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Btidy, ly 99)9
The "jointness" of
Army Command Sgt. Maj.
Joint Detention Group Command Sergeant a..laji .
According to Webster's Ninth New Collkil.,tc ~.9
Dictionary, "joint" means united. It involves ith united ic
activity of two or more participants. In the militu n jo11nt
constitutes an activity, operation or organization inI \ lic I
elements of more than one armed service particliLtcs. A
task force is a temporary grouping under one lik.dc i fo
the purpose of accomplishing a definite object"% c
Joint Task Force Guantanamo is a uniquely constliutitd
force designed for a specific mission and molded out of
military units, organizations and personnel from ith A.inll
Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard ,o\ cimcI in. I
agencies, Department of Defense employees, conitictoio
and other sources all focused and concenlimucd on
providing safe, humane, legal and transparent c iec
and custody of detainees. Three main organizations .
fall under the command and control of the Jo in '
task force, and they are honor bound to defend /
freedom. The organizations that comprise r /
the JTF are the Joint Intelligence Group, th .
Joint Medical Group, and the Joint Detention
Throughout my career, I have deployed -"
numerous times and often have been assigned
within a task force, but rarely to a JTF. As I pas -
my "year on GTMO" mark on the calendar, I
continue to be impressed maybe even amazed f
- at how well all these organizations work
together. Recently I sat, sometimes quietly 'I
and sometimes not so much, through several
arduous planning meetings and strategy '
sessions. It sounds pretty boring, but it was a
really fascinating thing to watch unfold. Never '
before have I witnessed the cooperation,
partnership and sharing of information .! j '
and ideas that took place between the.
aforementioned organizations, even within ..
a task force made up of a single service.
Government employees, Soldiers, Sailors. ,
Airmen, contractors, colonels, captains, chief .
petty officers, sergeants, masters-at-arms and .
privates all had a say a voice.
Decisions with national strategic
implications were made by our leaders, but -
not without first hearing and giving much .
consideration to the information provided b\
all especially our guard force. Every day lu1s i
same scenario plays out, over and over again. \\ C
are part of a professionally-run organization Jnd il
you most likely will never experience anytluiin-
quite like it again. So get your heads up, and N\ lln I
much of the world debates the future of detlnicc
operations at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay \ on
can concentrate on your part of our mission at hu nd i
and be proud of being part of Joint Task FoicL .
Guantanamo. I know I am. Q
PAGE 2 THE WIE
I la Pear .r. mln Da i3 P, Tn.:.nia Jr
Joint Task Force Command Masler
11a :rr, o n and ., lasi-r Cnif Peln,
',ri'er S.-..II Flemin.:q
Ollice of Public Allairs:
11.., LI Cndr Bro..ok Dev all 9'9-.
-rn',i r,,la Diana Ha,nie 99'7
rn-m 1-' 531 Shellie L', is 3.-'.
Lrn', 1 LI Chris, Cuine 1 71
Command Inlormallion NCOIC:
Mrnm Sgl 1 Class Michiael Gn'Oision 36i1
"rni, Slaif Si Emil, J PusSell 3"59
"rmi, Staff Sql Blair Heus.en3 ; 3.594
Mrni Sg. l r,1linael Bal iz ?35..9
mrn-m Sgi Enmil, G:reen- '3:-.:
ArmyV Spc April ia- Mrmas 3304-
Arnim Spc Da id P.:Lean 3304
Editor's Desk: 3-651 o:r 21 1
Fr.on'm he c:oniinenial uniiedl SIaies
Commercial: O11 .53.99 .' 51
DSN: .66.- 36. 1
Email: Ine. ireia';ilirim :o ;S Inh n'om mnii
Online: i in.:. ..i. Iii.Smo o n'r m ml
JTF Troopers from the Joint
Medical Group's Juliet Company
depart from Ferry Landing.
May 15. .'int TasI F,,i.:e
LGuan[ a am .I h.:t..:[ L', I, l Staff
Set E:a11 HeuLi iens
.. I E :r I ,, ,, : I .I: ,I T il I- :,
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S:TROOPER-To ,-T I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
TROOPER-TO-TROOPER I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
Ready or not:
Hurricane season is coming
U Do you know Naval Station Guantanamo Bay's destructive weather policy?
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Residents of Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay tend to feel fairly safe when it comes
to hurricanes. Though the island of Cuba
is often directly in the path of most major
Atlantic storms, Guantanamo Bay's position
protects this small piece of land from
feeling the brunt of most storms. The base
isn't invincible though; the right conditions
could bring a dangerous storm to our door.
Complacency can prove to be deadly.
According to studies by the Naval
Research Laboratory, "The geographic
location of the Guantanamo Bay area and
the surrounding terrain give the area some
protection from both high winds and stormy
seas, but this protection is limited. Records
show that Guantanamo Bay is vulnerable
to tropical cyclones approaching from all
The week of May 24-30 is National
Hurricane Preparedness Week in preparation T 2 hra S
for the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which
begins June 1 and runs through November
30. As the emergency manager, it is Chilson's
"Looking back through history, job to make sure the base has plans in place
Guantanamo Bay has had some close for all types of disasters and that those plans
calls," said Jan Chilson, the base emergency are adequate to keep the Troopers, civilians
manager. "It's just a matter of time before and contractors here safe.
one hits here." It's the responsibility of all Joint Task
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I MISSION
Force Guantanamo Troopers to be prepared
for disasters. Familiarize yourself with
base policy and procedures in the event
of severe or destructive weather. JTF
Troopers should also find out through their
chain of command who their unit's warden
is, the person responsible for keeping
accountability in the event of destructive
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
Instruction 3440.4, the base's destructive
weather plan, outlines procedures and
measures to be followed to reduce the
effects of destructive weather impacting
Five Conditions of Readiness (CORs)
exist for various stages of weather. At
each condition, there are tasks to do to be
"The Conditions of Readiness exist as a
step-by-step procedure so that we can get
ready in a timely manner," said Marine
Corps 1st Lt. Stephen Funni, the JTF
destructive weather officer.
The COR conditions are as follows:
COR 5 Winds of 50 knots or greater
are expected within 96 hours.
COR 4 Winds of 50 knots or greater
are expected within 72 hours.
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
Army Spc. Manuel Rios assists Army Sgt. Waldemar Camrelen in scheduling leave time. Assistance in coordinating
flight times and leave schedules are just one of the many services available to Troopers through the J-1 shop located at
the Trooper One Stop. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Sgt. Carmen Gibson
J-l shop keeps Troopers on track
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Sometimes the most vital military
purpose does not make it into the headlines.
Unfortunately, the Soldiers, Sailors, and
Airmen working behind the
scenes to keep the service
members deployed aboard
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
focused on their mission receive
little public recognition for their
According to the intranet
Web site, the Joint Task Force
Guantanamo J-1 shop may not
be the most glamorous wartime position,
but to question the significance of its
purpose is to, "fail to grasp how important
the following four words are to Troopers
deployed from home: Pay, Promotion,
Awards and Mail Call." Not to mention the
Trooper's ability to return home.
"I enjoy what I do. Because of our
efforts, I see a Trooper go home, get his
batteries charged, then come back and get
the mission done," said Army Spc. Manuel
PAGE 4 I THE WIRE
s, a J-1 administration specialist. "That's Helton arrived at Guantanamo Bay only
"n I know I've done my job." two weeks ago, and got to witness first-
n order to handle all aspects of human hand how the J-1 sections follow a Trooper
urces, the J-1 shop is divided into from boots on the ground until he steps off
eral sections. Rios works for the Joint the plane back home.
cessing Service Center a customer While the JPSC handles the travel for
ice-oriented station that takes care of any newcomer, it's the Joint Processing
Reception Center located on
I enjoy what I do. Because of our Leeward side at the airport
efforts, I see a Trooper go home, get terminal that handles the in-
p, processing for all JTF personnel.
his batteries charged, then come For each new Trooper, the
section specialists set up
back and get the mission done. accounts, issue badges and
Army Spc. Manuel Rios meal cards, and at check-out
time, coordinate with different
offices to help the Trooper
everything from flight schedules and leave
paperwork to promotions and awards.
Conveniently located in the One Stop
building in Camp America, the JPSC is
always looking to solve Troopers' problems
with leave, pay and even education.
"We do a lot of networking here, trying
to help solve everyday human problems,"
said Air Force Maj. Dwayne Helton, the
new J-1 deputy director. "You never know
what life's going to throw at you."
avoid unnecessary stress during the out-
In this way, the combined efforts of the
J-1 shop work as the backbone of all JTF
"JTF operations is a big thing because
of what the people do," said Army Lt. Col.
Saul Ferrer, the J-1 director. "It is ourjob to
keep the people informed, communicating
and tracking to keep them motivated to
carry on with the mission." 0
MISSION I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
The housing and administration shop of the Commissions Support Group maintains temporary lodging for legal
representatives involved in military commissions. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Sgt. Carmen Gibson
Lately in the national media, p
talk about military commissions b
Bay. Politicians, media outlets,
and the public all appear to be
on edge; everyone that is, except
for the Commissions Support
The CSG is responsible for
coordinating support for everyone
involved in the commissions
process and overseeing everything
from international transportation
to overnight billeting for the
attorneys, prosecutors and anyone
else involved with the trials.
"Lately we've been in
maintenance mode," said Navy Lt.
Nick Levine, the CSG officer-in-
charge, who views the reinstating
of military commissions as just
an increase in tempo for the CSG.
"Already we order materials,
budget billeting, and generally
maintain Camp Justice and the
cuzco trailers for attorneys who
continuously come down."
Working in support of that
mission are several different section
474th Expeditionary Civil Engine
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I MISSION
gt. is responsible for all of Camp Justice, which includes providing
ilbson power to all buildings and maintenance for the cuzcos that house
Public Affairs the attorneys and visitors. The CSG also depends on civilian
contractors to provide specific equipment for the hearings,
age after page is littered with and communicates consistently with the Office of Military
beginning again at Guantanamo Commissions in Washington, D.C., to ensure that all the facilities
are up to standard and everything
is in place before commissions
"We stay prepared because
basically, we never stop," said
Sgt. 1t Class Alex France, CSG
officer-in-charge. "We continue
maintenance and inspections that
way if anyone decides to use the
facilities, they're ready."
Even when actual commissions
proceedings are not taking place,
the CSG manages to keep fluent
: in detainee operations as well,
s...... .. .. -.athrough the ongoing legal briefings
S...between the defense attorneys and
their clients. These meetings remain
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michelle Orello, the constant even while proceedings
billeting non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the are on hold, and the CSG is tasked
Commissions Support Group, separates fresh linens for with providing lodging, security,
temporary lodging at Camp Justice. JTF Guantanamo cell phones and other necessities for
photo by Army Sgt. Carmen Gibson court appointees for the detainees.
"People think we're doing
nothing," said Army Lt. Col. Nelson
ns that make up the CSG. The Del Valle, deputy director of the CSG, "but in fact we are always
ering Squadron for example, preparing. We are always ready." O
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The GTMO Latinos served some justice on Justice Served during
the indoor volleyball tournament, May 18 at G.J. Denich Gym. After
coming in second in the league to the Justice Served team, the GTMO
Latinos came back to take the tournament.
The final match-up in the double-elimination tournament took place
Monday between the two teams. The second-seeded GTMO Latinos
won the first game 25-18. Justice Served came back in the second
game with a 25-16 win. The GTMO Latinos sealed the championship
by taking the third game 15-10.
During the 2009 Coed Volleyball League, Justice Served and the
GTMO Latinos stayed close together with 9 wins and 1 loss and 8
wins and 2 losses, respectively. The close pairing made for an equal
matching in the tournament.
The GTMO Latinos team is made up of a mixture of younger and
older players, including high schoolers, grandparents and everyone in-
between. The mixture of ages made the team feel like the underdogs
against an opposing team of 20-somethings.
"We weren't expecting to win, we were just there to have fun,"
said Army 1t Lt. Miguel Estrella, with the GTMO Latinos.
During the final games, the GTMO Latino fans cheered on their
team by stomping and pounding on the seats. The support motivated
the Latinos to push through to victory.
The final league standings were Justice Served finishing in first
place, followed by the GTMO Latinos in second and Bumps and
Dinks in third. PPI, Side Out, the GTMO Assassins and Goat Locker
finished fourth through seventh, respectively.
Though the current indoor volleyball season is over, organized
sports continue through the Morale, Welfare and Recreation sports
office. For more information, call ext. 2113. 0
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
PAGE 6 I THE WIRE
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Comic book heroes often reflect the
darker side of human nature. Protagonists
like Spider-Man and Batman have ingrained
themselves into the American psyche,
intriguing audiences with their brooding
sense of carefully controlled danger.
Wolverine is another in this pantheon of
"X-Men Origins: Wolverine" takes
the viewer deep into the world of this
grouchy, sensitive loner who scowled
his way through the first three "X-men"
pictures, keeping everyone wanting more.
This movie tells its audience just what
makes this character so intriguing and
The film starts out with a brief, hurried
explanation of Wolverine's (Hugh
Jackman) entry into life as a mutant
and continues with him fighting, and
mysteriously surviving, a series of wars.
Those not familiar with the Marvel series
from which this film, directed by Gavin
Hood, has been adapted may be surprised to
learn that Wolverine is actually Canadian.
Also, he has a brother, Victor Creed, better
known as Sabretooth (Liev Schreiber),
who is a very bad dude.
The film tells the audience just how
Wolverine manages to go from being an
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
ordinary sort of mutant, with bone claws
and bushy hair, to an indestructible force
with a skeleton of adamantium. It also tells
us just why this guy is so ticked off.
Alongside the expected action scenes
and special effects, there is a softer
side to the movie that provides depth to
Wolverine's motivations and explains
his emotional turmoil. His troubled
relationship with his brother is a rather apt
commentary on the bond between siblings,
despite any amount of differences. The
necessary love story provides Wolverine
his name and a motivation for vengeance,
while drawing the viewer further into the
emotional intensity he oozes.
Lest the movie err too far on the gooshy
side, William Stryker (Danny Huston) is
a worthy opponent. The sadistic military
scientist (who might be just a little bit
mad) is hell-bent on creating the perfect
weapon through his experiments on the
mutant community. This character proves
that the scariest people are those working
behind the scenes.
Alongside the principals, the characters
of Gambit (Taylor Kitsch) and John Wraith
(Black Eyed Peas performer Will.i.am)
deserve honorable mention. They add an
element of humor and show off just how
cool some of the other mutant powers can
be. The viewer is left wondering what
else mutants are capable of and whether
they will get to see more in future X-Men
Whether you are a comic book devotee,
or just happen to see this movie for fun, the
experience is everything it should be; fun,
entertaining, and at times even thought-
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
Staying sane at GTMO
Navy Lt. Cmdr.
Being away from family and working in a stressful
environment is difficult for the best of us. I am frequently
asked what people can do to better handle stress. It is my
hope that this article will provide a basic understanding of
stress, ways to manage and cope with it, as well as provide
resources available to those who may desire additional
It is important to understand what stress is and where it
comes from. The formula for creating stress is quite simple;
stress is generated when there are things that greatly impact
a person and they have little to no control over them. Some
examples of stress would be being away from loved ones,
long work hours, not making enough money, change in work
schedule, problems with co-workers or chain of command
and work responsibilities. Does any of that sound familiar?
Perhaps you may have some problems in a relationship at
home and have a difficult time communicating due to poor. 'L: ,
Internet connections or the inability to call home regularly. W;:. ;k
Perhaps your co-workers have differences of opinions on I .:
how things should be done or your work schedule drastically
changes to more days on, fewer days off or from working
days to nights. Understand that while working at Joint al eH
Task Force Guantanamo, you are likely to have numerous
experiences that will greatly impact you and you may have
little power to control them.
So, how do we manage these changes this stress? You
have to have accurate expectations. If your expectation is to
completely eliminate stress altogether so you feel just fine
and happy all of the time, you are probably setting yourself
up for frustration. Sometimes life deals us a certain hand of
cards and it is up to us not to focus all of our attention on
how unfair or difficult the cards are, but to play the hand
we are dealt. We can begin to manage our stress by finding
those things in our life over which we do have 100%
control and then doing them. Make sure you are going
to bed on time, working out, writing in a journal, playing
video games, going for walks, watching a sunset or sunrise,
communicating with loved ones, practicing playing an
instrument, going to church, etc. These are all things over
which you have complete control.
I am not naive enough to believe that doing these
activities will make your life happy and complete and
everything will be wonderful. What I do know is that when
you begin to focus on what you can control and exert your
emotional, physical and spiritual energy on what you can
do, you will lessen the negative impact stress can have on
you. Be your own best advocate and work on the things
within your power. This will help manage your stress.
If you feel that your stress is becoming too unbearable
or you have other things that are bothering you, please The Fleet and Family Support Center is offering a course in
do not hesitate to contact someone for help. There are Stress Management
numerous services available to Troopers here who may
need assistance. Please feel free to contact the chaplains, May 26, 9:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.
the Fleet and Family Service Center, or the Joint Stress Fleet and Family Support Center Bldg. 2135
Mitigation And Restoration Team. We are all here to help
you. For assistance through JSMART, please come to our For more information, call ext. 4141.
office in Camp America, call us at ext. 3566, or stop any
of our outstanding technicians as they are out and about in
the camps. 0
PAGE 101 THE WIREfi
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
Navy nurses and Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Joint Medical Group celebrate
the Navy Nurse Corps birthday during morning quarters, May 14. JTF
Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
With a heritage of more than 100 years,
the Navy Nurse Corps continues to provide
medical care at home and overseas to
military personnel, their families, civilian
populations around the world and, at Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay, detainees in
custody at Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
Medical personnel from the Joint Medical
Group recently celebrated the 10 1t birthday
of the Navy Nurse Corps.
The Navy Nurse Corps was established
by Congress in 1908, however, prior to
that, many women worked as nurses aboard
Navy ships and at Navy hospitals, offering
help during times of war when nursing
services were greatly needed. During the
War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish-
American War, women performed nursing
duties for the Navy, often in dangerous
The Navy Nurse Corps began with a
group of 20 nurses known as the "Sacred
Twenty." Many of these nurses had previous
experience serving as contract nurses and
Army nurses prior to joining the Navy
Nurse Corps. At the end of World War I,
1,550 nurses had served in Navy hospitals
and other facilities at home and abroad. 19
of those Navy nurses died, several from
the influenza outbreaks that killed many on
both sides. During World War II, two groups
of Navy nurses were held prisoner by the
Japanese and later rescued or released.
Today, Navy medical personnel
have been deployed to places such as
Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, Zambia
and Ghana to assist in providing medical
and humanitarian assistance and have
served on the ground and aboard ships in
support of continuing operations in Iraq
At Joint Task Force Guantanamo, nurses
and other medical professionals have
an important, but at times trying, job. In
addition to caring for the military personnel,
contractors and families on base, medical
personnel provide continuing medical,
dental and psychiatric care to detainees at the
detention facilities here. Nurses also conduct
nutritional supervision for the detainees,
ensuring daily feedings are administered for
some of those who refuse to eat.
According to the JMG senior
nurse executive, the JMG nurses are
professional and highly-skilled with
diverse backgrounds. The nurses take care
of each other and share a bond that spans
throughout their careers.
"Being a nurse in the services [versus
being a civilian nurse] offers a sense of
camaraderie," the unit's senior nurse
executive said. "Whenwe go from command
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
Following tradition, the most
experienced nurse and the newest
nurse cut the cake for the Navy
Nurse Corps birthday celebration. -
JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Pfc.
to command, we know the caliber of nurses
we're working with."
The JMG's Kilo Company recently took
over for Juliet Company after a couple
weeks of left-seat, right-seat training.
During that time, the staff familiarized
themselves with their new surroundings
and the mission and made friendships with
those they replaced.
"Though we're saying goodbye to them
now," said the senior nurse executive, "We
know we'll see them again." 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
2009 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1
2009 Atlantic Hurricane
HURRICANE from 3Sul Kit
COR 3 Winds of 50 knots or greater are expected within 48 ter Sup ply K it
COR 2 Winds of 50 knots or greater are expected within 24 o I[ 0
hours. Lt nil t j
COR 1 Winds of 50 knots or greater are expected within 12
During hurricane season, the base remains at COR 5. Troopers
should at this time ensure they know where their designated
destructive weather shelter is and have a supply kit on hand with
enough food, water and essential items for 3-5 days and have
enough fuel in their vehicles in the event fuel stations close. At
COR 1, all non-essential telephone and cellular phone usage will '
cease, all personnel who live in non-hurricane resistant quarters -
will be directed to report to their assigned hurricane shelters -
when sirens are sounded and to remain inside until the "all clear"
signal is given, all classified material will be properly stored
and kept out of flood areas and all galleys and fuel stations will
Troopers living in housing areas that are considered to be
non hurricane-resistant must move to their assigned hurricane- -. .. I f( 1 1 -
resistant shelters if destructive weather threatens. Non hurricane- dIo 0 flHfEtl i O [
resistant housing areas include: Paola Point, Radio Point, Deer O'ic
Point, Marine Site, Marina Point, Camp America, Bay Hill,
Tierra Kay and Cuzco Barracks. Troopers in these housing areas i L
should check with their chain of command to determine which
emergency shelter they are assigned to.
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has a siren warning system.
The siren system is tested each Wednesday at noon. During
destructive or threatening weather, sirens will notify the base of
changes in CORs. For more information about the sirens and how
they sound, visit https://intranet/resources/weather.html.
Destructive weather poses a significant threat to personnel,
ships, aircraft, installations and other resources. Adequate and
timely weather warnings, coupled with prompt and effective
action, will minimize loss of life and property damage from
For more information on disaster preparedness, visit the Navy's
Operation Prepare Web site at www.cnic.navy.mil/cnic_hq_site/
OpPrepare/index.htm or the Department of Homeland Security
at www.ready.gov. Q
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
~Help keep GTMO clean
A i As you go about your day, stop and pick up trash
r around the base and on the sides of roads.
ighblod resurl Asth you goih caboutiouacl r da, tosndpikuptrs
QC~ounin th~po arounder the base and Zj-1-~moW n th e iiay storid~tes moft roads.
Boots on the Ground
What are your Memorial Day plans?
Navy Petty Officer 16s Class Army Capt.
Nanette Perkins Monica Gomez
by Army Sgt. Michael Baltz
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Army Spc.
Jeff MacRae Salgado Reynaldo
"I hope to have a "I am looking forward to
peaceful. fun day at having a day off."
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
"I'11 be home in
Detroit. I go on leave
"I am going to the beach
THE WIRE I PAGE 13
525th MP Battalion Chaplain
The Bible says in Luke 19:41-44, "As
He approached Jerusalem and saw the
city, He wept over it and said, 'If you,
even you, had only known on this day
what would bring you peace but now it
is hidden from your eyes. The days will
come upon you when your enemies will
build an embankment against you and
encircle you and hem you in on every side.
They will dash you to the ground, you and
the children within your walls. They will
not leave one stone on another, because
you did not recognize the time of God's
coming to you.'"
These are very sad words and a woeful
prophecy that comes true for Jerusalem.
The utter devastation that befell Jerusalem
happened for one reason; at least we're
only given one. The city was leveled and
many inhabitants were slaughtered, all
because they didn't recognize the time of
their visitation. In essence and perhaps
without knowing they rejected their God.
A careful study of history and nations
proves that the principle of God's patience
and subsequent blessings with nations is
based on the people's ability to recognize
the gracious, loving hand of God and His
Scripture declares, "Blessed is the
nation whose God is the Lord." With this
relationship comes all the peace one could
ever hope for but when a nation fails to
recognize or attribute their blessings to
God, they start down a slippery slope of
The same is true for individuals.
Scripture declares to all who have ears to
listen, "Behold I stand at the door (of your
heart) and knock; whoever opens the door
to me will be blessed with a relationship
that will transcend eternity." He says,
"Today is the day of your salvation. Today
if you hear my voice, do not harden your
hearts as they did in the day of rebellion."
The consequences of missing the time of
your visitation or, to put it more bluntly,
rejecting God are equally devastating.
Today is the day of your visitation. Of
the thousands of promises God makes a
man, tomorrow is not one of them. So if
you meditate for a moment and try to see if
God has been calling you into a relationship
with Him, you will indeed find that he
has been knocking...and knocking...and
He will continue to knock until your
last breath; but because you don't know
exactly when that is, it would be prudent
to answer before he grows tired of
knocking. So humble yourself under the
mighty hand of God that He may exalt
you in due time. I thought you should
know and He wanted me to tell you... You
think about that. O
II I Liii1M I
Sunday: 7 a.m. Confession
7:30 a.m. Mass
Spanish Catholic Mass
Sunday: 5 p.m.
at NAVSTA Chapel
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009
PAGE 14 1 THE WI\IRE
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Isaac Blakely, with Port Security Unit 305, instructs an art student at W.T. Sampson
High School at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, May 1. Blakely, a Joint Task Force Guantanamo Trooper, is a professional
artist and volunteers his time to help enhance the talents of students. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Sgt. Michael
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
When a Trooper joins the military, it is
on a voluntary basis. Many join the military
merely to fulfill a civil obligation. For Coast
Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Isaac Blakely,
it doesn't stop there. He takes volunteering
beyond the military spectrum during his
deployment to Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay with Port Security Unit 305.
Blakely assists Sonja-lee Pollino in her
W.T. Sampson High School art class on a
weekly basis at Naval Station Guantanamo
Blakely, who is a Joint Task Force
Guantanamo Trooper, is a professional
artist who displays his work in the Blue
Skies Gallery in the heart of Hampton, Va.
"I started at six years old. Before I
could even write, I was drawing," Blakely
recalled. "When I was 10, I completed my
first water paint course. I have hopes and
dreams of becoming a well-known artist."
Blakely is a former high school teacher
and when he learned about the high school
and the art program, he felt it was calling
"I always wanted to continue teaching,
so I introduced myself to the art teacher
and told her I would volunteer in any
way," said Blakely, who believes that
volunteering is more of a privilege than a
duty. "Mrs. Pollino more than welcomed
me to volunteer and help out."
Blakely tutors two students; one is
an advanced placement student. He
helps out Pollino on a regular basis and
said he typically works on the students'
fundamentals as well as offering a few tips
"Isaac has volunteered several times,"
said Pollino, the art teacher and the gifted
resource person at the high school. "He co-
instructs classes with me, and on a couple
of occasions, he has taught the whole class
by himself. We planned before the class
and talked about what we were going to
Pollino also added how Blakely has been
a mentor for two of the young high school
boys, who look to him as a role model.
"A teacher can teach and students will
listen," Pollino said. "But when there is
a new voice, insight or perspective, they
really take notice."
Pollino believes that Blakely is a grand
asset to the art class for multiple reasons.
"Because of our isolation and limited
FRIDAY, MAY 22, 2009 I 15 MINUTES OF FAME
access to galleries, he is a very rich
resource," Pollino said. "Not only to see his
work, but to see him at work. The students
are able to see his work in progress, and
how he approaches a work."
The ability for Blakely to volunteer has
affected him in a very positive way.
"I enjoy working with kids and have
been able to easily find a connection with
young people," Blakely said. "It isn't
hard to relate with them and analyze their
weaknesses and use my skills to raise their
skills to a higher level."
Since Blakely has taught before, he feels
"at home" while volunteering. He said that
students are always looking for a good role
model or a good example and is happy that
he can fill that role for the students.
"All children have some special gift or
ability. Junior high and high school is the
age of illumination when they discover who
they are and what abilities they could or do
have," Blakely said. "I think it is great to be
able to influence students who have these
abilities and suddenly see a light bulb go
off and they are aware of their talent. It is
amazing to see stuff like that happen right
before my eyes. Many students I teach need
to know techniques, and it is cool to see the
children blossom." 0
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