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What did you do at
Air Force Master Sgt.
474th ECES 1st Sgt.
The question, "What did you do at GTMO?" will undoubtedly be
asked of all of us when we return home or move to our next duty
station. On the surface, it is a simple enough question which most will
respond, "We did our duty, our job and in our down time snorkeled,
dived, biked, played ball, read a book and had dinner
with friends," orin otherwords, fairly normal stuff. The
reality of it though is that the most simple questions
do not have a correspondingly simple answer.
Numerous times as First Sergeant I have been
asked by the Airmen that I have had the privilege
to serve with the question, "Why are we here and
why is this mission so important?" The first part of
the question is by far the easiest; we were directed by
our Commander in Chief to report to Joint Task Force
Guantanamo to support Operation Enduring Freedom
and our nation's war on terror. The second part of that
question is a bit more complex. "What is so important
about the mission we do here at GTMO?" I find "just
doing our duty," to be too simplistic, the reality of
it is we are contributing to our country's fight
against terror and play a vital role daily.
Most of us don't carry a weapon and most
aren't going into harm's way outside the wire
on a daily basis. On the contrary, those who
do go into harm's way at GTMO, do so
inside the wire. The vast majority of us sit
behind a desk, carry a tool bag, wear a hard
hat, patrol the base or bay, or make sure
we all get our pay and entitlements. You
may not believe it, but by doing so you are
supporting the war on terror. You just have
to change your perspective.
Have you ever seen a large photograph
that is made up of other smaller
photographs? The ones which from a
distance you see the large photo but as
you move closer to it you begin to realize
that smaller, individual photos actually
make it up. We in JTF are those smaller
photographs. We supply the support and
services to those whose job it is to bring
justice to those accused of crimes of
terror. We support the end to the means.
By doing so, JTF Guantanamo honors
the war fighter out on the tip of the spear.
We do so by contributing the final smaller
photographs to the larger mosaic of the war on
We demonstrate to the world daily our
patriotism and professionalism. It is something
we should all feel a sense of pride and
accomplishment about. You just have to step
back from time to time and view the bigger
picture to appreciate your contribution to it.
The Change of Command is complete
for the 474t Expeditionary Civil Engineer
Squadron at Camp Justice. We will return to the
states to once again be with our family and
friends. We will take with us the memories of the
new friends and colleagues we've made here at
GTMO. Goodbye, Good Luck and God Bless. O
PAGE 2 I THE WIRE
TROOPER-TO-TROOPER I FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
Army Staff Sgt.
Emily J. Russell
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
A memorial service honoring Navy
Airman Andrew S. Charpentier was held
July 27, at Joint Task Force Guantanamo,
to pay respect to him, his family and give
Troopers a chance to share their memories,
tears and lift each other up in fellowship.
Aviation Electronics Technician Airman
Andrew Scott Charpentier, 21, of Great
Falls, Mont., died July 23 at Jackson
Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla., from a
non-combat related illness incurred while
assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Guard
Battalion, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Charpentier enlisted in the Navy in
March 2007 withinthe advanced electronics
field. After training, he answered the call to
Joint Task Force Guantanamo as part of the
Joint Detention Group, Navy Expeditionary
"He completed avionics technical
training in June, 2008," said Navy Cmdr.
Michael Fulgham, NEGB commander.
"Immediately after his training, he was
handed the curve-ball of coming down to
JTF Guantanamo afterbeing firmly rooted
into the aviation community. Charpentier
answered the call without hesitation or
doubt and from his initial arrival, he
established himself as a man of character, a
shipmate and [someone] who would always
remain in our hearts and minds."
Friends and colleagues took time to
remember Charpentier and share their
memories with members from all branches
of service. The ceremony was mournful,
but held a spirit of hopefulness as Troopers
spoke of Charpentier's antics, insightful
nature, love of family and dedication to
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 I MISSION
service, and his team.
"I knew Charpentier by his performance
in the camps," Fulgham said. "There are
men and women in the camps who flat-out
give entirely of themselves. This young
man, I knew him by reputation and by sight
... he was the one who gave of himself to
serve with his shipmates without hesitation,
without fail. He was the go-to guy, not just
by reputation, but by word of mouth."
Forthose who were closerto Charpentier,
like his roommates, their perspective of his
character was well-rounded.
"I got to see a side of 'Charpy' that
most people didn't see," said Navy Petty
Officer 1t Class Dennis True, a friend
and roommate of Charpentier. "He was
very deep, and very quiet. I remember one
Saturday morning, sitting out on the back
patio having a conversation about religion
and politics two subjects I don't do well
with. I was shocked to hear how deep and
insightful this young man was, something I
never expected from a 21-year-old man."
True, impressed by Charpentier's artistic
and musical ability, smiled as he shared
the details from that Saturday-morning
"At the flick of the wrist, he wrote a song
on his guitar ... it was incredible. He was a
free spirit, artistic, who hadn't quite found
his place yet. [His wife], Kathleen helped
him ground himself. I remember when he
came to me and let me know he was going
to pop the question [over his Web-camera]
... we were all watching off to the side and
saw the tears streaming down her face [on
the computer screen], she was ecstatic and
he was on cloud nine from that point on.
There was nothing that brought him down,
Kathleen truly was his life."
True's words and courage to speak to the
crowd inspired other members of the NEGB
to come forward and share their words.
"I'll never forget Charpentier," said
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Danielle
Thomas, a friend and shipmate. "He was
the only one from my company who every
time he saw me said, 'Hey Thomas,' and
gave me a hug."
Thomas shared a memory of Charpy,
from the time they were training at
Ft. Lewis, Wa., just prior to coming to
"We were doing [Oleoresin Capsicum
training], I was holding the bag, and
after he was sprayed [with the oleoresin
capsicum, better known as pepper spray]
he ran up to the bag and started jumping
around, it was really funny. I know that's
how [many people in this rotation] will
The mention of the training at Ft. Lewis
brought smiles and laughter to the team
Charpentier served with, helping Troopers
celebrate his life, and the moments that
brought them together as a team.
"Being the senior enlisted [leader for the
team Charpentier served with], and going
through the training that Petty Officer
Thomas spoke of, if you ask anyone, or
try to identify Charpentier, it was about
his video," said Navy Senior Chief Petty
Officer Jodi Myers. "That man was so
proud of his video; he would walk around
with his laptop, just to show you his video
[of the training].
"WhenI speakofa truewarrior, someone
who has so much pride in [their] job -that's
[Charpentier]," Myers continued. "He was
a Sailor who knew what he came here to
do, and wanted to give 100 percent to do
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The 474h Expeditionary Civil
Engineering Squadron will have new faces
to support the mission as West Virginia Air
National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing departs
after six months of service to Joint Task
The unit, often referred to as Base
Emergency Engineer Force, orPrime BEEF,
turned over command to an Arkansas Air
National Guard unit after a successful tour,
"The mission of the 474th [ECES] is
the sustainment of Camp Justice and the
Expeditionary Legal Complex," said Air
Force 1st Sgt. Charles Brown, with the 130th
Airlift Wing. "We have been responsible for
ongoing operations with the infrastructure
of the camps and Expeditionary Legal
Complex, including heating and air
conditioning, electrical wiring, plumbing
and all the things we take for granted when
we move into a new home."
The BEEF has conducted several
projects supporting the JTF.
"We kept Camp Justice and the ELC up
and running. We were also able to get out
and assist the rest of the JTF on projects,"
said Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin, the out-
going commander of the 474th ECES.
"We worked on plumbing at Camp 5, the
recreational yard at Camp 6 and additional
facilities in Camp America for the Troopers
that live over there," Dulin continued.
As a result of completing successful
projects, the BEEF has become well-
"Our presence is what made us
successful," Brown said. "You can go
anywhere on this base and say BEEF and
PAGE 4 I THE WIRE
they immediately think of us. I think our
Airmen have gotten out into the broad
community and demonstrated their skills
and abilities, and people got a quality work
product. When we leave here, we will leave
a good name. I think we have set up the
incoming unit for success, since we have a
good first impression with several entities
Not only has Dulin's team been able to
complete mission essential tasks, they have
also been able to grow together.
"I now feel I have a unified
unit," Dulin said. "The morale has
been kept high. I haven't had a lot
of issues where people were getting
in trouble, and it seems most of the
base is well satisfied with the work
we have done."
Although the BEEF has
been successful, working in a
joint environment made things
"Being at GTMO, you have to get
the mind-set of ajoint environment,"
Brown explained. "I have worked
with all five services, and we all
work differently. We might be
talking about the same thing, but
in two different languages, so it is
important to be flexible."
With Morale, Welfare and
Recreation events and living on an
island, Airmen with the 130th have
been able to enjoy this deployment.
"I enjoy going to the beach and
all the activities here, the events
and concerts," said Air Force Senior
Airman Samuel Bymside. "I stayed
Air Force Senior Airman Nathan
Ansell has also enjoyed his first
"Getting to have hands-on experience
with the high voltage [equipment] has been
exciting," Ansell said. "It is cool to see
how everything is run. You hear all the bad
things in the press about GTMO, and now
I can go back and really tell people how we
do things here."
Most of the members of the 130th are
looking forward to returning home to spend
time with families.
"I cannot wait to go home and play with
my kids," Ansell said. 0
IVIISSION I 1-RIDAY, JULY 31, 2UU9
April D. de Armas
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
When new equipment is introduced to
the individual military branches, classes and
hands-on training are conducted to ensure
each Trooper understands how to use it.
For the Coast Guard Maritime Safety
and Security Team 91101 from Seattle,
Wash., it is no different. Coast Guard-wide,
changes are being made in regard to current
life vests worn by Coast Guardsmen when
The MSST's mission for the next six
months is to support Joint Task Force
Guantanamo with water and land security.
Like all other Troopers here, when new
equipment is introduced, training must
"Our Tactical Flotation Support Systems
are changing and the change will enhance
our ability to carry out our mission here
in GTMO and continue with us when we
return home," Coast Guard Chief Warrant
Officer 3rd Class Brian Mackey, assistant
operations officer, MSST said.
The new flotation devices will be worn
around the waist on the belts that Coast
Guardsmen use to attach various tools they
need to carry out their mission. The devices
are about the size of a canteen.
"The changes to the flotation devices
actually give us a more positive buoyancy
rate," Mackey said. "With the old ones our
buoyancy rate was about 35 pounds, but with
the new ones we have a positive buoyancy
rate of 80 pounds. This is helpful, since the
idea is to keep Troopers afloat even when
loaded down with mission-essential gear
and the added weight of body armor."
The training sessions for Coast
Guardsmen will be held at different times
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 I MISSION
over the course of the next week.
"During the different training sessions
held at the Windjammer Pool, Troopers
will don body armor and the new flotation
support systems," said Coast Guard Chief
Petty Officer Jason Jablonski, waterside
division officer, MSST. "They will jump in
and tread water for one minute. Afterwards,
the Troopers will exit the water and make
any adjustments to their gear as necessary,
jump back into the water and sink to the
bottom of the pool. Once they hit the
bottom they will then deploy their flotation
devices, which will bring them back to the
surface of the water."
Training is an ongoing process no matter
what branch of service a Trooper serves.
"Training is important to our Troopers,"
Mackey said. "Our Troopers need to know
how to wear and use their equipment as
well as build confidence in the gear that
could save their lives in an emergency or
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class
Jessica Martin, a coxswain with the MSST,
completed her training on July 24.
"They are kind of big when they deploy,
however, they will keep you afloat," Martin
said. "I think I will like them better though;
they take up less room than the old ones."
The Coast Guardsmen will start using
the new flotation devices immediately.
"Although, changes are sometimes
different and can be difficult for some, I
have every confidence in our Troopers that
they will continue working hard to serve the
JTF and adjust to the new gear with little
difficulty." Mackev said. 0
Coast Guardsmen ent
training on new flotat
training will teach Coa
new gear recently issu'
Guantanamo photo by
THE WIRE I PAGE 5
NavPtt Ofie 3 Clas Alxne Henndz Fle Main Forc copmn Main Cop Secrt Foc Company
Gunanm Bay had Sut wate as patciat pas a Shcpon Sn Sa ru alon th fec lin tha Sorde-
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JT Gunanm photo by Arm S Dai Mcea
Semper Fi-ve n
Guantanamo Bay. The area near this fence
line is off-limits to residents, and besides
c Affairs an occasional visit to the North East Gate,
there is not much opportunity to be near
iave watched the Cuban border.
o Cuba for Saturday, July 25, the Marine Corps
Naval Station Security Force Company allowed base
residents and Joint Task Force
Guantanamo Troopers to walk,
run, bike or Jeep five miles of
that fence line.
"One of the primary reasons
we do this is to offer the
Guantanamo Bay public an
opportunity to see the fence line
firsthand," said Marine Corps 1't
Sgt. Troy A. Nicks, MCSFCO
non-commissioned officer in
charge. "They read about it, but
they never get the opportunity to
actually see the terrain."
"I wanted to support the
Marines," said Navy Petty Officer
3"d Class Ace Rheame, a radio
broadcaster with the Defense
Media Activity Broadcast
Detachment. "You don't always
get a chance to see Guantanamo
history, run the fence line, pass
the towers or look directly into
The terrain along the fence
line is rugged and most of the
road is not paved. As the sun was
rising over the mountains, 204
participants hit the hills on a route
that took them from the North
East Gate to Kittery Beach. The
stretchofroadthey hadto navigate
was difficult for individuals not
PAGE 6 I THE WIRE
using motorized transportation.
"There were potholes and the road was
not really paved, I had to pay attention,"
said Rheame. "There was one hill in the
distance, and I wasn't able to run up it. I
made large steps and was eventually able
to get over it."
With the difficulties of this route, the
Marines had to prepare water, medical
personnel and equipment, communication
equipment and transportation in advance
to make sure the event was a total success.
Staff Sgt. Kenneth Waterman, MCSFCO
gunnery sergeant, was in charge of planning
and executing the mission.
"I think it went extremely well
logistically," Waterman said. "We ensured
our water stations were put in place, our
vehicles were coordinated, and made sure
everyone knew exactly what their role
was. We had to key in on security; keeping
everybody together, and made sure they
moved down the fence line and not into
With all participants crossing the finish
line, the mission was a success. The
MCSFCO will prepare for the next fence
line run which covers a longer stretch of
"This was an outstanding success,"
Waterman said. "I'm looking forward to
our next event, which is the 22-miler in
October. That's going to be even bigger
The events let the community have a
closer look at the country that surrounds
the base, and help to fund the Marine Corps
Ball in November.
For more information about MCSFCO
events, contact ext. 2344. Q
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
JTF Guantanamo Publi
Marine Corps sentries h
over the barbed wire int
decades, as they guard U.S.
Carmen S. Gibson
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Coming to terms with my overzealous addiction to literary
fiction of the magical caliber, and snide British conversations
involving such fluffy slang as "snogging" or "git," I anticipated
the release of the next "Harry Potter" installment as soon as the
house lights went up at the conclusion of the "Order of
the Phoenix." Thankfully, the hours I spent Googling
upcoming movie trailers were not wasted, and the latest
return to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was
well worth the wait.
"Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince" picks up
right where its predecessor left off, after Harry's, played
by the now post-pubescent Daniel Radcliffe, very public
encounter with the insanely powerful, yet disgustingly
evil Lord Voldemort. While the Dark Lord, as honorably
referred to by his meddling minions, the Death Eaters,
fails to make an appearance in the film, the concentration
primarily rests in his lack of presence, and adds a more
flavorful suspense to the upcoming wizarding battle that
With Voldemort's return, he nabbed Daily Prophet
headlines, the wizard community's version of the New York
Times. The Death Eaters disregard their cloaked secrecy
and began wreaking havoc in both realms. The action takes
off immediately, with buildings collapsing and bridges twisting into
heaps of metal cast into the River Thames just outside the crowded
streets of London. Amidst the turmoil, Harry and his sidekicks,
the loyal yet often misguided Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and
blossoming bookworm Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), head
back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The shift to a more dark and sinister magical world is felt by the
audience as fatal curses and mysterious potion books replace the
previously juvenile themes of
holiday pudding and jubilant
Quidditch matches. At the
forefront of the transition
is Professor Dumbledore,
portrayed by the well-
seasoned Michael Gambon,
and Harry's quest to stop
Lord Voldemort. By delving
into a few stored memories,
they discover the secrets
of his power and likewise
devise a plan to eradicate it.
The dangerous journey into
the mind and past of the Dark
Lord sets the stage for the
grand finale of good versus
evil in the seventh and final
piece in the series.
This sixth installment
serves up of slice of fantasy
for an assortment of movie-
goers, as "tweenagers" will
giggle with delight over the
love-potion induced coupling,
and action buffs will revel
in the wand-waving, curse-
Inevitably, the "Half-blood Prince" is a transitional
movie that bridges the gap between the beloved
children's tale and the rapidly evolving dark world
filled with magic, mayhem, and dramatic battle
scenes. Still, it is evident that this latest installment
succeeded where the "Lord of the Ring's" gap-
filler "The Two Towers" failed: to stand-alone as an
entertaining and fantastical journey. O
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
gS~:c: r :
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Army Substance Abuse Program
training may be considered a drag by some
Troopers, but for Troopers at Joint Task
Force Guantanamo and Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay, it was an hour filled with
Bernie McGrenahan, a comedian for
approximately 20 years, provided ASAP
training with a twist called, "Happy Hour."
"I am trying to bring a new twist to the
PowerPoint and slides," McGrenahan said.
"I am trying to connect on a personal level
with Troops through my comedy and my
McGrenahan performed four shows
while at GTMO, which allowed him
to touch several Troopers on different
schedules and help them achieve not only
personal benefits, but met the military
training standard as well.
"By Army Regulation 600-5, we are
supposed to do four hours per year of
[ASAP] training," explained Army Master
Sgt. Julio Espinet, the non-commissioned
officer-in-charge of personnel
administration at JTF Guantanamo. "His
show will count toward this. Most of the
people came here to have a good time
and laugh, and they got a message at the
same time. I am glad we are able to get the
message out there."
Bringing McGrenahan to GTMO has
been a year in the making.
"I have heard about him from a couple
of my colleagues," said Irma Vasquez, a
substance abuse prevention specialist with
U.S. Army South. "They said he has a
presentation that nobody has ever had.
"We have had trouble maintaining
prevention training due to shift-work,"
Vasquez continued. "So to ensure
[Troopers] get the message, we brought
something a little more exciting for them.
They get a personal, powerful story and a
laugh at the same time."
McGrenahan does have a presentation
like no other. He defines his "Happy Hour"
a little different than most people.
"I created 'Happy Hour' in 1999,"
McGrenahan said. "It is comedy with a
message. Instead of a full hour of comedy,
I start off with a half hour to entertain
Troops, then I share my experiences with
partying and alcohol hoping to inspire
some potential problem drinkers in my
audiences to make a change."
McGrenahan's goal is to relate to
Troopers. He tries to outline five to 10
points that Troopers can take from his
"I thought it was very funny and
realistic," said Army 1lt Lt. Joanna Graves,
a nurse with the Joint Medical Group. "He
PAGE 101 THE WIRE
was able to join the funny part of drinking
with a realistic message. I love the fact that
he is here to support the Troopers."
McGrenahan loves his job, even if he
has to relive personal tragedies on a daily
"It is draining to relive [my brother's]
death," McGrenahan explained. "I do it
because I know I needed help as a young
man and I believe there are young Troops
out there who need help. They need
someone to touch their heart like my dad
"My dad was able to say," he continued,
"'Bernie, all of your problems in life are
from drinking. You can keep on blaming
the girlfriends, blame your boss, blame
what is asked of you, blame your family,
but if you take out the drinking from all
your problems, all of the problems will go
away,' and he was right.
"I stopped the drinking and all of my
problems disappeared," said McGrenahan,
who now feels he is a man of principle.
"I hope to reach some people who are
struggling, so they can become twice the
person, twice the service member and twice
the family member they can be without
McGrenahan feels he is able to better
communicate his story because he is a
"I am not talking down to people, I am
not telling them what to do," McGrenahan
said. "I am making them laugh and giving
McGrenahan has been to more than 40
military bases in the past two years and
doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
"I will go anywhere with this tour. I
want to hit the whole world."
If you would like to find out more
about McGrenahan, visit his Web site at
VS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
April D. de Armas
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Life at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
is not always fun and games. Sometimes
when things aren't going right, depression
can set in and cause Troopers to have
thoughts of hurting themselves or worse;
taking their own lives.
The military has increased its efforts
to educate Troopers over the past 20-plus
years with programs like the Army Suicide
Prevention Program. However, more than
230 suicides were reported by U.S. military
officials in the last year.
"Our efforts to talk to Soldiers have
increased recently due to such staggering
numbers this past year," Army Capt.
Eric Bey, 525th Military Police Battalion
chaplain, said. "We have always given
classes annually, but now we try to reach
out more often to raise more awareness."
One tool chaplains use to combat suicide
are ACE cards. These cards give three steps
to help Troopers recognize changes in their
buddy's demeanor. ACE stands for: Ask
your buddy, Care for you buddy and Escort
"Since Troopers are the first to see
changes in each other, we rely on them to
help each other out and seek help if they
have noticed changes in their friend's
attitude or life," Bey said.
Resources are provided to Troops
serving in the Armed Forces such as Army
Substance Abuse Program training, open-
door policies with all commanders and
chaplains and professional counseling with
psychiatrists. AtNaval Station Guantanamo
Bay, the offering of resources and
help are abundant.
One source provided to Troopers at Joint
Task Force Guantanamo is the Joint Stress
Mitigation and Restoration Team.
"We provide a very important service to
JTF Troopers," Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Joli Barden, JSMART counselor, JTF, said.
"We work hand-in-hand with the chaplains
and Fleet and Family Services to make sure
Troopers who come to us seeking help with
depression can get the care they need."
In addition to providing in-house
counseling, JSMART counselors go out into
the community around the JTF to check on
Troopers and see how they are doing.
"We go into the camps on a daily basis,"
said JSMART counselor Navy Petty Officer
1st Class Nyobi Brogdon. "The rounds we
make are very effective in helping Troopers
release some pressure from a bad day by
just talking to a familiar face and being able
to unload. The non commissioned officers-
in-charge are very helpful. They will call
us if they see that their Troopers are having
a tough day or week so we can go over and
just check on them."
Troopers being proactive in taking
care of themselves is another way to
ensure depression doesn't set in. Taking
advantage of the activities like free bowling
on Wednesdays, scuba diving, snorkeling,
and college classes, Troopers can fill their
freetime, which can help keep depression
"We as chaplains encourage Troops to
take advantage of some of the things that
GTMO offers such as scuba diving," Bey
said. "We don't want them to sit inside
their rooms and allow circumstance to
overwhelm them. The Troopers have to
look out for their well being and take care
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
of their whole body and spirit."
Suicide prevention is a topic that all
senior non-commissioned officers and
commanders are concerned with and
address as often as possible with Troopers
in their charge.
"I brief my Troopers every week about
suicide and suicide prevention and I try to
make sure they know I am here for them
if they are having a hard time," Army Sgt.
Pt Class Miguel Bonilla, senior enlisted
advisor, Headquarters and Headquarters
Alcohol abuse is one of the many
concerns leaders have when dealing with
"We are concerned for our Troopers who
go out and drink because we want to make
sure they are not using alcohol to try and
boost their spirits if they are feeling down
or depressed especially since alcohol is a
depressant that can make them feel worse,"
Bonilla said. "We want them to understand
that if they need help they can come to me
or anyone else in the command and we
will do everything possible to ensure they
have all the help they need to get through a
JTF Troopers are encouraged by their
commands to seek help and to assist each
other when problems arise.
"If Troopers notice their buddies
are having a hard time, we encourage
them to talk to each other," said Barden.
"Sometimes the best resources people have
are their friends."
For information on how to get
counseling, or to ask questions that might
help other Troopers, contact the JSMART
office at ext. 3566 or visit the office at
Camp America building A3206. Q
THE WIRE I PAGE 11
Above and beyond
Joint Detention Group Commander Army Col. Bruce Vargo is presented with the Order of the Marechaussee by
Army Col. Wade Dennis, inside Joint Task Force Guantanamo's Camp Delta, July 30. The Marechaussee award is
presented to Army Military Police members that have performed at a consistent, outstanding, positive level within
the MP community. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Richard M. Wolff
Ferry Landing: Closed for Reconstruction
S1 Oct 2009
ravel will be by
LCU & U-Boat
Lane 1 Priority:
Gov. emergency vehicles during emergency ops
U.S. Mail vehicles
AMC Terminal baggage trucks
Vehicles authorized by Port Operations Officer
Lane 2 Priority:
Gov. and contactor vehicles
on official business
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
PAGE 12 1 THE WIRE
CHARPENTIER from 3
it. He never took the easy road. If there's
something we can remember, take pride
in what you do and use the example of
Charpentier because he was a true warrior
who took pride in what he did."
For the Troopers who didn't know
Charpentier as well, like newly-appointed
NEGB Command Master Chief Alfonso
Rivera, learning about the Trooper from his
predecessor was key to understanding his
"I didn't have the privilege of serving
with Charpentier, but Master Chief Ed
Moreno spoke well of him," Rivera said.
"Regardless of his ailment, he was always
focused on others. It speaks volumes of
his character, loyalty and his love for
[his] shipmates, family and in particular
Kathleen she was the love of his life.
Those who knew Charpentier often spoke
of how wonderful of a relationship he
and Kathleen shared and that she was -
indeed his hometown sweetheart. He
was looking forward to a life with her, and
intended to marry her when he left here for
his next duty station. I'm glad to see that
he was able to marry Kathleen, despite the
short time. They married two-and-a-half
weeks before his passing ... I think that's a
testament of their love."
Fulgham's words summed up the
sentiments of the dozen Troopers who
spoke about Charpentier.
"He was the type of individual who
gave of himself selflessly," Fulgham said
reverently. "He didn't have a selfish bone
in his body [and] always made sure his
shipmates, his wife and family were taken
care of, especially as he battled his illness.
He had a spark about him that inspired
his shipmates ... hopefully that memory
resides in our hearts as we move on and
hold what he meant to us as we go on with
Fulgham's advice to the Troopers of
Guantanamo Bay is to, "remember Andrew
Charpentier's memory and honor [him]
in all that [you] do." According to him,
Charpentier always stood up for what was
right and had a dedication and loyalty to his
shipmates that everyone could follow.
"Charpentier was an incredibly talented
young man, and very, very smart,"
Fulgham continued. "He was one of the
most enthusiastic, well-rounded Sailors
that you'd want in your command, and the
epitome of what we call a Shipmate. It's
what he did for us and how he made the
work-place better for everyone else around
him that we're certainly going to miss." 0
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 I VOICE OF THE FORCE
THE WIRE I PAGE 13
Air Force Lt. Col.
JTF Guantanamo Command Chaplain
I met a young lady, who would become
my wife, in first grade. Two years later; I
made my move. She may not have noticed,
but she sure caught my eye sitting two rows
over, so when an opportunity presented
itself, I slipped her one of those childish
notes asking her if she liked me because I
Though I wrote her a love letter in third
grade; nine years elapsed before she and I
went on a date. I worked hard to win her
attention and wasn't sure I had it until the
Christmas season when I used mistletoe
to my advantage. I still had my work cut
out for me, but eventually we began to date
and in the summer between college and my
enrollment in graduate school we married.
This month, this week, we celebrated our
25th wedding anniversary via e-mails, phone
calls and cards.
Please allow my sentimental indulgence
as I cite the writer of Proverbs 31 to express
my thoughts regarding my wife. "A wife of
noble character who can find? She is worth
far more than rubies. Her husband has full
confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of
her life. She selects wool and flax and works
with eager hands. She is like the merchant
ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets
up while it is still dark; she provides food
for her family and portions for her servant
girls. She considers a field and buys it; out
of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She
sets about her work vigorously; her arms are
strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading
is profitable, and her lamp does not go out
at night. In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She
opens her arms to the poor and extends her
hands to the needy. When it snows, she has
no fear for her household; for all of them
are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings
for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and
purple. Her husband is respected at the city
gate, where he takes his seat among the
elders of the land. She makes linen garments
and sells them, and supplies the merchants
with sashes. She is clothed with strength
and dignity; she can laugh at the days to
come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful
instruction is on her tongue. She watches
over the affairs of her household and does
not eat the bread of idleness. Her children
arise and call her blessed; her husband also,
and he praises her."
Needless to say, my wife and I know
what it takes to create a great marriage.
We have had the virtuous role models, the
right counsel and the commitment that TV,
Madison Avenue or the local hang-out don't
Using these latter sources for wisdom
reminds me of a colleague who said she
refers couples with relationship difficulties
to another colleague who was on his third
marriage. "After all," she said, "he has
had so much experience." That logic is
exasperating. That's like referring people to
a doctor who has lost two patients in a row
with your diagnosis and you are number
Please understand I am not passing
judgment if you have had a failed marriage.
Rather, I want you to see there is hope and
Twenty-five years of marriage has given
my wife and I a keen understanding of skills
that make marriage successful. To you,
the reader, commit yourself to make your
marriage last. Come to those of us who have
maintained a successful, happy marriage for
the best intervention. God bless you. O
! C JA!EI SCE U liiO I
6:30 a.m. Mass
Spanish Catholic Mass
Sunday: 5 p.m.
at NAVSTA Chapel
PAGE 14 I THE WIRE
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Many people have nicknames, and
Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ronald Comer is no
different. He has earned the nickname of
"Floyd the Barber," a character from the
Andy Griffith Show.
Comer, an information management
specialist with the 474th Expeditionary
Civil Engineering Squadron, has been
cutting fellow Airmen's hair since day
one of his deployment to Joint Task Force
"I never cut hair before," Comer said.
"The first night here, some guys wanted a
haircut and I just started practicing. I now
have over 40 customers."
Along with a table of magazines to read
while people wait for a haircut, Comer has
his own barber's chair, trimmers, razors
"I don't charge anything, I am just
helping out the guys," Comer said. "It builds
morale. It keeps them within regulation and
looking good. It also saves them the hassle
of sitting in line and getting a haircut. I do
get tips every now and then, but it isn't
Comer has evolved from day one;
cutting more than 400 heads of hair since
he has been here.
"I can do a fade," Comer said. "I am
pretty picky about things, so I try to do a
good job. I cut their hair to fit their head. I
want them to be proud of it."
Comer is dedicated to keeping his clients
"I can't cut people's hair when they are
busy, so I am pretty flexible," Comer said. "I
usually cut hair when people have free time
or in the evening or on the weekends.
I did one last week at 7 a.m."
Comer doesn't claim to be perfect
and admits to making mistakes along
"I have put the wrong guard on
before, but it all worked out," Comer
said casually. "I just cut it shorter."
One person he is sure to take care
of is the 474th ECES Commander,
Air Force Lt. Col. John Dulin.
"It is a great thing he is doing, it
allows everyone to look good," Dulin
said. "He gives a good haircut. We
give him the time and ability to do
Dulin said there would not be
any repercussions if Comer made a
"He hasn't messed up my hair,"
Dulin said. "Yet."
Unfortunately, the females haven't
been able to enjoy Comer's haircuts.
"They won't let me cut their hair,"
Comer said gloomily.
"I am going to start cutting my
wife's hair though; it will save me
some money," Comer added jokingly.
As far as continuing his new role in the
unit, it will not end anytime soon.
"[My unit members] want me to keep on
cutting their hair when I get home," Comer
said. "I have already made a deal with a
few of them to keep on doing it on drill
FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2009 15 MINUTES OF FAME
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