Thursday, August 28, 2008

Operation Cup Cake and Bread Baking Troopers

"Some of the more than 200 cup cakes the cooks from Dakota Troop, 6-4 Cav prepared and shipped to the forward OPs this week. The cup cakes were shipped forward to celebrate all of the August birthdays, and to give everyone a fresh piece of home baked cake to enjoy the celebration with. Cooking that many cupcakes was not easy, but getting them onto the helicopters was even harder, don’t worry though the Raiders are all about Birthday cake for everyone, even if we have to fly it in. Next month we will try to ship them to C Troop in Goshta!" LTC James Markert

Operation Cupcake
Happy Birthday Troopers !

Chaplain Ron Cooper and LTC Markert worked with the cooks of Dakota Troop to have birthday cakes for the July birthdays at FOB Bostick.

But, they wanted to spread the good times for all of 6-4 CAV. Tanker Babe rushed the necessities for Operation Cupcake to LTC Markert, and the race was on.

What a success ! ! !

How great for the troopers out in the field to have a sweet reminder of their birthdays, prepared and delivered especially for them.

I'm sure they are enjoyed by all the warriors (I'm assuming that the 6-4 birthday troopers shared. LOL), and remind the troopers that they are not forgotten.

Thanks Tanker Babe,

and all the warriors who prepared the treats in theatre.

We're hoping for pictures of the new Major (Chaplain) Cooper in his camo apron, as he helps with the preparation of birthday cakes.

FOB Lowell will soon have fresh bread.

Alpha Troop, 1SG Baker, has received a bread machine, bread mixes, small bottle of oil, and various measuring utensils.

Between bouts "taking care of the bad guys", they are reading the bread machine instructions, and I'm sure trying to figure out all the measuring utensils. Pictures are promised.

Some of the mixes were cinnamon raisin, so there should be sweet smells around FOB Lowell, soon.

Next good news from ADAMS and OLD BAY Seasonings.

2 days 7 hours till first UT football game.
Hook 'em Horns !

Gratitude and Prayers,

Haole, out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Task Force Raider Remembers Fallen Soldier

The boots, dog tags, weapon, and Kevlar are displayed above a photo of Pfc. John Alexander Mattox of 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division representing his absence during a memorial service paying tribute to the fallen comrade.

Story by Jessica DahlbergPosted on 08.18.2008 at 05:28AM

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — A lone rifle sits on a wooden platform as Soldiers trickle in to find seats. Music softly resonates in the air, and not a word is spoken above a whisper. The sun glints off identification tags hanging on the rifle -ID tags that once belonged to Pfc. John Alexander Mattox.

Mattox, a Soldier and friend of 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, is remembered among the Task Force Raider Soldiers in a service held Aug. 16, 2008.

“Pfc. Maddox is exactly the kind of Soldier I think about when I think about 6-4,” Lt. Col. James Markert, commander, said.

Mattox died on Aug. 9, 2008. His death was noncombat related, but it still leaves an impact on his fellow Soldiers.

During the service, friends of Mattox told about how he was a good, solid man and a strong and courageous Soldier.

According to Sgt. Richard Kaye, Mattox was a good Soldier who was very motivated to do his job and to do it right, and because of his sense of humor it was never boring when Mattox was around.

To honor Mattox, all the Soldiers solemnly stood as his name rang out during the last roll call. When the last echo died out and no one responded, shots were fired to honor the fallen Soldier.

Mattox joined the Army Oct. 17, 2007, and deployed to Afghanistan June 2008 with his Task Force Raider family, who will miss him as they continue to work in Afghanistan.

Soldiers pay their last respects to their fallen comrade, Pfc. John Alexander Mattox, Aug 16, 2008. A memorial service was given to honor the fallen Soldier.

A Soldier hangs his head in prayer during the benediction to Pfc. John Alexander Mattox. The memorial service was given Aug. 16, 2008, to honor the fallen Soldier.

6-4 Medics Helping Locals

Pfc. Charles Wolfe
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division

JALALABAD, Afghanistan - In the rural mountainous province of Nuristan acute or primary medical care has been nearly nonexistent for the local population in the past. Local Afghans have long been without reasonable means to cure and prevent disease, treat wounds or receive medications.

A multivitamin, something simply attained in the United States, is a distant afterthought in Nuristan. The Soldiers of the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division’s medical platoon offer a chance to change this traditional deficiency.

“We are really making a difference here,” Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Davenport, 6-4 Cav. Medical Platoon Sergeant, said. “The Soldiers are starting to recognize the locals and when they see the kids at the gate they all wave.”

Armed with bandages, ibuprofen and various balms and creams, the 6-4 medics open a morning sick call for local nationals of every age and gender. The clinic starts with a short screening process, where a medic determines who can be given simple drugs, like aspirin or vitamins, and who needs more attention.

The platoon’s work goes beyond the scope of just health care. By offering free medical services to resident Afghans, the Soldiers build a relationship with locals, thus adding to the positive and progressive work of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. The Soldiers are reaching out to the locals in the area and the children are taking notice.

“The children go home and tell their little friends about it, and the next morning we have an abundance of kids outside,” Davenport said.

The medics work together with the 126th Forward Surgical Team, who can provide surgical care to Soldiers and locals in need. The Soldiers begin the local national sick call around 9:30 a.m. everyday.

The locals appreciate the medial help, but they get more from 6-4 than just medicine.

“They all appreciate the care we provide,” Cpt. Amanda Cuda, family physician for 6-4 said, “but I don’t know if the kids like the medial treatment or the toys and candy more.”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Necessary is in NEED

B Troop TF 6-4 CAV has built new latrines. But they need 8 new toilet seats with lids. Yeah, I can just hear the wives and mothers now, LIDS? ? ?; but 1SG thought of it first.

"I had one more thing to add to my last list if you dont mind, we just built a new latrine and don't want to install the old toilet seats because they don't have lids. I was wondering if you could get a hold of 8 new toilet seats with lids. The lids are very important as the new latrine has a vent system in that prevents the odor from collecting in and remaing inside. I know you are probably thinking we are a bunch of men here and we will never remember to put the lid down any way but I think with a little practice and a little yelling on my part we will eventually get it right."

If you have a trooper in B Troop, TF 6-4 -- go ahead and send the requested item to them at their APO address, otherwise, contact us by email with a phone number and we will contact you with the address to send them directly to the 1SGT.

I'm requesting pictures from the 1SG. I gotta see all the lids down before I'll believe it.

Haole out

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't Mess With Texas!

Below are some pics of the 6-4 CAV Apache Troopers we are supporting. Thank you for the pictures, guys!

More video from 6-4 CAV Medics (B Roll)

6-4 Medics, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division30 Jul 2008 AF

B-roll of the 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment's medical platoon administering care to local Nuristan children. Scenes include Soldiers bringing children into the clinic, examining the children's wounds, eyes and ears and an interview with a medic.

To view the entire video:

Video Location:AF
Unit(s) Involved:• 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment Medical Platoon (US)
Interviewee(s):• Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Davenport (US), 6-4 Cav Medic
Submitting Unit:3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry DivisionUnit Splash Page!-->
Video ID: 43184
Filename: 0808/DOD_100023829.wmv
Size (bytes): 10537484 (10.05 MB)
Length: 6:38
Date Taken: 07-30-2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dukes Remember Fallen Four

Soldiers salute their fallen comrades one last time at the end of a memorial service on Aug. 7, honoring four soldiers who were killed when their vehicle was struck by an IED
U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. David Hopkins

By Staff Sgt. David Hopkins
1st Infantry Division public affairs.

By Staff Sgt. David Hopkins1st Infantry Division public affairs BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — Amongst the bolder-ridden mountain slopes of the Kunar province, soldiers gathered at a forward operating base to pay their final respects to four fallen comrades on Thursday.

“Second Lt. Michael Girdano, platoon leader, Alpha Company, Special Troops Battalion, Spc. William Mulvihill, wheeled vehicle mechanic, Headquarter and Headquarters Company, Special Troops Battalion, Pfc. David Badie, combat engineer, Alpha Company, Special Troops Battalion, and Pvt. Jair Garcia, squad automatic gunner, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, died when the vehicle they were in struck an IED in the Kunar province in northeastern Afghanistan on Aug. 1.

"2nd Lt. Girdano, Spc. Mulvihill, Pfc. Badie and Pvt. Garcia’s actions are an inspiration to us all and their names will forever be etched in the history of the Big Red One,” Capt. Brian Corbin, Alpha Company’s commander, said.

One by one, friends and leaders stood before the crowd and spoke of the fallen soldiers’ life achievements within the Army and in their personal lives. The reoccurring theme was that of dedication and sacrifice.

Everyone has to make decisions in life and according to Corbin, the soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division who died Aug. 1 made the decision to sacrifice in order to protect others.

“There comes a time in our lives when we transition from childhood to adulthood, and once we make that transition we are faced with two paths. One path is a path in which freedom and security are provided by the blood, sweat and tears of others. The second is a world in which we make a stand and say: ‘Follow me, for I will protect you from those who mean you harm.’ It takes a special person to choose the second path and most shy away. Lieutenant Girdano, Spc. Mulvihill, Pfc. Badie and Pvt. Garcia not only accepted a challenge, but they embraced it,” Juranek, said. “These men, without hesitation, completed the most dangerous of missions. Their daily endeavors to save lives provided the Blue Spaders with freedom of movement through the most volatile province of Afghanistan.”

According to Corbin, not many people knew Girdano on a personal level because he arrived at the unit on a Thursday and deployed with them on the following Monday, but he said he was a good leader and a good man who was always willing to listen and accept advice from others.

Mulvihill is remembered by a friend as being a dedicated soldier who was ready for his mission and who was proud to follow his family tradition in the military.

“I asked him how he felt about going to Afghanistan, and he said to me that even though he was a little nervous that he was ready and willing to go do his job wherever he was needed. He also explained to me that his siblings were in the military and he was proud to be doing what he was doing.” Sgt. Holly Princevalle said.

Baddie was known by his friends as a caring person who touched the lives of those around him.

“He showed genuine care and concern for those around him,” Henderson said. “You will be missed. We will cherish the friendship. You have put a special mark in our hearts. All those who knew him will never forget him. The platoon will never be the same without him.”

Garcia will be missed by his fellow solders and friends, but he also left behind family that was near and dear to him. “He was a very caring and loving son, father and husband,” said Pfc. Hessbroo.

“He was the kind of person who knew how to brighten your bad day. If you knew Jair Garcia like his close friends did you knew his pride and joy was his 9-year-old son. Garcia instilled in his friends that when things go wrong you shouldn’t go wrong with them. He was an older guy who had a lot of wisdom about things and became a role model for many of us. Jair Garcia is now in a place where the grass is greener and at rest. He will be missed by many and missed by all.”

At the close of the service small groups of soldiers went to where the boots, weapons and identification tags of the fallen soldiers were displayed and they said their good-byes in their own, quiet way.

Even after the loss of their four comrades the soldiers of Duke Brigade are ready to finish what they’ve started.

“To the men of 1st platoon Alpha company, Special Troops Battalion: In my 11 years of service I’ve never met a braver group of men. You, like our fallen brothers, are warriors, guardians of freedom. Let’s remember these brave men by carrying on the work they have begun,” Corbin said. “Let us complete the mission.”

6-4 Cavalry Fends Off Atack

By Staff Sgt. David Hopkins1st
Infantry Division public affairs

NURISTAN Province, Afghanistan — As the sun descended in the western sky, crouching down on the jagged mountain ridges of the Nuristan province on Aug. 2, 1st Infantry Division soldiers of 2nd Team, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Hood guarded the walls of their Combat Outpost, scanning the rocky slopes for anti-Afghan forces. They are trained to spot danger and act against it to protect their location and their fellow soldiers.

Then on the slopes above their position, a figure appeared, lurking among the boulders. Moments later another appeared. Before long there was a full attack on the outpost and its forces comprised of American and Afghan National Security Forces, were fighting for their lives.

By the time the battle was over, only one Afghan soldier suffered minor wounds while more than 20 insurgents were dead while countless others scrambled up the mountain nursing possibly fatal wounds.

At about 6:30 p.m., Sgt. Ian Boone and Pfc. Marco MaldonadoGacia were guarding the outpost when they first spotted enemy forces.

“I could not identify them as hostile until they bent down and picked up their weapons,” Boone said, recalling the first moments of the battle.

MaldonadoGarcia spotted them soon after and took the first shot, breaking the silence with the defining roar of his M-14 sniper rifle, killing an attacker 700 meters up the slope.

“This was decisive because from that moment on the enemy was on the defensive and no longer on the offensive,” Capt. Robert Yllescas, the unit’s commander, said.

Then Boone began to lay down suppressive fire.

The outpost was attacked by small-arms fire, rocket propelled grenades and PKM machine guns, landing many direct hits inside the camp, but none hitting the soldiers inside.

When the attack started, many of the soldiers were faced with the realities of war for the first time.

“You could see the shock in some of the soldiers’ eyes, as if they were asking the question: ‘Is this another test fire or is this for real.’ You could see fear in others’ eyes as they pondered the question of whether or not they would live to see another day,” 1st Sgt. Howard Johnson Mullens said. “And then, as if a switch was suddenly turned on, everyone was flawlessly executing the training they had received prior to deploying. Soldiers performed the defense drills to perfection. It was amazing; it was textbook execution.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Field Artillery Soldiers Man "Gun Line in Afghanistan

Field Artillery Soldiers Man ‘Gun Line’ in Afghanistan
By Army Staff Sgt. Adora Medina Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2008 – From a distance the barrels of the howitzers can be seen above the barriers surrounding Forward Operating Base Kala Gush. The weapons are ready to fire at a second’s notice, providing fire support to the immediate area.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Valdez, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, gun line NCO in charge, gets mission information from the Joint Operations Center on the radio, at Forward Operating Base Kala Gush, Afghanistan, July 30, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adora Medina, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

The “Centaurs” of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, are responsible for manning the “gun line” 24 hours a day. Two artillery teams work around the clock, maintaining their weapons while waiting for fire missions.

“I work on the gun line, and the mission is pretty much to support any troops outside of the wire with our cannon fire,” Pfc. Eric Coates said. “We’re thoroughly trained, and we can do any mission that they send down to us. [Our cannon fire will] be accurate, that’s for sure.”

The long hours spent on the gun line can seem tiresome, but the Centaurs stay alert and ready to take immediate action. Pfc. Jackie Noah recalled the first fire mission the Centaurs completed during their deployment to Afghanistan.

“We were providing security for our fellow soldiers and keeping the enemies’ heads down, making sure [coalition forces] made it out alive,” Noah said. “It feels good to know that you’re helping the people that are forward of our position and doing everything we can to help our fellow soldiers.”

Many challenges come with the mission; for some on the gun line, it’s adjusting to the long hours. Others say the restricted environment takes some getting used to, but mainly, the soldiers just miss their families.

To cope with these challenges, the artillery soldiers find creative ways to pass the time. Some are musicians; some are artists; and some are writers. Regardless of the hobby, they all manage to come together to throw around a football, hit golf balls into a mosquito net, or swing at a punching bag made of sandbags, rocks and tape.

“Well, for anybody that’s coming to Afghanistan, make sure you bring a hobby with you because the mountains start closing in on you after a while,” Pfc. Thomas Brooks said jokingly. “It gets pretty small so you have to keep yourself occupied. Just keep an open mind, and just trust everybody that’s around you.”

For the remainder of the deployment, the soldiers believe things will only improve as time goes on. Staff Sgt. Anthony Salyer, one of the howitzer section chiefs, said he is grateful to work with such a dedicated team. “

They’re excellent with team work,” Salyer said. “They’re always looking for ways to help out each other, the team and the mission. They’re just a good group of guys, very willing to work, always wanting to learn new things. It’s only going to get better with this group of guys. It’s going to be a cake walk. Friendships are going to build stronger, and we’re going to work better as a team and get the mission done.”

(Army Staff Sgt. Adora Medina is assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.)

Army Staff Sgt. Jerome Edwards, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, looks through the scope of a mortar tube to ensure accuracy, at Forward Operating Base Kala Gush, Afghanistan, July 30, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adora Medina, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

Army Pfc. Thomas Brooks gets mission information from the Joint Operations Center, at Forward Operating Base Kala Gush, Afghanistan, July 30, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Adora Medina, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

Rest in Peace

(Click on image to view larger)

God Speed

Sergeant Douglas J. Bull

Private 1st Class David John Badie

2nd Lieutenant Michael R. Girdano

Specialist William J. Mulvihill

Private Jair De Jesus Garcia

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Video: 6-4 CAV Medics in Afghanistan

Package of important free healthcare provided to local Afghans by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. To see the video:

LTC Louis Winkler, MD, USA (Ret), former Brigade Surgeon, 173rd Abn Bde: "The final lesson of Vietnam must be that there is a need for physicians who are well trained in both field and clinical medicine- specialists in combat medicine- to serve as brigade/division/corps surgeons. It is illogical to expect a fully trained pediatrician, internist, or surgeon with only the basic medical officer course to function in this capacity. A highly motivated physician will learn his duties on the job, but this is not optimal nor effective. In order to insure that physicians are prepared for these tasks, formal recognition should be given to the specialty of Combat Medicine just as for Aviation Medicine and Preventive Medicine. A training program and career pattern should be established. This specialty should be encouraged in time of peace as well as times of conflict. Only this way will the lessons learned in Vietnam not have to be relearned in the next conflict."

***God bless our medics.***

Monday, August 4, 2008

Afghanistan Video

We cannot imbed the video, because the owner of the YouTube will not allow it. But here is the link.

You will probably recognize some parts of it. It is a very good compilation of video and stills.