Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
|The amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) waits in the distance as U.S. Sailors board a disabled dhow May 14, 2010, in the Persian Gulf. Sailors from the ship provided food and water, repaired the dhow's severed steering cable and restored engine power. The mariners were adrift for four days with minimal food and no water. Mesa Verde is assigned to Combined Task Force 152, which conducts maritime security operations. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steve Smith, U.S. Navy/Released)|
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde
1st Marine Division
MARJA, Afghanistan : Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew is a workhorse.
As the company's logistician Glew is responsible for delivering all supplies, including food, water and clothing, to India's Marines out on the front lines. The 34-year-old noncommissioned officer also mentors India Company's platoon sergeants.
"It's hard to explain all the different roles and things [Glew] does to make the entire company successful," said Marine Corps Capt. Bill Hefty, India Company's commanding officer. "He gets less sleep than anybody while on deployment."
Glew has deployed often in his career. His current journey to Afghanistan marks the seventh time he has gone overseas since joining the Marine Corps. He has traveled to several different countries with the Marines, including Japan, Norway and Iraq. Deploying, Glew said, is satisfying -- especially being "outside the wire" of a base.
"Just going out there and doing everything that you've learned while you've been in [the Marine Corps], it's the culminating point," Glew said. "It's like the Super Bowl for football players. Being outside the wire is the Marines' Super Bowl. You get to put everything you know to the test -- all your skills."
Glew is no stranger to combat either, having fought in Iraq in the battle of Fallujah in 2004.
"That was the first time I was ever scared while I've been in the Marine Corps," he said. "I definitely thought many of us weren't going to make it out of that one, myself included."
Glew recalled that Fallujah was a constant fight from the get-go, with the Marines having to battle for every square inch of the city. He said that his platoon was attacked with machine-gun fire upon entering Fallujah's first half-block.
"The whole platoon was pinned down for about 30 minutes, until one of the squad leaders single-handedly ran up and fragged two of the machine-gun bunkers, which enabled us to roll," the Pittsburgh native said. "Being stuck in a two-foot-deep canal with machine-gun rounds hitting right next to you is pretty scary."
Glew's experience in Fallujah has given him the knowledge needed to serve as company gunnery sergeant and lead his Marines here.
"Falling back on experiences in Fallujah helped me know what [our Marines] needed to be both mentally and physically prepared for [Operation Moshtarak]," Glew said. "I was able to look back to when I was a platoon sergeant in the kinetic fight and remember what [supplies] I needed and how important it was to me that the company pushed those needs quickly.
"I [drew] from that experience," he added, "and was able to forecast what equipment the Marines needed and how much of it."
Glew also used knowledge gained from Fallujah to ensure that the senior Marines in the company's line platoons were ready to deal with the stress of a combat deployment.
"I was able to mentor the platoon leadership we currently have and give them a mental picture of how intense it could get," he said. "I talked with them and showed them how to put the intensity of the fight aside."
Glew's Marines have responded to his leadership.
"Gunny Glew has so much wisdom to pass," said Marine Corps Pfc. Anthony Cotto, a rifleman who works with Glew on a daily basis. "He's the jack-of-all-trades for the company."
Hefty said Glew's work has made other Marines' jobs much easier and has played a major part in the company's success during Operation Moshtarak.
"We're lucky Gunny Glew can change roles on a dime and take care of any number of issues before it's one more thing that clutters up my to-do list," Hefty said. "He's completely pro-active, all the time."
"He does it all," Cotto agreed. "The guy is awesome." (Issued on : May 17, 2010)
|Related Sites: 1st Marine Division U.S. Forces Afghanistan U.S. Forces Afghanistan on Twitter U.S. Forces Afghanistan on Facebook U.S. Forces Afghanistan on YouTube|
Monday, May 17, 2010
By Elizabeth M. Collins
Army News Service
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.: The Warrior Games cycling competition, held at the U.S. Air Force Academy here in a May snow shower yesterday, would have daunted the toughest of professional cyclists, but not wounded, ill and injured servicemembers.
They battled their way through freezing temperatures and slippery roads, persevering in the midst of extreme pain, and even stopped to help each other along the way.
Suffering from two torn rotator cuffs, Army Sgt. Monica Southall had never used a handcycle before arriving at the Warrior Games a few days ago, but she didn't let that keep her from the race. At one point, the pain became too much to bear and she wanted to stop, but as she said, "Soldiers don't quit, and I wasn't going to quit."
Help, in the form of Army Warrant Officer 1 Johnathan Holsey and Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Will Wilson, arrived just when Southall needed it most. Both men are leg amputees, and Wilson was talking Holsey through their upright cycling race when they passed Southall about two miles from the finish line and noticed her struggling. Any thoughts of winning in their own competition instantly disappeared.
"When we came by her, she was having a hard time going around, and the Navy master chief [and I], we were coming through," Holsey said after the race. "He kind of helped me on. He was saying, 'Stay with me. Stay with me.' And when we saw Monica, we were like, 'You know what? We're going to take her in.'"
Holsey added, "We said we weren't going to leave her and we stayed with her the whole time, because we're all here together. You never leave your comrade behind. Never. When we saw her coming up by herself, we said we were going to stay with her and we pushed her along. She had the wheel.
"We just had to be there with her, he continued. "We just came through together. It's never about the race; it's about the camaraderie and being there for each other."
Although the three were competing in individual events and are in different services, they were really one team, Holsey said, bound not only by their military service, but also by their experiences as wounded and injured servicemembers. They share something no one else could understand.
Southall inspired and helped Holsey as well. Seeing her perseverance pushed all thoughts of pain, cold and falling off his bike to the side, he said. That's the best thing about the Warrior Games, he added: the inspiration, strength and power wounded warriors can get from being around each other.
"This is the reason we came here, and this is the reason I'll do it every year," he said. "Any time they invite me back, I'll be more than happy to come."
In the end, Holsey and Wilson tied for last place in their category, and Southall finished last in hers, but that didn't matter. They crossed the finish line together, as a team, to a crowd that cheered just as loudly for them as for the gold-medal winners.
"It was great [to finish], seeing everybody standing there waiting for me and cheering me on," Southall said with tears rolling down her face. "You just can't describe a moment like that. It was very inspiring." (Issued on:May 14, 2010)
|Related Sites: Special Report: Warrior Games Warrior Games on Facebook|
Friday, May 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
By Elizabeth M. Collins
Army News Service
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 11, 2010 - A soldier whose leg was amputated below the knee carried the torch into the Olympic Training Center here yesterday during opening ceremonies for the inaugural Warrior Games.
Army Sgt. Robert Price was the first servicemember to carry the torch before handing it over to representatives from each of the other services. Hall-of-Fame football player, U.S. Naval Academy graduate and Vietnam veteran Roger Staubach completed the short journey and lit the Olympic flame.
Price, who remained in the Army after losing his right leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq, is a cadre member at the warrior transition battalion at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. He was given the honor because he made sure other soldiers had the opportunity to compete as well.
"I helped out quite a bit [with] other posts that don't have the training materials or for people to ... get them out and do their training at my post," he explained. "I just took the initiative [and] took over the BAMC part of it for the Warrior Games [to], get these guys to come in and start doing it at Fort Sam Houston.
"I was actually very surprised," he continued. "I didn't even expect [to carry the torch]."
He was happy to do it, though, especially because sports helped to keep him in the military. In fact, one of the reasons he decided to stay in the Army after losing his leg was to show other soldiers that they could, too.
"I'm walking, living proof of that," he said. "I'm out there. I made a difference. I'm out doing the right thing, being better. The importance of having an event like this is it gives all these wounded and injured or sick servicemembers out here ... that sitting back in your room playing X-box, that's not what your life is about. There are other things you can go do, more things you can go out and do. There are a lot of sports activities. You can intermingle with your community again. Life doesn't come to an end just because you're sick or you're injured."
Price didn't even make allowances for his injuries while training for the Warrior Games. Nothing, he said, could slow him down. He plans to compete in three sports: archery, which he took up after his injury three years ago; 10-meter prone shooting, because he's always loved to shoot; and sitting volleyball, which is a lot harder than it sounds, Price said, explaining that it requires a lot of core strength. "You've got to have some strong abs, some strong arms to move around," he said.
Bearing the torch and taking part in the history-making competition isn't all fun and games to Price, however. Equally important, he said, are the friends and comrades who can't be there to cheer him on.
"It felt great," he said, "but at the same time, you have happiness and joy, but you've also got the sorrow part that goes inside the back of your head when you're sitting there going, 'I've lost a bunch of friends. A bunch of people aren't here to see this, to experience this."
|Related Sites: Special Report: Warrior Games Warrior Games on Facebook Warrior Games Schedule of Events|