Share what you know
Army Master Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo J4 Property Book Officer
For a moment, I ask you to consider the following challenges
taking place every day in our daily military life. A second
lieutenant is looking for the latest doctrine and tactics, techniques
and procedures for convoy operations. A petty officer deployed
in Iraq is having difficulty opening online technical manuals and
ordering repair parts. A colonel wants to know how human
resource management is being integrated into current detainee
operations. A first sergeant is looking for sample standard
operating procedures he can leverage as his unit prepares
Topics may vary, but even in these few examples,
one resounding theme stands out: We need to
improve on sharing what we know with others in the
operating and combined forces of Joint Task Force
The volatility of the operational environment,
coupled with advancements in technology, have
outpaced our historical approach of relying solely on
e-mail, traditional Web sites and physical gatherings
as primary means of exchanging knowledge. These
methods still play an important part, but we all
know inboxes are full, too many Web sites exist and
location-specific events cannot adequately satisfy
our daily mission knowledge needs. If they did,
we would not encounter the many knowledge gaps
Today, active and reserve component commanders,
staff and Troopers want to readily collaborate with each
other and with members of other military organizations,
in settings commensurate with their operational missions,
functions and operating tempo. They need simple but
effective tools that provide access not only to those who
"know what" but also to those who "know how" and "know
who" by using virtual rolodexes of subject matter experts,
coaches and mentors.
Likewise, those of us in the combined force who serve and
support operational sustainment at GTMO need to actively
contribute our wealth of doctrine, training, education and
combat development expertise by engaging in these knowledge-
sharing venues, with an ear toward listening and responding to
questions, and sharing operational insights, best practices and
Commanders, staff, Troopers and contractors now have a single
entry point to a number of interdependent Web sites, documents,
repositories and collaboration enablers. Hot topics are visible to
all, with easy navigation to unique operating and combined force
domains. Direct access to communities, discussion forums, lessons
learned interviews, multimedia products and lifelong learning
courseware is available, and every user has the ability to "ask now"
to get immediate responses to critical questions and concerns arising
in the filed.
Every time I look for a specific topic that will help me enrich my
knowledge, I start by consulting Troopers with experiences and lessons
learned in the field and previous deployments.
I don't have any doubt that the acquisition of experiences and greatest
moments working in a joint task force like this one will increase
our combined knowledge and make things easier for future incoming
I challenge each of you to use all of your experiences -
whether they were good or bad to share what you know. I
can assure you, there's a Trooper out there who needs it. 0
PAGE 2 I THE WIRE
TROOPER-TO-TROOPER I FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Joint Task Force Guantanamo
commander Navy Rear Adm. Tom
Copeman recently held a series of
briefings for Troopers at the JTF to
provide an update on the mission here,
and to communicate his expectations of
Troopers as they continue to offer safe,
humane, legal and transparent care and
custody of detainees now and in the
"Until such time that somebody
changes that for us, we're continuing our
planning to be able to reach that goal,"
said Copeman. "From the JTF standpoint
in Guantanamo, we're all set to meet
that. There are obviously a lot of issues
[outside of Guantanamo] that have to be
overcome to make that happen."
During his briefing, Copeman
explained that recent acknowledgements
by senior government officials that the
detention facilities might not close by the
proposed Jan. 22, 2010, deadline does not
change the mission for Troopers at JTF
"We will continue to provide safe,
humane, legal and transparent care and
custody of the detainees until the last
detainee is gone, whenever that may be,"
Copeman discussed the effect continued
operations would have on staffing and
Trooper rotations. Although a significant
amount of detailed planning continues to
take place on how to close the detention
facilities, most of the work cannot happen
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009 | MISSION
until the detainees have left and the facilities
"Most of the real, real, hard work occurs
after the last detainee leaves here," said
Copeman. "We have to continue medical,
logistics [and all the operations associated
with caring for the detainees] up until the
last one leaves."
Even as detainees continue to be released
from Guantanamo and repatriated to other
countries, the number of Troopers at the
JTF will not change drastically.
"Whether you have one guy or 20 guys
in the cell block, you still have to have
a/c, power, guards and feeding [for that
block]," said Copeman. "We are manned
up to the camps, not manned up to how
many detainees we have."
Copeman told Troopers here to expect
to finish out their current tours. He
said that there were no plans to extend
Troopers due to the January deadline, but
that incoming rotations would continue
to come in as planned.
"Rotations that are planned all through
the next calendar year will continue until
such time that somebody says no more, or
here's the new plan," said Copeman.
He also told Troopers to be ready to
train their replacements or to be ready
to train a force, as yet unknown, that
could take over detention operations at a
facility in another location, should that be
ordered from higher authority. Regardless
of whether the new guarding force for the
detainees is civilian or military, they will
require the training and knowledge from
those with experience.
"JTF Guantanamo is the place of
expertise for this detention mission," said
Regardless of what decision is made
about where the detainees will go and
when the detention facilities here will
close, the mission of the personnel at Joint
Task Force Guantanamo stands the same.
Until the last detainee boards a flight off
the island and the facilities are ready to
be closed, Troopers at Guantanamo Bay
will continue their mission here in the
professional manner expected of them by
their leadership, our government and the
people of the United States. 0
THE WIRE I PAGE 3
Army Staff Sgt.
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
According to the National Fire Prevention
Association, cooking continues to be the
leading cause of home fires and home fire
injuries and smoking materials, such as
cigarettes and cigars, continue to be the leading
cause of fire deaths in the United States. Naval
Station Guantanamo Bay, though isolated from
many big-city woes such as traffic and high
crime, is not immune to the dangers of fires.
In the last year, firefighters at the naval station
have responded to two fires at the Tierra Kay
"Troopers have used tables for ash trays or
left cooking unattended," said Steven Deida, a
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay fire inspector.
Although fire safety should be observed at
all times, the week of October 4-10 is set aside
as National Fire Prevention Week. The week
was first proclaimed in 1920 and is the longest
running public health and safety observance
Fire Prevention Week was established to
commemorate the Great Chicago Fire in 1871
that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000
homeless, destroyed more than 17,400
structures and burned more than 2,000 acres.
Also, during that same week in 1871, the
Peshtigo Fire, the most devastating forest fire
in American history, roared through Northeast
Wisconsin, burning down 16 towns, killing
1,152 people and scorching 1.2 million acres.
Fire Prevention Week is a chance for fire
officials throughout the country to stress the
importance of fire safety and prevention in
their communities. This year's message was,
"Stay fire smart, don't get burned."
See FIRE PREVENTION/16
(Above) Firefighters from the
Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay fire department practice
for a community fire
demonstration scheduled for
Fire Prevention Week, Oct.
3. (Left) Firefighters discuss
the procedures for using a
Mobile Air Fire Trainer to
conduct a fire demonstration
prior to Fire Prevention Week
at Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay. The Guantanamo Bay
fire department is working to
inform the community of fire
prevention awareness. JTF
Guantanamo photos by Army
Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens
MISSION I FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
PAGE 4 I THE WIRE
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
It's hard to believe that the Navy has been going strong for the
last 234 years. To think that a meeting more than 200 years ago in
Philadelphia would change how the United States would control
the seas all around the world.
The Navy was born October 13, 1775, when the Continental
Congress voted to arm two sailing vessels with 10 carriage
guns. swivel guns and a crew of 80. The ships were sent out on
a three-month cruise to intercept transports carrying munitions
and supplies to the British Army in America. During the War
of Independence, the Continental Navy deployed more than 50
armed vessels that destroyed more than 200 British ships and
Diverted many more.
Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794, which ordered the
construction of six frigates to end pirate activity off the Barbary
Coast. The first three of the frigates were USS United States,
USS Constellation, and USS Constitution, which were put into
sen ice thee years after the naval act was passed.
Na\y vessels advanced drastically since the first frigates made
of wood. The newer ships of the Civil War era included steam-
powered ironclad warships. After the use of ironclads, navy
vessels transitioned from all-wood to all-metal ships. Beginning
in the 1880's, the Navy started a modernization program which
brought us up to speed with navies of countries all around the
In 1907, the Navy proudly displayed several new ships in
a 14-month cruise around the world. The ships were known as
the Great White Fleet and were ordered by President Theodore
Roosevelt to demonstrate the Navy's capability to extend into the
After showing its power, the United States Navy has been a
big presence in every war in which America has been involved.
Today, Sailors do more thanjust man the ships. There are Sailors
deployed across the globe, helping out in any theater in which
they are needed. The modern Navy not only supports and shows
presence during war, but also helps with national security,
maritime security and humanitarian assistance during natural
"The Navy's changed drastically since I first came in in 1982.
I think what's changed the most is the caliber of the enlisted
and junior enlisted sailors. They are highly educated, and more
motivated than ever before," said Navy Cmdr. Richard Hess, the
Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion commander.
In 234 years, the Navy has gone from wooden ships powered
by sails to steel aircraft carriers that are nuclear powered. Our
Sailors have gone from being on ships to working with joint
,forces on the ground in countries all around the world. The
i future of the United States Navy couldn't look brighter as we
Happy 234th Birthday, Navy, and may you see 234 more as
you continue to cruise the seas of the world. O
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
The 8t Annual NEX/MWR Customer Appreciation Weekend 5K
kicked off early Saturday morning with participants running, jogging and
walking to claim prizes and pride before many of the day's demonstrations
and events. Daniel Dean (18:19) and Jen losue (21:47) took the top male
and female honors as more than 200 participants hit the pavement in four
age groups to win NEX gift cards, running shoes, iPod shuffles and free
New Balance t-shirts.
The race was divided into four age groupings to give more opportunities
to a diverse crowd to compete and win.
"I wanted to get the first place prize," said Ashe Snedeker, winner of
the 6 to 14 age group. Hoping for the iPod, he said he was content to get
a new pair of shoes and enjoyed the workout. "It gives me good exercise,
and helps me stay in shape."
Not all runners were gunning for a prize, but for personal delight in
"I ran it for my friend, Christina," said Daniel Dean, top overall
finisher. "She is a very competitive person for me and I wanted to do the
best I could for her."
Regardless of the reason, the event has been going strong for eight
years and has been sponsored by New Balance since its inception. The
5K was started to give an alternative activity to the more fitness inclined
Troopers during the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Oktoberfest event,
and the athletic shoe sponsor has been there to provide free t-shirts, prizes
"I really enjoy seeing the folks down here year after year," said Brian
Garnett, a New Balance sales representative. "The sacrifices that all the
people down here make to keep our country free, the least we can do is
make some gifts available and sponsor this event for all the hard working
service members. I have been here since the beginning, and coming down
here for this event is the highlight of my year." 0
LOCAL SPORTS I FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
PAGE 6 1 THE WIRE
Army Sgt. 1" Class
VeShannah J. Lovelace
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
"Late Fee" is an anthology horror film which "premiered"
at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay during the 8t Annual Navy
Exchange Customer Appreciation Weekend, October 2. Two stars
from the film, Stephanie Danielson and Georgia Haege, visited
Guantanamo to introduce the movie and sign autographs.
I have two questions concerning this movie. How much
did it cost to produce? And in this economy, was that a wise
To be fair, the movie was made in just 13 days time. But to say
the premise of the movie is weak would be an understatement.
A couple, simply named the boy and the girl, decide to rent a
couple of horror flicks and spend a cozy Halloween night at
home cuddled up on the couch. The owner of the video store
reluctantly rents two movies to them and stresses the fact that
the movies must be returned by midnight or they'll have to pay
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009 I MOVIE RECON
a stiff late fee.
For the next hour, the audience is forced to endure watching the
two movies the couple rented, "The Pick Up" and "Damnation."
The acting was so bad and amateurish it was actually comical. I'm
guessing this is what was meant when the actresses introduced the
film as a "horror slash comedy." If the acting wasn't bad enough,
the makeup certainly was. The makeup and "gore" was reminiscent
of the 1970s in its primitiveness. The gore was designed more so to
gross you out than it was to actually scare you.
"The Pick Up" was about a hooker who lured her victims to a
seedy "no-tell motel" where she literally devoured them with her
lower extremities. I supposed by some this could be considered
"Damnation" was equally as absurd and starred the same actors
as "The Pick Up." This tale was about a female police officer who
arrested "alleged" traffic violators, then tried them in a makeshift
courtroom located in a dungeon and sentenced them to cruel fates
by spinning a "wheel of death."
After watching these two movies, the boy and the girl realize it
is after midnight, but they don't take the 'late fee'
seriously until the owner of the video store shows up
at their house with his entourage of ghastly killers.
This movie was supposed to be a tribute to horror
classic "Tales from the Crypt." The producers of
"Tales from the Crypt" should sue for defamation
for even hinting at similarities. I felt like I was
actually losing brain cells sitting through it. But,
if low-budget, B-rated horror films are your thing,
"Late Fee," is still available for sale at the NEX. 0
Editor's note: Even though the movie didn't
make our list of favorites, we appreciate the
time Danielson and Haege took from their
schedules to show their appreciation for the
service members stationed at Naval Station
Rating: *W |A
THE WIRE I PAGE 7
Musical acts for the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay
8th Annual Navy Exchange Customer Appreciation
Weekend included country artist Tracy Lawrence and
"Nashville Star" finalist and Sailor, Tommy Stanley.
The two performed Oct. 4 for a crowd of residents in
the Navy Exchange parking lot.
Helping Troopers to
kick the habit
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Throughout history, the image of the military leader and his trusty cigar or smoking
pipe have become synonymous with the United States Armed Forces. From Gen.
Douglas MacArthur and his signature corncob pipe to Soldiers receiving cigarettes in
C-rations during World War II, the military almost seemed to glamorize smoking among
However, this attitude is in direct conflict with the rest of the country and its anti-
smoking movement in bars and restaurants. It is a habit that, as anyone who has tried to
quit will tell you, is a very difficult one to kick.
Troopers who are deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo are not without
hope if they decide that now is the time to kick their smoking habit. Navy Petty
Officer 1t Class Valentin Leonardo, who works at the Joint Trooper Clinic, is a
man with many resources available to help Troopers kick their habits.
"For anyone looking to quit smoking while deployed here to Guantanamo,
we have two main resources available; we can treat them with nicotine
replacement products like the patch, gum or lozenges; or we can prescribe them
medication to help them stop smoking," said Leonardo.
One of the newest medications available to individuals looking to quit
smoking is the drug Chantix. The drug manufactured by Pfizer is designed to
block the effect that nicotine has on your brain and enables you to ease yourself
off of a nicotine product.
Leonardo acknowledges the difficulty for personnel deployed to the JTF, as he
has seen many people seek out treatment after they relapse while down here.
"There are a lot of people who deploy here and pick up smoking once they
arrive. It can be related to the stress of the job or, believe it or not, for some
people boredom is a huge trigger," said Leonardo.
Over the last several months Leonardo and his staff have assisted more than 100
Troopers in their battle against nicotine. But he is also quick to warn those who
might be looking to start treatment to prepare them.
"It takes mental preparation; you can't just wake up one day and decide to quit
cold turkey. If you mentally prepare before deciding to quit, then you will be more
successful," said Leonardo.
Aside from the obvious health benefits to kicking your habit, according to a
2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, the total cost including lost
productivity and health care expenditures in the U.S. run roughly 193 billion dollars
There are some things to be aware of if you do decide to quit smoking. According
to the Mayo Clinic, here are some health effects to be on the watch for as you quit your
Coughing-your lungs may feel tighter as they begin to heal
Lightheadedness- as your blood flow increases, you may experience some
Change in sleep patterns-as your body adjusts to the lack of
nicotine you will begin to feel more energy.
A 2005 study by the Institute of Medicine found that one-third of the
active-duty military smoked, compared with one-fifth of the adult U.S.
population. While the study also found that overall tobacco use has
declined from 1980 to 2005; it also found the smoking rates of
personnel returning from war zones was about
50 percent higher than those who did not
For more information on smoking
cessation at Naval Station Guantanamo
Bay, contact Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Valentin Leonardo at the JTC at ext. 3395.
PAGE 141 THE WIRE
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Hispanic culture in the Western Hemisphere owes its history to
an adventurous Italian and his quest for gold and a new trade route
to the East. Christopher Columbus is honored for his discovery
of the Americas, which helped to shape the history and culture
of the Caribbean, and has left an indelible mark on the Western
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay's Fisherman's Point, or Ferry
Landing, shares a tie to Columbus' explorations, marked with a
stone monument to history.
Columbus was born to a middle-class family of weavers
in Genoa, Italy, and travelled extensively to Africa and the
Mediterranean, learning how to sail and navigate. He had plans
to find a trade route to Japan or China by a westward passage,
and needed a royal financier to provide for his trips. After being
rejected by King John II of Portugal, he approached Ferdinand and
Isabella of Spain for money. Eight years later, the Spanish royals
finally agreed, and Columbus was on his way across the Atlantic.
Columbus' first voyage began onAugust 3, 1492. He was given
three ships: the Nifia, the Pinta and the flagship Santa Maria.
They headed west from the Canary Islands and on October 12,
land was spotted. They first landed on an island Columbus named
San Salvador, and he mistakenly proclaimed he had found Asia.
Columbus and his ships visited several other islands including
Cuba and Hispaniola (present day Haiti and the Dominican
Republic.) On December 25, the Santa Maria ran aground and they
were forced to abandon her. Thirty-nine men were left behind at
the settlement named La Navidad, as Columbus returned to Spain
in March of 1493.
The second voyage was to be a large scale colonization and
exploration project. Outfitted with a large fleet of 17 ships, with
1,500 male colonists and domesticated animals aboard, Columbus
sailed from Cidiz in October of 1493. Columbus' orders were
to expand the settlement on Hispaniola, convert the natives to
Christianity, establish a trading post and continue his explorations
in search of the Orient.
His landfall this time was made in the Lesser Antilles and his
new discoveries included the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico.
The Italian navigator arrived at Hispaniola to find the first colony
destroyed by the indigenous natives. He founded a new colony
nearby, and then sailed off in the summer of 1494 to explore the
southern coast of Cuba.
On April 30, 1494, Columbus and his crew found a large,
crescent-shaped harbor and made landfall near Fisherman's Point
here at Guantanamo Bay. They were searching for gold, but found
only a handful of Taino tribesman and a few huts. Before leaving
the next day, he named the bay "Puerto Grande," and then spent
the next few weeks exploring the treacherous shoals around Cuba,
searching in vain for the mainland before returning to Hispaniola.
Columbus' second voyage marked the start of colonialism in
the New World, and the Spanish colonies infused European culture
into the region. This culture still thrives throughout the Caribbean,
Central and South America.
"He is the brick that the entire Hispanic heritage was built
upon," said Army Maj. Reuben Soto with the Joint Task Force
Guantanamo's Joint Detention Group. "He was the first one who
brought culture and all things that composed Latin heritage to
America. He impacted others who came after him as well."
Some of those who sailed with Columbus on his second voyage
went on to play very important roles in the history of the New
World. Diego Velazquez was a conquistador who later became
governor of Cuba. Juan Ponce de Le6n would become governor
of Puerto Rico, but was most famous for his journey to Florida in
search of the Fountain of Youth.
Columbus inspired explorers into a race between European
nations to find and colonize the western world and harvest its
resources. Columbus' discovery brought him wealth and fame, but
he was able to give the region a culture and history that will remain
for all time. O
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009 I NEWS & INFORMATION
THE WIRE I PAGE 15
Fire preventing w k br
FIRE PREVENTION from 4
Smoke alarms are essential to fire safety
and survival. According to the U.S. Fire
Administration, having a smoke alarm cuts
the risk of dying in a home fire by half.
Although most homes at Naval Station
Guantanamo Bay are outfitted with smoke
detectors, it is important that Troopers
and residents check their smoke detectors
regularly to make sure they are in good
working order. Experts recommend testing
your smoke alarms monthly and changing
the batteries at least once a year.
Always know the evacuation route or
escape plan for the places you live and
work. Fire escape routes should be posted
in all buildings. Make sure to plan for two
ways to escape from each room and pick a .ri -
place to meet after you escape to make sure l
that everyone gets out. Never open a door
that feels hot, escape another way. Always surroundings," said Deida. "A fire can start goodies, giveaways, fire safety tips and
escape first and then call for help. any time of the day." demonstrations. All naval station residents
"Always know where you are and The Naval Station Guantanamo Bay fire are invited to attend, and Sparky will be on
where the exits and extinguishers are," said department is holding an open house Oct. hand for the kids. For more information on
Deida. 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Fire Fire Safety and Prevention, call ext. 4178
"Stay vigilant and know your Station One. The open house will feature or ext. 4179. O
HOLD UPRIGHT, PULL RING (SAFETY) PIN
START BACK 8-10 FEET
AIM AT BASE OF FIRE
( SQUEEZE LEVER
SWEEP SIDE TO SIDE
Familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher operation and
locations around your home and work.
Inappropriate use of fire extinguishers could be subject to
fine or penalties.
For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PAGE 16 1 THE WIRE
NEWS & INFORMATION I FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
United through reading
Navy Petty Officer 1t' Class Walter Sladek sets up a camera to videotape Navy Chief Petty Officer Robert Butcher
reading a book to send home to his child while deployed to JTF Guantanamo. The United Through Reading program
is a powerful way to ease the stress of separation on children of deployed Troopers. During the month of October,
Troopers can participate using specially-marked copies of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," provided by the Pearson
Foundation. For more information, contact Navy Petty Officer 1t' Class Katherine Hofman at ext. 3589 or Navy Petty
Officer 1st Class D.P. Gob at ext. 3114. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Katherine Hofman
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009 | VOICE OF THE FORCE
THE WIRE I PAGE 17
Navy Lt. Cmdr.
Courage is a virtue nurtured by narrative. By that, I mean
ordinary people like us may be inspired to act with courage if we
are provided with stories of how other people have faced danger or
difficult circumstances and rose to the occasion to do what is right.
One of the most inspiring stories I know concerning courage is the
story of "The Four Chaplains."
On the evening of Feb. 2, 1943, USAT Dorchester, an Army
transport ship, was crowded to capacity, carrying 902 military
members, merchant seamen and civilian workers. Once a luxury
coastal liner, the vessel had been converted into an Army transport
ship during World War II. The Dorchester, one of three ships in its
convoy, was steaming from Newfoundland toward an American
base in Greenland, escorted by three Coast Guard Cutters.
German U-boats were known to prowl those waters and had
already sunk several ships. On Feb. 3, at 12:55 a.m., a German
submarine spotted the Dorchester and fired three torpedoes. One
hit the starboard side, amid ship, far below the water line. With the
ship taking on water fast, the captain gave the order to abandon
ship. In less than 20 minutes, the Dorchester would slip beneath
the Atlantic's icy waters.
Men jumped from the ship into lifeboats, over-crowding them
to the point of capsizing. Other rafts drifted away before soldiers
could get into them. Through the pandemonium, according to
those present, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and
light in darkness. Those chaplains were Army Lt. George L. Fox,
a Methodist chaplain; Army Lt. Alexander D. Goode, a Jewish
rabbi; Army Lt John P. Washington, a Roman Catholic chaplain;
and Army Lt. Clark V. Poling, a Dutch Reformed chaplain.
Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the
Troops. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded
and guide the disoriented toward safety. "Witnesses of that terrible
night remember hearing the four chaplains offer prayers for the
dying and encouragement for those who would live," recounted
Wyatt R. Fox, son of Reverend Fox. One witness, Pvt. William B.
Bednar, found himself floating in oily water surrounded by dead
bodies and debris. "I could hear men crying, pleading and praying,"
Bednar recalls. "I could also hear the chaplains preaching courage.
Their voices were the only thing that kept me going."
Another Sailor, Petty Officer John J. Mahoney, tried to reenter
his cabin but Rabbi Goode stopped him. Mahoney, concerned
about the cold Arctic air, explained he had forgotten his gloves.
"Never mind," Goode responded. "I have two pairs." The rabbi
then gave the petty officer his own gloves. In retrospect, Mahoney
realized that Rabbi Goode was not conveniently carrying two
pair of gloves, and that the rabbi had decided not to leave the
When most of the men were topside, the chaplains opened
a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. It was then
that Engineer Grady Clark witnessed an astonishing sight. When
there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains
removed their own and gave them to four frightened young men.
As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four
chaplains--arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their
voices could also be heard offering prayers.
Of the 902 men aboard the USAT Dorchester, 672 died, leaving
230 survivors. When the news reached the U.S., the nation was
stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and heroic conduct of the
PAGE 18 I THE WIRE
"Valor is a gift," Carl Sandburg once said. "Those having it
never know if they truly have it until the test comes." That
night, Reverend Fox, Rabbi Goode, Reverend Poling and Father
Washington passed life's ultimate test. In doing so, they became
an enduring example of extraordinary faith, courage and selfless
The Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart were later
awarded posthumously to the next of kin of these chaplains. A one-
time only posthumous Special Medal for Heroism was authorized
by Congress and awarded by President Eisenhower on January
18, 1961. Congress attempted to confer the Medal of Honor but
was blocked by the stringent requirements that required heroism
performed under fire. The special medal was intended to have the
same weight and importance as the Medal of Honor.
The courage of these four men is a true testimony to their faith
in their God.
When at peace with God, it is easier to summon the courage
necessary to do the right thing, even if it may cost you your life.
The example of these four chaplains can offer us much to think
about regarding the challenges we face. 0
I I l IlJ;i 1
Sunday: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.
6:30 a.m. Mass
Spanish Catholic Mass
Sunday: 5 p.m.
at NAVSTA Chapel
LIFE & SPIRIT I FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs
Joint Task Force Guantanamo's 525th
Military Police Battalion sent eight
individuals to compete as a team in
Washington, D.C., for the Army Ten-Miler
run, Oct. 4. The "MPs of the Caribbean"
team consisting of six males and two
females placed 17h among 38 active duty
Army teams, and placed 178h overall out
of 502 teams.
Each year, tens of thousands of runners
and spectators descend upon Washington,
D.C., to join in this prestigious event.
Produced by the Joint Force Headquarters -
National Capital Region and the U.S. Army
Military District of Washington, the Army
Ten-Miler proceeds benefit Army Morale,
Welfare and Recreation, a comprehensive
network of support and leisure services
designed to enhance the lives of Soldiers
and their families.
The race starts and finishes at the
Pentagon, passing by D.C. landmarks
including the Lincoln Memorial,
Washington Monument and the Capitol
Building. The mission of the Army Ten-
Miler is to promote the Army, build esprit
de corps, support fitness goals and enhance
Army Spc. Mercedes Diaz, a Trooper
deployed with the 525h Military Police
Battalion, competed with the "MPs of the
Caribbean" team. "The event in itself was
an exhilarating experience. We had people
come from all over, different branches
and civilians representing their deployed
spouses. The wounded Soldiers were also
there and that in itself was the biggest
excitement and adrenaline rush," said Diaz.
"To see them out there doing their thing
and getting through 10 miles, they, to me,
were the true winners," said Diaz. "Our
team as a whole did a great job placing 17h
out of the active duty teams, but it seemed
like a small accomplishment compared to
the wounded warriors' team," said Diaz.
Diaz concluded that the event was an
experience she will never forget.
Army Staff Sgt. Tammy Tillman, also
on the team, said that the initial tryouts for
the battalion's Army Ten-Miler team were
held Mar. 20. "At that time, the battalion
selected six top male run times and two
top female run times, so it was very
When asked about training, Tillman
answered"CPTK, [Capt. Maxim Krekotnev],
our team captain, had set up a matrix where
we would try to run a certain amount of miles
every month as a team and individually. We
had a few group runs, but with everyone
working a different schedule, whether it was
midnight shift or day shift, everyone has
been training more or less on their own until
the race day. Most of the training consisted
of a lot of distance running; six miles, nine
miles and 10 miles. I believe everyone had
their own preference. I personally tried to
run every week as much as possible, to break
in my (new) sneakers."
"My overall impression of the entire
event was, the whole event surpassed all
my expectations and it was very energetic.
I was amazed by all the people who were
there to support and run. I had never seen
so many people in my entire life 30,000
runners. It was an exhilarating experience,
just watching this large crowd run as I was
Tillman conlcuded, "Our team may
have not gotten first place, but they did a
great job, and at least we all can now say
that we ran on the 25' anniversary of the
Army Ten-Miler." 0
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009 I 15 MINUTES OF FAMVIE
Capt. Maxim Krekotnev, HHC 525th, 1:10:08 Sgt. Samuel Nobles, 193'd MP Co., 1:24:04
Pfc. Benjamin Woods, 189th MP Co., 1:12:02 Staff Sgt. David Peppard, 193rd MP Co., 1:32:54
Sgt. Steven Jones, 193'd MP Co., 1:12:42 Spc. Mercedes Diaz, HHC 525th, 1:36:19
Pfc. Robert Sherry, HHC 525th, 1:15:57 Staff Sgt. Tammy Tillman, HHC 525th, 1:39:57
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