade Combat Team
36th Infantry DIV (
109,866 people on three continents. That’s the latest estimate of people receiving the newsletter as of Saturday, 24SEP05. As I put the newsletter together, I can’t help but think of my fellow Texans enduring Hurricane Rita. I have family that lives in the Houston Area that had the common sense to get out of there. They didn’t sit around and blame the government or the President for not helping them. The heeded the warning and left everything but what they could fit in their vehicles. What will be waiting for them when they return is a big unknown. For those of you who are religious, please say a kind word for everyone affected by this Hurricane.
You know, I think I’m going to stop eating in the chow hall. Every time I do I see something else that makes me want to throw something. Take yesterday for instance, I’m sitting there watching Bill O’Reilly sparing with Phil Donahue. I’m not going to bore you with details, but the jest of the discussion was
The projects are going along very well, and in some cases going much quicker than expected. Amazing how much work gets done when you have about 50 laborers a day helping renovate a school. Many of the projects will be done within the next few weeks. After that, I guess we’ll just go back to what we were doing before the projects; visiting the villages, distributing donated items and treating the sick.
I want to thank the students and teachers who are taking the opportunity to send questions and have them answered by my interpreters. It’s one thing to read about things in books, it’s another to have someone answer your question that actually lives in the country you’re studying. Ms. Morey’s freshman class from San Angelo ISD is the first to send questions to my interpreters. Thank you very much and you’ll get the answers very soon.
Welcome to the “First Timers” receiving the newsletter. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to pass it around to as many people as you would like, that’s what it’s here for. Thanks for the continued support of the troops; we truly appreciate all the letters of encouragement, e-mails, and boxes. I will be more than happy to entertain any and all questions, comments, or requests. Finally, “if you can read this, thank a teacher, if you can read it in English, thank a Veteran.” Have a good week and Hook’em Horns, Paul.
“People prefer to follow those who help them, not those who intimidate them.”
–C. Gene Wilkes
To reacquaint, or in some cases acquaint you with the team, standing l/r; SSG Farr, SSG Pena, 2LT Colicher, SSG Wasson, SPC Moses, and SPC Blanchard. Kneeling from l/r;
Newspaper clipping sent to us by SSG Wasson's wife...how very true.
This is the same school taken on Monday, 19SEP05. As I explained earlier, the work is going along better than expected. It also makes a huge difference when you have people wanting to work and the weather cooperates. We haven’t had a measurable amount of rain since April. This school has on average 40-45 workers everyday. The contractor knows the importance of getting the project done in a timely manner, but wants to do a good job. The children who normally go to this school are either going elsewhere until it is complete, or not going at all.
This is the same school taken on 20SEP05. The contractor has really done a good job on this project and at this stage the project is at 90% completion. This particular school had the perimeter wall removed and a new one installed and the W/C (water closet-bathroom) was repaired. By next week’s newsletter it should be 100%.
But, as you can see after a few minutes, the feeding frenzy got the best of him and he threw up his hands and surrendered. You know it’s pretty bad when a commissioned officer surrenders to a bunch of school kids. Nonetheless, he enjoyed himself and thanked us for taking him out. I truly feel sorry for people who spend their entire time on a base camp or escorting KBR convoys. Unless you get out and interact with the people, and realize they’re not much different from you and I, then you really can’t say you served in
We had four large boxes of clothes in our connex (storage trailer). One day we decided to hand those out and the next few pictures are of that event. 2LT Colicher is seen here with one of our interpreters.
It's a great feeling to see a child's eyes light up when we hand out items.
As soon as we opened the box, we just stood back and let them have what they wanted. We had enough clothes and shoes for 20 kids, and that's about how many there were in this one family
Once word got out we were handing out clothes, you could feel the ground shake as kids came running from everywhere.
Anyone wishing to send donated items please do so by the middle of October. Our unit is due to hand over authority to another unit in mi-November and I cannot guarantee they will be as friendly or willing to distribute items as we have. I would also like for everyone to visit; operationiraqichildren.org, and anysoldier.com. These two organizations alone have done a wonderful job introducing many of you to our team and supporting our efforts by sending donated items. I know there are many other organizations, but these two hold a special place in our hearts…Thanks.