Archive 2007-8 Stories & Photos
2007- 8 Tour of the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq
Last Update December 08, 2014
Recent Deployment News
and Stories on OIF 2007
Operation Iraqi Freedom I-III and Older Stories from December 2004
Can be found on our OIF Archives Page
|Contents - Society of the 3ID Website|
Monday Dec 24, 2007- Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division
named a patrol base after one of their own who was killed while
attempting to render aid to a wounded fellow soldier. Patrol Base
Kelsey was established Dec. 23 and named in honor of Sgt. Samuel
Kelsey, 24, who was killed Dec. 13 during Operation Marne Roundup
southwest of Baghdad near the city of Iskandiriyah.
Mail to Our
“The U.S. Postal Service will not accept mail addressed to "Any Soldier," "Any Wounded Soldier," or the like because if it did, it could be providing a conduit for those who might do harm to armed services members. For more information on this subject, go to www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/soldiercards.asp”
Yes, they will NOT deliver mail that has “Any Soldier” on it; that’s why our mail is addressed to one of the Division POCs.
So in this example, the mail will go to 1LT Clinton Rountree, but he will distribute it to any soldiers who don’t have mail.
Another way to send it would be to send it to the unit commander, command sergeant major or chaplain—no name, just the title.
1. Notice that the addresses
do not include “Iraq.” Just use the four-line (or sometimes five-line
address in this Troop Support Addresses (Forward) attachment.
Many of you have emailed and
written asking for addresses or sharing info about your support projects
for our Soldiers. Thanks to all of you for these updates. I am
collecting them on behalf of the Troop Support Committee and keeping
President Chuck apprised.
Here is a copy of a Christmas card and a photo that I have just received from the 3ID Chaplain LTC Harlon Triplett thanking Outpost 2 for sending them the many packages that were received by him and his staff for distribution to the soldiers. The photo show the 3ID Unit Ministry Team of six, standing near the sign of the Honor Chapel in Baghdad, Iraq.
Tree Dedication Ceremony in honor of
Thursday, the seventeenth day of January 2008
The weather matched the tone as Fort Stewart dedicated eight more trees to fallen 3rd Infantry Division warriors on a gray, rainy Thursday morning. Col. Todd Buchs, Fort Stewart garrison commander, said, ”So long as we have soldiers who will make the ultimate sacrifice for their country, we will have room for their trees at Warriors Walk.”
One of the eight was Pfc Ryan D.
Christensen, 22, of Spring Lake Heights, N.J., who died at the
Medical University of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., on Nov. 24,
2005, of a non-combat related illness identified in Balad, Iraq.
Christensen was not initially honored at Warriors Walk because an
Army medical investigation indicated his fatal illness was not
related to his deployment to Iraq. Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin
Larson said Christensen's family did not accept this and had
remained in contact with the 3rd ID's commanding general, Maj. Gen.
Rick Lynch, during two subsequent inquiries into the illness. Those
investigations, Larson said, revealed a possible link with
Christenson's deployment. "So now he is honored here, where he
belongs,” Larson said. “This is the right thing to do for Pfc.
Christensen and his family." Christensen was assigned to the 1st
Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team.
Jan.26, 2008 - Even though he's now the 3rd Infantry Division's
top enlisted man, Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Andrews still has a soft
spot for his old buddies in the division's 3rd Brigade. "A part of
me's still with the guys I served with on Kelley Hill," said
Andrews, speaking by telephone Thursday from his office at Baghdad's
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, 3rd ID commander, tapped Andrews as his top
NCO last February. "I went from being in charge of about 4,000
soldiers to 20,000 soldiers," said Andrews, 45, who spends much of
his time these days visiting all of the 3rd ID units stationed at 55
forward operating bases and outposts throughout the Baghdad area, as
well as visiting wounded troops at the combat support hospital in
the capital city.
Policy Allows Married Couples
(AHN) - Two years after it was quietly implemented, the U.S. Army is
now reaping the fruit of a little known Army policy by helping
strengthen military marriages and keeping more married soldiers
enlisted. The policy, implemented on May 2006, allowed
soldier-couples to share the same quarters while serving in Iraq Now
quartered in trailers, several couples are enjoying the reversal of
an Army regulation that prohibited male and female American soldiers
from sharing sleeping quarters while in war zones.
Honoring valor: Soldiers, Marines
FORT STEWART - December 15, 2007 -It isn't sought out, expected or desired. Yet, many recipients become legendary when they receive one - members of an elite club they never asked to join. And their numbers are rising. Since Operation Enduring Freedom began in 2001 - and then Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 - some 400,000 U.S. soldiers and 8,000 Marines have been honored for their valor on the battlefield. Some awards, such as the Medal of Honor, remain so sacred, few receive it. Others date back to America's Revolution. Although America's War on Terror is going into its sixth year, the number of soldiers and Marines honored still pales compared with the more than 2.8 million military awards presented during Vietnam.
Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, pins a
Purple Heart on one of 10 soldiers during a ceremony at Fort Stewart
who were presented the medal on Sept. 20 for injuries they suffered
during combat in Iraq. (Photo: John Carrington)
Spc. Milton M. Mitchell Jr., left, stands with his 8-year-old son Anthony and fellow soldier Spc. Zacharie A. Nelson in the receiving line after a Sept. 20 Purple Heart medal ceremony at Fort Stewart. The two soldiers were among 10 troops who were presented the Purple Heart for injuries suffered during combat in Iraq. 3rd Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, who was home for his two-week leave, pinned the medals on each of the recipients. (Photo: John Carrington)
Johanna Hayes wipes away a tear as her husband, Spc. Christopher Hayes, speaks to the audience attending an award ceremony in which he was presented a Purple Heart and a Combat Infantry Badge. Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Todd Buchs, right, presented the awards to Hayes. (John Carrington/Savannah Morning News) (Photo: John Carrington)
Before pinning the medal to Hayes' chest, Col. Todd
Buchs, the garrison commander at Fort Stewart, praised the soldier
and his wife. "There is nothing more important than taking time out
to honor a great hero," Buchs said. "On behalf of a grateful nation
and a grateful Army, thank you." Hayes said the comments were
overwhelming, and while it feels good to be honored, he hasn't lost
sight of war's reality. "Soldiers die every day," he said. "But when
it happens to you ..."
Honoring 3rd ID Soldiers for the
Dec 08, 2007 - Unfortunately, not all of our
loved ones can be with us for the holidays. Saturday, Fort Stewart
held a Bells for Trees Ceremony – hanging bells on each tree on
Warriors Walk. It's done in memory of 3rd Infantry Division soldiers
who have paid the ultimate sacrifice – their lives.
Bells of blessing go up at Warriors
HINESVILLE - December 9, 2007 -If Kathleen
Thornton has her way, the soldiers immortalized by Eastern Redbud
trees in Fort Stewart's Warriors Walk will never be forgotten. On
Saturday morning, Thornton and several members of the group
Support3rdid.com hung tiny camel bells on the fallen soldiers' trees
that had little or no decorations adorning them. The bare trees line
Cottrell Field - the site of numerous homecomings for deployed
Bells for Trees Ceremony at
HINESVILLE, GA--It was an emotional day on Fort
Stewart, family and friends of soldiers who paid the ultimate
sacrifice, honored their loved one's with a bells for trees ceremony
along Warrior's Walk. For families who live too far away, volunteers
made sure the wind passed through a bell for each 3rd ID soldier no
longer with us. It's a walk, most would say is too long.
More Support is on the Way for 3rd ID Troops
A kissing pillow.
SAVANNAH, GA-Nov. 13, 2007-More
support is on the way to our 3rd ID troops.
deploys first wave of Soldiers in support of OIF
The first body of Soldiers with the
4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Kuwait Oct 10.
Families and friends of the
deploying Soldiers gathered at their respective companies to say
goodbye and wish the Soldiers luck.
Soldiers with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery, run through a pre-deployment equipment check Oct. 10. Approximately 60 Soldiers were part of the Torch Party, which was the first wave of Soldiers to deploy for the 4th Brigade Combat Team.
For many, this isn’t their Family’s
first deployment and they’re familiar with the techniques and stress
involved with separation.
Soldiers with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, form a “chain” to more efficiently load the gear of deploying Soldiers Oct. 10. Approximately 60 Soldiers were part of the Torch Party, which was the first wave of Soldiers to deploy for the 4th BCT.
The Family Readiness Groups (FRGs)
within the Brigade are groups of volunteers responsible for
maintaining the critical communication link between Families and the
Soldiers during deployment.
Sgt. 1st Class Terry Bush, an infantryman with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, spends some time with his family before deploying Oct. 10. Approximately 60 Soldiers were part of the Torch Party, which was the first wave of Soldiers to deploy for the 4th BCT.
The Main Body of 4th BCT is scheduled to deploy in late October and the Trail Party, the remainder of 4th BCT Soldiers, is scheduled to deploy in early November.
Terry Roney, father of Maj. Christine Roney, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Combat Team, helps his daughter carry her gear as the two spend some time together before her deployment Oct 10. Approximately 60 Soldiers were part of the Torch Party, which was the first wave of Soldiers to deploy for the 4th BCT.
members watch as 4th Brigade Combat Team Soldiers
pre-stage equipment at the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th
BCT company area Oct 10. Approximately 60 Soldiers were part of the
Torch Party, which was the first wave of Soldiers to deploy for the
Lynch: Attacks, casualties down in
3rd ID area in Iraq
BAGHDAD - During September I was lucky enough to
return to the United States for my R&R. As soon as I returned, my
wife, Sarah, and I visited West Point where I addressed my class
during our 30th reunion. I also addressed some of the Corps of
Cadets - the future of our Army's leadership.
Soldier's Recovery Inspires
Spc. Ben Hutto of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office
FORWARD OPERATING BASE
HAMMER, Iraq - An injured infantryman is inspiring the 3rd Heavy Brigade
Combat Team here with his rapid recovery and his determination to become a
better, stronger Soldier.
Article URL on Military.com: http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,148106,00.html
Hello Fellow Marne Riders and Society
sense the momentum'
Lt. Col. Randy Martin, a
1985 graduate of Rock Hill High School,
Lt. Col. Randy Martin's job
is to tell the story of the soldiers in Iraq. His second trip to the
country has surprised him.
August 9, 2007
|Five Star Iris
entertains troops in Ramadi
Spc. Ricardo Branch
1st BCT Public Affairs
CAMP RAMADI, Iraq (July 12,
2007) – Troops and civilians alike gathered in the Morale Welfare
and Recreation facility for a special concert July 11 at Camp Ramadi.
Five Star Iris, an Atlanta, Ga., rock and roll music band, made a
special trip to Iraq as part of a four-day MWR concert for military
servicemembers operating in the Middle East.
Soldier Creates Empathy
July 5, 2007 - I know a little
bit more than I did three months ago about the war in Iraq. That's when I
approached Major Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of the Third Infantry
Division, with the adopt a soldier idea. At Hunter Army Air Field in
Savannah, deploying soldiers sign up to be sponsored by a civilian while
they are in Iraq. In the back of my mind, I knew that some of the soldiers
who boarded those planes at Hunter would not be coming home. I even thought
about it as they lined up before my table to ask for sponsors.
Top US Commander
(July 6, 2007)--A top US commander in
Iraq is warning that drawing down troops too soon would leave the country "a
mess." Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Multinational Division Center and
the 3rd Infantry Division, said Friday at a Pentagon news conference that
doing that would lead to more violence.
Col. Charlton briefing Gen. Petraeus
Col. Charlton briefing Nic Roberts (CNN)
in a Ramadi Market
Col. Charlton on patrol with
Soldiers and Marines in Ramadi
Col. Charlton receiving an operations brief
Col. Charlton briefing at a Reconstruction Conference
Col. Charlton and Sheik Sattar
|3-1 Cav. finds four weapons
caches, detains five
By Sgt. Natalie Rostek, 3rd HBCT Public Affairs
Jul 6, 2007
Blackanthem Military News, FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, and Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, detained five suspected insurgents and found four weapons caches July 5 near Jisr Diyala. Each cache found and destroyed decreases the munitions and improvised explosive device making materials available for insurgents to use against the populace and Coalition Forces, said Capt. Jimmy Hathaway, from Columbus, Ga., commander of Headquarters Co., 3-1 Cav.
The operation resulted in the largest cache seizure for the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team since beginning operations southeast of Baghdad in late March. Unit leaders said Soldiers conducted the five-phase operation to deny enemy sanctuaries and seize caches. Soldiers from 3-1 Cav. and Company D, currently attached to 3-1 Cav., secured and searched four target locations simultaneously during the operation.
“Ultimately, this mission was a step in the right
direction towards making Iraq a more secure and safe region,”
Hathaway said. “The mission established the standard that Coalition
Forces are not going to stand for anti-Coalition Force activity,”
said 1ST Lt. Donovan Duke, from New Cumberland, Pa., a platoon
leader with Company D, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, from
Fort Benning, Ga. “We are here to establish a safe environment in
cooperation with the Iraqi Security Forces for the Iraqi citizens.”
More than 500 troops re-enlist
in Iraq; 160 become Americans
BAGHDAD — When Sgts. Jason Mawhorr and Yelixa
Mawhorr first deployed to Iraq in March, they didn’t think they
would be seeing much of each other. So when the opportunity came for
husband and wife, both soldiers with the Army’s 3rd Infantry
Division, to re-enlist together, they jumped at the chance. “We
didn’t think we would have the chance to deploy together,” said
Jason, 24, of Rockport, Texas. “So while we were here, we decided it
was something to take advantage of.”
Brigade enters fourth month in
The 3rd Heavy Combat Brigade Team began its fourth of 15
months in Iraq on July 1 and things are going better than expected,
according to its commander. "I'm amazed at what our magnificent
Sledgehammer soldiers have been able to accomplish," said Col.
Wayne Grigsby Jr. As the third of five brigades called upon by
the Pentagon in early January to "surge" forward into Iraq and
implement the Baghdad Security Plan, the 3,800 soldiers from Fort
Benning have been right in the middle of some of the heaviest
fighting of the war.
According to Pfc. Kristina Sutton, a medic from Springfield,
Mass., some patients stood in line for almost four hours. The medics
saw ailments such as back, stomach, head, skin and upper-respiratory
problems and were able to treat those with medicine bought from a
July 4, 2007 - Today America
turns 231 years old. It is able to claim so many years of freedom because
Soldiers like you keep it free. It was Soldiers who fought for our
independence, and it is the Soldiers who answer the nation’s call to be
where America needs them.
Just last week, I went to a
memorial service for 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment and reenlisted two
Soldiers just before they mourned the loss of their brothers in arms. In the
darkest hours they raised their right hands, said “Our nation needs us” and
asked to continue to serve America.
Soldiers from 3rd Heavy Brigade
Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division killed more than 23 enemy insurgents at a
Pepsi factory and Soldiers from 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th
Infantry Division took out a JAM battalion commander and EFP cell leader.
Everything you do has an impact
– from a patrol following an intelligence tip, to bringing water to a
neighborhood with it, to developing a youth center. Every action has an
impact on the Iraqi society, every one of your actions brings the Iraqi
people closer to being a free country, one like we sometimes take for
Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - When Rick Lynch left Hamilton, Ohio for the U.S. Military Academy in 1973, he expected to do his five years in the Army and get out. More than 30 years later, he's a two-star general commanding 20,000 troops. Lynch, a Hamilton native, said he never made the decision to be a career military man, but stayed with it because it felt right. "Everyday, I can look in the mirror and feel like I'm doing something important," Lynch said in a phone interview from Baghdad on Thursday.
10 New Trees
Mark Fallen Soldiers
FORT STEWART - Army Spc. Kyle Little returned home
from his pre-Iraq training in February with a mission: Make a baby
with his newlywed wife, Tiffany. "I remember he called me all
excited and told me he wanted us to get pregnant," said Tiffany
Little. "Miraculously, we did before he left." The 20-year-old
Massachusetts native deployed to Iraq in March as soon-to-be father.
The names of Little and nine other 3rd Infantry Division soldiers killed in Iraq were read aloud Thursday morning at Warriors' Walk. Each man was 25 years old or younger. The living memorial's 336 trees bookend Fort Stewart's parade grounds. Each tree represents one 3rd ID soldier killed since the Iraq war began in March of 2003. The division is now serving its third combat tour in the conflict.
"Young and old, soldier and civilian alike, will
walk these paths," said Col. Todd Buchs, Fort Stewart's garrison
commander. "They will pause and read their names and reflect on the
sacrifice they made for freedom."
More than a month of memorial services, tributes,
calls from fellow soldiers and military escorts have left the
Kirkpatrick family overwhelmed. But they also have been impressed by
how many lives their son had touched. "The Army really has been
behind us 1,000 percent," Kirkpatrick said. "It's been so wonderful,
yet so horrible. You can't imagine how wonderful and horrible
something can be at the same time.
Walk' memorial at base expected to grow
Wednesday, May 23,
2007-A popular war memorial consisting of dedicated trees -- one
planted for every soldier lost to war -- presents commanders
with a problem. The memorial is running out of space. Its
elaborate design -- requiring sidewalks and buried electrical
lighting -- has forced Army officials to prepare expansion
IP’s recognized for hard work
RAMADI, Iraq (May 22, 2007) – It’s arguably one of the
toughest law enforcement jobs in the world. Iraqi Police face
car and road side bombs, snipers and insurgents bent on breaking
there will. Often less equipped than their coalition partners,
the policemen are prepared to do their duty on a daily business.
American troops continue to build small,
neighborhood outposts to support the troop “surge” in and around
Baghdad, while the final extra Army brigade is poised to arrive
in Iraq next month.
Blackanthem Military News, COMBAT OUTPOST
CLEARY, Iraq — Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team have established three
combat outposts in the unit’s area of operation, all named after
their fallen comrades. While in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, V, 1-15 Inf. moved from Forward Operating Base Hammer,
where the brigade headquarters is located, to Combat Outposts
Cleary, Cahill, and Cashe in the areas of Wahida, Salman Pak,
and Tuwaitha, respectively.
Women's Plus Size V-Neck Dark T-Shirt Women's Plus Size Scoop Neck T-Shirt
LTC Tim Stoy on his
BAGHDAD — When Capt. Joseph Peppers rides through
the streets of the Karada Peninsula, east of the Green Zone in
Baghdad, he catches glimpses of the future. In the crowded
commercial district, where merchants stack televisions, air
conditioners and refrigerators in front of their busy shops, Peppers
sees a hint of the prosperity that is possible in Iraq.
Trees for the Fallen
FORT STEWART - A memorial to fallen soldiers was
expanded Thursday as soldiers and family gathered to honor the
lives of five more 3rd Infantry Division soldiers killed in
Iraq. Amid occasional rain and haze from the wildfires in
southeast Georgia, they stood as each soldier's name was read
aloud and granite markers were uncovered at each Eastern Redbud
tree planted for the fallen.
The first tree dedicated Thursday was in honor of Spc. Forrest J. Waterbury, 25, of Richmond, Texas, who was killed March 14 in Ramadi by enemy fire. He was assigned to Fort Stewart's 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor. Waterbury was on his third deployment to Iraq and had been there only three weeks before he was killed, said his aunt Kathy Hall. He is survived by his wife and step-child. "He always had a smile on his face, no matter the situation," Hall said. "He loved what he was doing and loved being in the Army. He had planned to make the military his career."
One week after Waterbury's death, another Fort Stewart
soldier from 3-69 Armor was killed. Sgt. Adrian J. Lewis, 30, of
Greenville, S.C., was killed March 21 by small arms fire in
Ramadi. "He didn't want to go this last time," said Amanda
Lewis, his wife and mother of four children. "We had just had a
baby. She was a month and two weeks old when he left."
Three other soldiers from the division's 3rd
Brigade at Fort Benning near Columbus were also honored
Thursday. They are:
(May 17, 2007) – On the streets and alleyways of Ramadi, combat
units need the tools necessary to maintain the fight and
continue the mission. For the troops of Company B, 3rd Brigade
Support Battalion, they have to be prepared to live up to their
motto “ready to roll” at a moments notice to delivery valuable
supplies to the units fighting for stability in the city.
The Soldiers don’t just see units in nearby Blue Diamond but units in and around Ramadi as well. Company B has driven 10, 860 miles on 85 convoy missions in their effort to resupply units around the city. “There are times where we’ve had to go to Corregidor to drop off jersey barriers for units to improve their security, or push supplies into hostile areas like Albu-Bali,” Cowling said. “We go to where the units are and bring them whatever they need.”
they are not on the frontlines, the Soldiers maintaining the
supply lines often find themselves in harm’s way while on duty.
“While we were going down the roads into Albu-Bali, I was
thinking this is a long route, and it was kind of creepy – not
scary – but like I was being watched,” Cowling said. “Then while
I was scanning a house it exploded.” “It was one of those ‘did
that just happen?’ moments,” he said. “I was wondering if EOD
did it … but they were in front of us. We also had a couple of
Bradley vehicles hit not even ten minutes in front of us during
Joseph Monroe, the convoy commander, sees the pride the Soldiers
have in their job reflected in the way they perform. “The
Soldiers are doing real well,” said the 27-year-old
Fayetteville, N.C., native. “Each time they go out, they use the
operation as an opportunity to get better, so I’m proud of them
– They grow more with every mission.”
Numerous Caches Discovered in Ramadi
Many of the cache locations were provided by local citizens once a permanent police presence was established in the region. “This is another example of citizens responding to an increased security presence,” said Col. John Charlton, Brigade Combat Team commander. “Once the local population sees that the police are not leaving, they immediately begin providing them with information on caches and activity.”
The VBIED factory included six 55 gallon drums
of homemade explosives, four 50 gallon mixing barrels, 15 drums
of gasoline, two stoves, one water pump, three bundles of wire,
an assortment of metal pipes, two grain bags containing HME
residue and a fire extinguisher. One VBIED was being built and
contained eight containers of HME when the factory was
Media embedded with 1BCT
Brigade Commander on
Progress in Ramadi
As we pause to take time this Memorial Day weekend to honor
those who've given their lives in service to our country, we can
also think of those still living and working in harm's way.
Build up services, break
With a moment of peace hovering inside Ramadi, its people are
asking for a little bit of prosperity.
Smith: Iraqi officials are
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., said
his trip to Iraq last weekend affirmed his position that U.S.
forces should not police an Iraqi civil war.
Remarkable turnaround in
RAMADI, Iraq — On a routine trip last week into Ramadi’s
center, a driver in a Marine Corps convoy saw the tailgate on
one of the trucks swinging open.
Promotion pressure still
Spc. Ryan Hicks is nervous.
Far away from home
Lt Col. Scott Johnson is a long way from Lucy Park.
Voice of Ramadi speaks for
police, city leaders
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HURRICANE POINT, Iraq — Three times a
week, Lance Cpl. Joseph Day surfs the Al Jazeera and the BBC Web
sites, looking for news to bring to the city in Ramadi.
------------------------- Points of Contact
Second Brigade Combat Team Deploys
May 10, 2007-More Third Infantry Division soldiers are on
their way to Iraq tonight. Members of the Second Brigade Combat
Team left their families at Fort Stewart this morning. They'll
deploy later tonight from Hunter Army Airfield. The soldiers
will be gone for at least 15 months. Many families are handling
the news well, knowing the deployment could have been even
longer and remembering that their loved ones have a job to do.
With their bags packed, it was finally time to say goodbye. The first time wasn't easy said Staff Sergeant Joshua Stone, holding his youngest son, Jamari, and it doesn't get any easier. "The second time was a little harder," admitted Staff Sergeant Stone. "The third time, you kind of get used to it, but you never really do."
Staying behind is more difficult for his wife, Mae, who spent nine years in the military, herself. "It's a little easier for the kids now, but it's harder for me because I'm not there with him to see what's going on and knowing what to expect over there, it's a little harder," added Mae Young Stone.
Jessica Reade, who just got engaged to Private Nathaniel
Slosson, is ready to help him however she can, right down to
carrying his gear. "I'm pretty proud," said Slosson, smiling at
his petite fiance. "She's carrying a rucksack that weighs at
least as much as she does." Both said it's hard to say goodbye.
"It's pretty hard," said Reade, "I've grown up around it in a
military family, but with him, it's a little harder." "It's hard
to leave," said Slosson, "but this is what I signed up for and
this is what I wanted to do. She's not too happy about it, but
15 months isn't too long, I guess."
|iPod tells soldier
he was shot - the real story
He said the upgraded armor he was wearing could
stop the AK-47 round. It was not the newest armor that is in
Iraq now, but it was an upgrade. This was his second iPod that
he had brought to Iraq. The first had been damaged earlier and
the store would not replace it, even with the additional
warranty he purchased.
The back of the Ipod.
Christine and Kevin Garrad with iPod.
The front of the Ipod.
Commander Talks About the Future
April 24, 2007-Fort Benning is going through a
transformation. The military's base realignment will bring
thousands of new troops to the area. Fort Bunning's commanding
general talked about the growth and the extended deployments of
Commander reports from Iraq
April 24, 2007-Although his soldiers are
“exactly where they should be in terms of equipment and
training,” the 3rd Infantry Division’s commanding general said,
“We are still losing great soldiers.” As Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch
spoke to the Coastal Courier in a telephone interview this week,
he noted the death of a soldier in a unit attached to the 3rd ID
headquarters, and the dedication of another tree Thursday at
Fort Stewart’s Warriors Walk, honoring another 3rd ID soldier
3rd ID Soldiers miss home, but Morale is High
April 24, 2007-Like so many of the soldiers I
lead, I miss family and friends at home in the Coastal Empire
and beyond. There is not a second that goes by that I don't
think about the families and the community we left behind. Our
reunion will be sweet for sure, but for now we do our duty and
focus on the mission at hand.
Mail comes sooner than later for 3rd Brigade Soldiers
FOB HAMMER, Iraq— An
open mailroom puts some 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Soldiers in
contact with family members for the first time since arriving in
Iraq. “Soldiers are getting their mail and it feels good to know
that I am a part of that,” said. El Paso, Texas, native Cpl. Maria
Guardado, a brigade mail clerk. The task was to establish a mailroom
for the Soldiers on Forward Operating Base Hammer from the 3rd
Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.
'adopt' 3rd ID soldiers warms the heart
Requests to sponsor soldiers pouring in. Zeke was the
first to volunteer. His message popped into my inbox at 8:58
Sunday morning. I fretted while it trembled there, alone, for 30
minutes. Maybe Easter Sunday wasn't the best time to run a
column asking readers to adopt a Third Infantry Division
soldier. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general of the 3rd ID,
had his staff ready and waiting to match soldiers in Iraq with
sponsors in Savannah. How demoralizing it would be if only Zeke
These words, from "old soldiers": "Mail call is a lonely
time when your name is never called.
dealt 2nd blow with benefit plan
By Deanna Salie
After making it through my husband's funeral, I was greeted with mountains of paperwork. I was escorted from office to office by my casualty officer as my military identification card was changed and reissued; as I signed up for the Veterans Administration's Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) and the military's Survivor's Benefit Plan (SBP).
I reviewed the paperwork after all of
these appointments, and I was shocked to discover that David had been
wrong: We weren't going to be cared for as if he were still alive.
My husband didn't know that dependents' compensation offsets the
Survivor's Benefit Plan. If he'd known that, it would have made him very
New American heads off to
Turkish immigrant, forced to sue to obtain his
U.S. citizenship, will soon join the fight in Iraq. Army Spc.
John Yasar got his wish to become a citizen of the nation he's
going to fight for. The Turkish immigrant raised his right hand
in Atlanta on April 20, fulfilling a decade-long quest that
temporarily careened off course into a labyrinth of bureaucracy
and post-Sept. 11 paranoia about foreigners.
Training the future
RAMADI, Iraq (April 27, 2007) – The troops arrive at a small
town on the outskirts of Ramadi. They could rush out and engage
the enemy at a moments notice, but their job today is different
– to train Iraqis to save lives.
“They were grasping the material real fast, but when we went
into the different types of pharyngeal tubes and how to use
them, it was a bit difficult until I demonstrated on one of
their own,” said the 39-year-old Texas City, Texas, native.
Care Packages For Soldiers
A group of soldiers stationed in Ramdai, Iraq will son
have a taste of Southern Hospitality.
Troops Come Home
A group of 3rd ID soldiers is home with their families
this morning after spending months in Iraq.
Operation Targets Remaining
RAMADI, Iraq – May 3, 2007-Approximately 450 Iraqi
Security and Coalition Forces completed Operation Forsythe Park
in northern Ramadi Wednesday.
General predicts Troop
Death Rate likely to Climb
BAGHDAD -May 7, 2007- A U.S. Army general
forecast Sunday a rise in deaths among American forces in the
coming months, a prediction underscored by the announcement that
roadside bombs killed eight U.S. soldiers and a foreign
U.S. Aviation Brigade headed
May 7, 2007-The final troop contingent in President Bush's
controversial plan to improve security, a brigade that includes
152 attack and transport helicopters, will soon arrive in the
capital, a U.S. commander said.
May 9, 2007-Oh, there's an unmistakable surge under way in
Iraq, all right. It's the increase in the casualty toll among
American troops and Iraqi civilians that will continue over the
next three months as fighting intensifies. The additional troops
that President Bush has committed to sending to Iraq can look
forward to dangerous duty in a land of sectarian chaos. That
much is candidly acknowledged by a top U.S. commander, more than
four years into an ever futile war.
Benning soldiers enter Iraq
Mar. 31, 2007: The first wave of 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team soldiers have crossed the border into Iraq. A company of 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment soldiers, nicknamed Team Bayonet, has joined forces with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division at the division's tactical operations center at Camp Striker, Iraq, which is located near Baghdad's International Airport. While there, the company will support the 10th Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team. It's not unusual for elements of the 3rd Brigade to be attached to other units during their deployment to Iraq. In fact, while the majority of the 3rd HBCT soldiers were stationed in Baqouba in 2005, the 2-69 spent much of its time in the Ramadi area in Anbar province. There's still no word on when the remainder of the brigade will travel north.
Chopper pilot heads back to a
Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. — EACH time he receives
the order to fly a Black Hawk helicopter over Iraq, U.S. Army Chief
Warrant Officer Hector Echevarria tidies up the personal effects he
Perfectionism and fatalism are two traits common
in Army helicopter pilots, and both are being sharpened here on this
bustling airfield, where hundreds of soldiers, pilots and crew
members from the 3rd Infantry Division's Combat Aviation Brigade are
preparing to deploy to Iraq, perhaps by mid-May.
American and Iraqi forces have launched a “major
operation” in Ramadi designed to expand security zones in the
contested city, officials said Monday. The operation focuses on
western Ramadi and includes troops from Task Force 1-9 Infantry and
Iraqi police and soldiers. It is the fourth such large-scale
clearing operation conducted in the city since February, officials
said, and aims to create a permanent presence of Iraqi and American
troops where there previously was none.
As 3rd ID Deploys, a Colonel
Holds Down the Fort
FORT STEWART - With most of the 3rd Infantry
Division's 20,000 troops heading to Iraq for another yearlong combat
tour, things could get a little lonely for Col. Todd A. Buchs, Fort
Stewart's new garrison commander. Buchs, however, sees the
deployment as just one more challenge in his 20-year Army career.
"As we look at this deployment, I'll never forget the soldiers that
remain here but my priority will be the family members," he said.
"That's the only way we're going to be able to continue this long
war - by taking care of our family members."
war near Fort Stewart
HINESVILLE - They rolled into town in colorfully
painted buses reminiscent of author Ken Kessey's psychedelic school
bus of the 1960s.
Pfc. Omar Figueras, a 3rd
Infantry Division soldier, at right, said that he's against the war
Army Pfc. Omar Figueras made a point of stopping his
vehicle to say one thing to the demonstrators: "Peace.""I
agree with them," said Figueras, who'll be deploying to Iraq this
summer with the 4th Brigade. "I'm against this war. I don't want to
go, but that's my job."
The veterans handed out brochures about the GI Rights Hotline and the Appeal for Redress, a petition drive that so far has collected the signatures of more than 1,700 active-duty service members who want Congress to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Pfc. Ty Heald, a 2nd Brigade soldier who will deploy to Iraq in May, accepted the information but wasn't sure how he felt about the anti-war message. "I just can't wait to go over there for the extra pay," he said. "Everybody who goes over there has a different take on it. You're really there to make sure your buddy doesn't get killed."
Kevin Benderman, a former Army sergeant at Fort
Stewart who served 13 months in a military brig for refusing to
deploy to Iraq a second time with his unit, also attended the
protest. He and his wife, Monica, are working on "Benderman's
Bridge," a project to help veterans obtain vocational training and
transition into civilian life. "Soldiers should be the first ones
allowed to exercise their constitutional right to free speech," he
said. "There are a lot of talking heads who like to say a lot of
things, but it's the soldiers who know better than anyone what's
going on in Iraq."
Despite pending resolutions in Congress to set a
time line for withdrawing U.S. troops, several activists predicted
politics will prevent Democrats from ending the war. "If you're a
Democrat, you can hang the war as a millstone around the
Republicans' neck, and come 2008 you might get elected," Adams said.
"But we're going to stop the war before then."
for 3rd ID's fallen
Sean Harder | Friday, March 16, 2007
Soldiers, families gather to honor first two
Fort Stewart soldiers killed this year in Iraq
FORT STEWART - Pvt. Matthew Zeimer had arrived at
the combat outpost in Ramadi just two hours before the shooting
began on Feb. 2.
Zeimer, 18, decided to become a soldier after learning his father was the first in his family to join the Army, said his father Tom Epperson, of East Haven, Conn. Looking at the pink show of the trees' spring bloom, Epperson said he's satisfied knowing his son died doing what he loved. "How many people can honestly say their son is their hero? I can," he said.
A second tree was planted Thursday in honor of
another 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor soldier who was killed. Pfc. Kelly
Youngblood, 19, of Mesa, Ariz., was killed by sniper fire in Ramadi
on Feb. 18. His grandmother Jean Herrold remembered how proud
Youngblood was while showing his family around Fort Stewart in
October. "He just loved the Army," she said.
Combat Aviation Brigade
WASHINGTON (AFP) - March 16, 2007-A
US Army combat aviation brigade with about 2,600 troops will be deployed
to Iraq 45 days ahead of schedule, expanding a surge of US forces to
nearly 30,000 troops, a senior defense official said Friday.
Top post NCO promoted
Just days before deploying to Iraq with the 3rd Heavy Combat
Brigade Team, commander Col. Wayne Grigsby Jr. must break in a new
battle buddy. Command Sgt. Maj. Jesse Andrews, who rode shotgun
alongside Lt. Col. J.R. Sanderson with the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor
Regiment during the brigade's 2003 deployment, and then filled the
"Hammer Seven" role under Col. Steve Salazar in 2005, has been named
the 3rd Infantry Division's top NCO. His promotion, which is
effective immediately, forced a shake-up on Kelley Hill.
FORT STEWART - The next time the U.S. Army's 3rd
Infantry Division flag is flown, it will be over war-torn Baghdad.
That's where Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the division's commander, and
about 1,000 troops in his headquarters will go next week to help
beef up the U.S. military command in Iraq's capital city. Lynch
officially packed up the red, white and blue flag on Thursday during
a short ceremony that serves as a symbolic start to the division's
unprecedented third combat tour in Iraq.
Army Inspectors Visit Fort
There were more international journalists than local reporters at Thursday's retreat ceremony marking the 3rd Infantry Division's deployment to Iraq. A Fort Stewart spokesman sent a news release about the ceremony to the U.S. State Department, which in turn sent it out to foreign media. Reporters from Spain, Britain, Germany and Finland made the trip to the Army post near Hinesville to report on the start of the division's third combat deployment since the war in Iraq started in March 2003.
Ramadi is now a two-faced city
RAMADI, Iraq — It’s a tale of two Ramadis.
Among other projects, Charlton hopes to kick start the renewal of power
and water stations in the once notorious neighborhood, as well as
reactivate Ramadi’s large ceramics and glass plant.
3rd ID soldiers leave today for Iraq
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Mar 1, 2007
Iraq deployments for close to 4,000 soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat
Team, 3rd Infantry Division, begin today, the Army announced in a press
release.This deployment marks the third rotation to Iraq for 3rd ID,
which led the march to Baghdad four years ago this month. The
1,000-soldier headquarters element began departing for Iraq last week,
and other brigades began departing Fort Stewart, Ga., in January. The
deployment has been accelerated as part of the surge in troops to help
2 Army Units Rushing to Iraq
WASHINGTON — Feb. 27,
2007- Rushed by President Bush's decision to reinforce Baghdad with
thousands more U.S. troops, two Army combat brigades are skipping their
usual session at the Army's premier training range in California and
instead are making final preparations at their home bases.
Soldiers of the 3rd Infantry Brigade tapped for third Iraq tour
FORT BENNING, Ga. - The
first contingent of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Brigade departed for
Iraq over the weekend, with more-than 4,000 to follow over the next
month, officials said. The 3rd Brigade, based at Fort Benning, is a part
of the 3rd Infantry Division, which helped lead the charge to Baghdad in
2003 and is the first Army division tapped for a third tour in Iraq.
Young GIs get first taste of war in Ramadi
Troops took different paths toward enlisting, but face common enemy
By Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Saturday, February 24, 2007
RAMADI, Iraq — What lures a young private to Iraq?
Although the 3rd ID is now on its third deployment
in Iraq, many soldiers, including Ralston, are experiencing war for
the first time. In Ralston’s squad alone, all but two soldiers are
serving in Iraq for the first time. The 22-year-old Eden Prairie,
Minn., native said that with the right investments and shrewd
financial planning, a 23-year career in the Army would take care of
him for life. “Plus, the benefits are great,” he said. “I got
$20,000 for enlisting.” Before he can retire though, Ralston has to
face one of Iraq’s toughest areas of operations — downtown Ramadi.
Officers believe that Islamic fighters here are
staging an offensive of their own, timed perhaps with the U.S. troop
surge in Baghdad, as well as the 3rd ID’s recent arrival in Ramadi.
The new units have hit the ground running and have launched a series
of operations aimed at rooting out enemy cell commanders and
disrupting insurgent supply networks. The plan, they say, is to
clear the dense city blocks and establish new outposts for Iraqi
army and police so that they can hold the territory.
Pfc. Adam Novikoff, 21, of Oregon, also is attached to Blue Platoon, Company D, 3-69. The M240 gunner recalls frying the barrel of his weapon that afternoon when he fired more than 1,000 rounds of suppressive fire. When he recalls the incident, he says it wasn’t exactly what he figured life had in store for him a little more than a year ago. At that time, he hadn’t considered joining the Army and thought little about the war. “I had a house, all the toys, and was engaged to be married,” Novikoff said. “I had a really nice life. That was until my girlfriend cheated on me with a guy I worked with.” Novikoff, who was working at a tire store, quit in disgust. “I told the guy, ‘I quit!’ Then I threw a tire at him,” Novikoff said. “After that, I kind of lived like a bum for a while and joined the Army. It’s a classic story.” Oddly enough, Novikoff said he didn’t realize at the time he would wind up in Iraq, much less the streets of Ramadi. “I guess it was in the back of my mind, but I thought I’d wind up at Fort Lewis,” Novikoff said with a grin. “I had probably watched about an hour of news since the war started.”
Benning torch party leaves Saturday for Iraq
Trained and Ready for Deployment
Jan. 25, 2007. One
brigade is already in Kuwait on its way to Iraq. In the next few months,
first in mid March, then mid May, and finally June, the rest of the 3rd
Infantry Division will follow.
3rd ID Heads
Back to Iraq
Members of the 3rd Infantry Division are already preparing for another deployment. One hundred soldiers boarded a plane last night for Iraq and others left last week. More members of the 3rd ID’s 1st Brigade Combat Team are expected to leave in the next few weeks. Thanks to the USO, there's one package soldiers won't leave without.
"Your families must be proud of you. Thank you and hurry home," is part of a note that’s in just about every care package the USO gives to troops when they're deployed. "A flight leaves at 2 o'clock in the morning, I'm there and one leaves at 5 o'clock. One leaves at midday -- I'm there. It's just an honor to be with those courageous men and women," says Mary Nelson Adams, the Savannah USO’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Baby Wipes and Calling Cards
Since members of the 3rd ID are heading back overseas, Mary and other volunteers are making sure they have enough care packages for the soldiers -- packages filled with everything from magazines to a 100 minute calling card. Mary says, "That's the main thing they look for. But the other stuff is appreciated, too."
Like baby wipes. That's one item Specialist Nathan Hawkins loved the last two times he was deployed. "You don't have time to get everything you need and it seems like they kind of get everything together where they don't forget a lot of things you do forget," says Nathan. Helping soldiers like Nathan is why Mary loves working with the USO. "These men and women are going off for our freedom and this is my main purpose for contributing my time and I feel very honored," says Mary.
More than 3,500 soldiers are members of the 3rd ID’s 1st Brigade.
You Can Help
If you'd like to volunteer with the USO or make a monetary donation to them, Mary says to give her a call at (912) 354-5794. For more information about the USO, log on to their website.
American Red Cross Searching for Volunteers
The American Red Cross is also looking for volunteers to help at Hunter Army Airfield's deployment site. The organization provides refreshments as well as comfort kits for soldiers to use during their trip to Iraq.
If you'd like to volunteer with Savannah's American Red Cross chapter, give them a call at 651-5300.
Infantry Division -
Feb 16, 2007. The Defense Department announced Feb. 16 that the 3rd
Infantry Division Headquarters, from Fort Stewart, Georgia, will
deploy to Iraq beginning in March 2007. This headquarters previously
was scheduled to deploy for Operation Iraqi Freedom in June 2007, as
announced on November 17, 2006, but will now be accelerated by a
little over three months. The unit leadership notified the Soldiers
and their families prior to this announcement.
Tue, Feb. 20, 2007:
Brigade’ takes over Ramadi
|Insurgents attempt a surge of
Troops take on determined militants in volatile Ramadi
By Monte Morin, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Wednesday, February 21, 2007:
RAMADI, Iraq — The 3rd Infantry Division has fought two previous
tours in Iraq, but as Lt. Col. Mike Silverman and his “Speed and
Power” soldiers are quickly learning, the enemy in this battered
city is unlike that of previous tours.
The recent car bomb assassination of a highly
skilled Iraqi Police commander and another such attack on an Iraqi
Police post Monday were part of this three-pronged enemy offensive,
according to commanders. The offensive, they said, was aimed at
intimidating local residents from cooperating with new Iraqi Police
or U.S. forces, assassinating Iraqi Police and government leaders,
and attacking U.S. troops.
Over the past few years, Ramadi has functioned as
a de facto training camp for these Islamist fighters, commanders
say. Those who pass the course survive; those who don’t, die.
“There’s nothing more Darwinian than an insurgency,” Silverman said.
“The gene pool for poorly trained and unthinking insurgents gets
cleaned out pretty quickly.” In Silverman’s area of operations,
there are perhaps 100 or 200 such fighters, operating in autonomous
cells, and communicating via couriers or Internet cafes.
3ID Camo Patch Cap
Black Tee Shirts
OIF Heroes Jr. Baby Doll T-Shirt
|Free Packing Materials
from the US Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is offering free packing materials to spouses
and families of military members who are deployed overseas.
To take advantage of this service call:1-800-610-8734 and press 1 (for English &
then 3 for an operator), alternate direct line 1-800-527-1950 and they will send you
free boxes, packing materials, tape and mailing labels. These products are to be
used to mail care packages to service members. Make sure you ask for CARE KIT 4.
You will receive:
Click Here to go to the Current OIF 2007 Page
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