Northwest Military Blogs: Army West Blog

Posts made in: November, 2010 (35) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 35

November 1, 2010 at 10:38am

191st Infantry Brigade mentor students

This from The News Tribune: Like Pied Pipers in camouflage, the men of the 191st Infantry Brigade draw a crowd of curious kids when they walk onto a school playground.

"It's the uniform," one of them quips, as small knots of students gawk and slowly inch closer to the military men.

The soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord feel at home here at Evergreen Elementary School in Spanaway. They visit weekly during lunchtimes to serve as mentors, friends, sounding boards and - on this sunny Wednesday - added players in a game of recess kickball.

To read the entire story, click here.

Filed under: News To Us,

November 2, 2010 at 2:53pm

Single soldiers to get new place to hang out

This from The News Tribune: The new "Warrior Zone" at Joint Base Lewis-McChord isn't going to be a place to practice firing an M4.

It's designed to become a place where single soldiers can hang out, eat and play games. The $10 million site is under construction by Stellar, a Florida contractor, and it's expected to open next year.

To read about the features and see an artist rendition, click here.

Filed under: Fort Lewis, Games, News To Us,

November 3, 2010 at 12:07pm

Madigan to educate 400 soldiers, families about TBI

MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Tacoma, Wash. - More than 400 Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers and family members are registered to attend a Traumatic Brain Injury Symposium sponsored by the Madigan Healthcare System November 4 at the McChord Field Club.

The event features an array of guest speakers, as well as interactive educational activities and displays presented by Madigan staff and local community professionals. The daylong symposium is designed to complement the reintegration process of our returning warriors. 

Scheduled speakers include Dr. Frederick Flynn, medical director of Madigan's TBI program; Dr. Bridget C. Cantrell, author of "Down Range: To Iraq and Back"; and Drs. Dennis Kelly and Lars Hungerford, Madigan neuropsychologists with expertise in TBI and memory and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Symposium participants will also be able to share their personal experiences in a visual-art "Tell Your Story" activity, ask questions during an open microphone panel discussion and meet Herschel Walker, who will share his story of combating a behavioral health stigma. 

Filed under: Education, Familes, Health, Veterans,

November 3, 2010 at 10:37pm

Survey: Veterans who go back to school wish they had more support

This from The Washington Post: Enrollment of veterans is surging at America's college campuses, but as a group they don't feel supported and understood, according to a national survey.

Researchers with the National Survey of Student Engagement interviewed nearly 11,000 veterans who were first-year students or seniors at four-year schools. The veterans reported interacting less with their instructors than did classmates who had not enlisted, and they were less likely to partake in educational opportunities such as internships or study abroad.

The Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research produces the survey each year to measure how students and faculty interact and learn. The latest, results of which will be released Thursday, found that colleges should "seek ways to more effectively engage student veterans in effective educational practices and provide them with the supportive environments that promote success."

Transitioning from military life to civilian life is difficult enough, but trying to fit in on a college campus is "a culture shock that's hard to adjust to," said Michael Dakduk, the deputy executive director of Student Veterans of America, which has chapters on more than 300 campuses.

To read the entire story, click here.

Filed under: Education, Veterans,

November 5, 2010 at 10:21am

Facebook brings the Afghan war to Fort Campbell

Here's an interesting story from The Washington Post about the role social media is playing in how deployed soldiers communicate with their families back home when their unit suffers a fatality.

Here is an excerpt from the piece: To ensure that a service member's family does not receive the news of a death by e-mail, phone or an errant Facebook posting, the military temporarily shuts down Internet access to deployed units that suffer a fatality. In today's era of ever-present connections, such blackouts are rarely enough to cut off the flow of information.

Only hours after the explosion on Monday, June 7, the news that something terrible had happened spread among the three dozen wives of Gator Company through social-media sites and text messages. Worried spouses called the battalion's rear-detachment headquarters at Fort Campbell, searching for news. They posted prayers on Facebook. They scoured the Internet for scraps of information about their husbands' fates.

To read the story in its entirety, click here.

Filed under: Afghanistan, Army News, Familes,

November 5, 2010 at 1:05pm

Article 32 hearing set for JBLM soldier

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - A Joint Base Lewis-McChord investigating officer will convene an Article 32 hearing here at 9 a.m., Monday, November 8, to examine evidence regarding the charges preferred against Cpl. Emmitt R. Quintal, a 5th Stryker Brigade Soldier facing charges associated with an on-going investigation into incidents that occurred in Afghanistan during their deployment.

The hearing is scheduled for one day.

Charges against Cpl. Emmitt R. Quintal include:

  •  One specification of conspiracy to commit assault consummated by battery, UCMJ Article 81
  • One specification of unlawfully striking another Soldier, UCMJ Article 128
  • One specification of wrongfully using a schedule I controlled substance, UCMJ Article 112a
  • One Specification of wrongfully endeavoring to impede an investigation, UCMJ Article 134
  • One specification of violating a lawful general order, UCMJ Article 92

JBLM officials emphasize that the charges constitute an accusation and that the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Officially known as an Article 32 pretrial investigation, the hearing is similar to a grand jury investigation.  For this Article 32 hearing, an investigating officer has been appointed to look into the charges. The investigating officer will review the evidence presented by defense and prosecution attorneys in order to make a recommendation regarding the sufficiency of the charges and the appropriate level of court-martial. 

The Article 32 hearing will be open to the public, however space is limited.

Filed under: Army News, Crime, Afghanistan,

November 5, 2010 at 1:19pm

Army lists impact of expansion in Washington, Colorado

DENVER -- A draft report from the Army says stationing new aviation units in Colorado and Washington state would have some significant environmental or social impacts.

The report, made public Friday, says the Army's preferred alternative is to place one combat aviation brigade each at Colorado's Fort Carson and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

The report says each brigade would have up to 2,700 soldiers and up to 120 helicopters.

The report says soils at Fort Carson and its Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site could be affected, but the impacts could be mitigated.

It says traffic, noise, fish and water quality could be affected at Lewis-McChord, and that Yakima Training Center, could have more wildfires and that its wildlife habitat could suffer.

Filed under: Army News, Environment,

November 8, 2010 at 9:57am

Wash. National Guard welcomes home 204th Engineers

CAMP MURRAY, WA - The Washington National Guard will welcome home from Afghanistan approximately 100 citizen-soldiers in a ceremony scheduled for 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, November 9 at Building 33 on Camp Murray.  

The soldiers belong to the Washington Army National Guard's 204th Engineer Company headquartered in Centralia. Their missions in Afghanistan focused on route and area reconnaissance and clearance.

"The 204th's mission was absolutely vital to coalition efforts in Afghanistan.  We are very happy to have them back home and I congratulate them for record of excellence," said Major General Timothy J. Lowenberg, the Adjutant General and Commander of the Washington National Guard.

Soldiers of the 204th were consistently recognized for their excellence during their year serving in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Two Purple Hearts, 38 Combat Action Badges and 61 Army Commendation Medals were awarded to 204th soldiers; a number of other awards are still pending consideration.

November 8, 2010 at 3:01pm

Lakewood tattoo parlor offers Veterans Day special

Lakewood, WA  - This past year while medically retiring at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, former firefighter and Army SPC Joe Brown became involved with the nonprofit organization Operation Ward 57. 

As a statement to honor his fellow wounded warriors he wants to add their logo to his collection of meaningful body art this Veterans Day.  Joining him in this statement is James Dahl, a former Airborne Ranger scout sniper who received three purple hearts and a bronze star for his service and injuries.  

Active duty SSG Jason Dunn is co-owner of Flaming Aces Tattoo shop.  A lifelong artist, he learned to tattoo while stationed in Korea five years ago and has been passionate about it ever since.  Dunn was part of the initial wave of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 with the 1st Infantry Division and recently returned from a year deployment to Abu Ghraib with the 4th Brigade 1-38 Infantry.  While deployed, his business partner Sarah Fried, a military spouse and breast cancer survivor kept the shop going with their other tattoo artist, Nick Reese.  
When Brown approached Dunn to do this tattoo, he immediately agreed to donate it.  

"Operation Ward 57 supports the amputee ward (57) at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Warrior Transition Battalions around the country and has done a lot for us here at Task Force Phoenix."

Doug Cox, an Operation Ward 57 Board member and owner of PosterGIANT worked with designers Alex Lewis and Eoin Doherty to create the logo for a custom tour poster fundraiser for Suburban Noize Record's 2008 "Strange Noize Tour." 
The designers put a lot of thought into the logo saying, "The primary element is based on the official insignia for Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The staff with wings and serpents wrapped around it is known as the Caduceus, an old symbol that has  come to be used in medicine. We replaced what was formerly the helmet of Minerva, who was the Goddess of Wisdom and the Patroness of Medicine, with an old style Army medical hat first used in WWII, crosses were hand painted in a variety of ways to identify medics on the battlefield. The color of the shield is a deep sanguine red representing blood." 

Dunn has offered a special rate of $100 (not including tip) for others who want to also get the logo tattooed and show their support for this special cause.
Joe Brown & James Dahl will be tattooed from 12 - 4 pm, on Veteran's Day, November 11th at Flamin Aces. 10003 Bristol Ave. SW Lakewood WA, 98499.    

Filed under: Arts, Benefit, Veterans,

November 9, 2010 at 10:50am

1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) to remember comrades

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - Soldiers of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) will honor a fallen comrade during a sunrise re-dedication ceremony at the unit's memorial wall on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 9 a.m. 

The name of Sgt. Andrew James Creighton will be unveiled as the most recent addition to the roster of fallen Soldiers memorialized on the wall. 

The 1st Special Forces Group Memorial Wall honors Soldiers who have died while serving on missions around the world. The wall currently has 168 names memorialized on it. 

Creighton died July 4 in the Uruzgan Province of Afghanistan while conducting combat operations. 

More information about Creighton's military service can be found on the United States Army Special Operations Command web site at:

Filed under: Afghanistan, Ceremony, Honors,

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