Group Title: Wire (Guantánamo Bay, Cuba)
Title: The wire
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 Material Information
Title: The wire
Uniform Title: Wire (Guantánamo Bay, Cuba)
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Joint Task Force Guanta´namo
United States -- Joint Task Force Guantánamo
Publisher: 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Joint Task Force Guantanamo
Place of Publication: Guanta´namo Bay Cuba
Guantánamo Bay Cuba
Publication Date: December 4, 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
Frequency: weekly
Subject: Navy-yards and naval stations, American -- Newspapers -- Cuba   ( lcsh )
Prisoners of war -- Newspapers -- Cuba -- Guantánamo Bay Naval Base   ( lcsh )
Military prisons -- Newspapers -- Cuba -- Guantánamo Bay Naval Base   ( lcsh )
Detention of persons -- Newspapers -- Cuba -- Guantánamo Bay Naval Base   ( lcsh )
Detention of persons -- Newspapers -- United States   ( lcsh )
Newspapers -- Guantánamo Bay Naval Base (Cuba)   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
newspaper   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Cuba -- Guant�namo -- Guant�namo Bay -- Guant�namo Bay Naval Base
Coordinates: 19.9 x -75.15 ( Place of Publication )
System Details: Mode of access: Internet at the NAVY NSGTMO web site. Address as of 9/15/05:; current access is available via PURL.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 3, issue 5 (Jan. 3, 2003); title from caption (publisher Web site PDF, viewed on Sept. 15, 2005) .
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00098620
Volume ID: VID00049
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 52777640
lccn - 2005230299


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Full Text

Inches make a differe

Navy Command Master Chief
Scott Fleming
JTF Guantanamo CMC

Treating fellow service members as we would want to be treated is a well-
regarded concept. Regardless of service, the essential core values are the
same. Despite being reminded constantly to do the right thing, there are some
who still fail to do so.
A wise man once said detention operations in Guantanamo is a game of
inches. He should know he's been here for more than two years and
patiently watched processes and procedures evolve incrementally in
response to lessons learned through good and bad experiences. The
measured approach makes practical sense in a place where small
victories provide precious stability and seemingly insignificant
setbacks can wreak strategic mayhem. This tactic is most profound
behind the wire but is suitably applicable for every member of the
JTF team.
How do we succeed in battle space where a gain of inches,
invisible to all but the most intuitive participants, constitutes success?
Communication is crucial constantly conveying the concept that
we prepare and execute very deliberately to maximize control and
minimize imprudent risk. Human nature declares bigger is universally
better, and as members of the armed forces, many of us champion
the gross-tonnage theory in our implementation. However,
here, where every movement generates a potentially volatile
response, moderation rules the day. Sometimes we perceive
temperance as appeasement or a loss of ground when, in
fact, it is really a calculated step intended to disrupt a larger
We remain supremely conscientious of the audiences,
both internal and external, and function as though every
move we make is methodically dissected by them for
vulnerability. No, not paranoia or tunnel vision; just
cognitive recognition of the right way versus the wrong
way. When inches matter, even small deviations from
accepted practice can allow the front lines to shift
drastically if those digressions are not considered in the
proper context. This is where complacency, carelessness and
inexperience cloud the equation by creating maneuver room
that can be exploited or instead, where vigilance, prudence
and intelligence solidify the computation by eliminating error
We immediately identify changes from the norm before they
become tangibly embedded as the status quo and are ultimately
rendered irreversible without a confrontation. An inch lost
through indifference becomes a mile before you know it, and
then you're talking about a fierce tug-of-war to take it back
again. Once in awhile, inches are sacrificed in battles to earn
yardsticks in the war but that is purposefully done as means to
an end. Inches robbed in blind daylight are a different story
because they can be construed as chinks in the proverbial
armor and invitations for further manipulation. Fluidity, a
discerning and integral element for maintaining balance, is
not a plausible explanation for casually drifting off course
toward shoal water and endangering the ship. Mind the helm
- know when the seas are shifting!
We capitalize on corporate knowledge. Although it is a rare
commodity when essentially the entire force is reconstituted on
an annual basis, the troops who possess it provide incredible
return on investment. They understand slippery slopes and
hazards to navigation and GTMO's finer points for staying one
step ahead in an endless chess match. They are familiar with the
game of inches and have probably watched it go both ways. I'm
sure they can explain it better than me. Bother them, tap into their
reservoirs of experience, and learn from them. There's no reason
we should have only a few wise troops on duty who can influentially
discuss why inches make a difference at GTMO. 0



Army Brig. Gen. Rafael O'Ferrall, former deputy commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, addresses Soldiers from the
Puerto Rico National Guard at the Trooper's Chapel earlier in his tour. O'Ferrall's focus included the improvment of the quality
of life for Troopers and detainees during his one-year tenure. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Spc. Cody Black

* Deputy commander
leaves JTF Guantanamo
after yearlong deployment

Army Staff Sgt.
Blair Heusdens
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

Army Brig. Gen. Rafael O'Ferrall
developed a unique perspective on
operations at Joint Task Force Guantanamo
after serving as deputy commander for the
past year.
"This has been a unique, important and
relevant mission," O'Ferrall said. "Unique
because of its jointness, important because
it is the center of gravity for the world and
relevant because we are all doing a great
job and mission for our nation."
During his tour, O'Ferrall was
instrumental in many key improvements
in the quality of life for Troopers and
"I think our most important
accomplishment is the way we continue
to enhance and evolve, not only with the
transitions and rotations of service members,
but also in improving the Morale, Welfare
and Recreation opportunities and resources

available for our Troopers," O'Ferrall said.
"We've also continued improvements to
the detention facilities, inside and out."
O'Ferrall took the time to get to know
the Troopers at the JTF during his tour and
feels the Troopers contribute greatly to
the success of the mission at Guantanamo
"Even though the Troopers here are
young, we have a good and diverse mix
of Troopers from all services who
understand the task and take it in a
professional manner and make it easier to
accomplish the mission," O'Ferrall said.
This diversity is due in part to the
joint environment which is truly unique
to GTMO. According to O'Ferrall, while
many "joint" task forces may have one or
two people from each service, Joint Task
Force Guantanamo provides an opportunity
to work with members of all services and
get a feel for what each service is all about.
"There is a true mix of services here -
complete units from all the services that
work together to accomplish the mission,"
O'Ferrall said.
O'Ferrall was tasked with sharing the
Joint Task Force mission with groups from
around the world, including distinguished
visitors, government officials, human
rights organizations and various groups of

community leaders. One such opportunity
was the Joint Civilian Orientation
Conference, in which O'Ferrall escorted
a group of 50 distinguished visitors from
across the nation around the U.S. Southern
Command area of operations. These visits
are an opportunity for others to see firsthand
the JTF Guantanamo mission. O'Ferrall
feels it is important for the message to
get out about what really happens at
Guantanamo Bay.
"Whatever is done here with the
detainees is what the world should see,"
O'Ferrall said. "We are the center of gravity
on detainee procedure."
O'Ferrall realizes that not everyone can
visit GTMO to get a firsthand experience of
what conditions are really like.
"Even if people can't get here to visit
GTMO, they should praise the Troops for
keeping us safe and keeping these people
out of combat," O'Ferrall said.
During his tour, O'Ferrall has learned a
few things that he will take with him in his
career. He will go back to Puerto Rico and
continue to serve as the assistant adjutant
general for the Puerto Rico National Guard.
"I've learned how to let things go and
let leaders do their jobs. We really have
professionals here, from the O-6s down to
the E-5s," O'Ferrall said. O


Post office prepares for the holidays

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class
Marcos Hernandez
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

With the holidays fast approaching,
service members from across Joint
Task Force Guantanamo are rushing to
the Camp America Post Office to send
gifts, letters and souvenirs to friends and
family back home. During this time, post
office personnel must make additional
preparations to be able to support the
needs of their customers.
"We prepare by making sure we have
enough supplies such as boxes, labels,
tape, stamps and money orders to enable
us to support the mission," said Navy
Petty Officer 1t Class Tyrone Henderson,
a postal clerk.
On average, the Camp America Post
Office cycles through 2,500 pounds of
mail weekly during peak seasons such as
this one. To advise their customers of an
approximate delivery date, mailing dates
are posted on the shop's bulletin board
containing the recommended deadlines
to ensure delivery of mail by the holiday
"I recommend people take the time
to read the holiday season mailing list
deadlines posted in the shop," said
Henderson. The main concern for


customers is likely to be the mailing of
parcel post packages which is known
to take a much longer time to reach
recipients than letters. When mailing
from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to
the U.S., customers sending first class
letters, cards, and priority mail should
have these sent out by Dec. 4.
In addition to mailing items on time,
there are a few things service members
can do to send their mail more efficiently.
Aplain box is the best for shipping items.
If the box has other markings, be sure
to darken them out and make sure the
addresses for both sender and recipient
are legible.
"My advice is to know what you want.
For example, if the customer is interested
in insuring their mail, then it's a good
idea to stop by and pick up all the forms
needed. That way, with everything pre-
filled upon arrival, half the battle is won,"
said Navy Seaman Jordan Grainger,
a logistic specialists with the Navy
Expeditionary Guard Battalion.
As a valuable reminder to all
customers visiting the Camp America
Post Office, the office only accepts cash
as a form of currency. Also, a customs
form is mandatory for all items being
mailed, as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is a
foreign country. O


Lake tak

Army Staff Sgt.
Blair Heusdens
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

Among the many new faces at Joint
Task Force Guantanamo to arrive recently,
Army Brig. Gen. Timothy Lake may be one
you'll see around as he gets settled into his
new job as the JTF deputy commander.
Lake, a native of the Virgin Islands,
recently relieved Army Brig. Gen.
Rafael O'Ferrall, who returned to Puerto
Rico with Soldiers from the Joint Task
Force Guantanamo Headquarters and
Headquarters Company.
Lake is excited about his new assignment
and feels the JTF mission is an important
"Guantanamo is important to our
military's national security strategy," Lake
said. "I think it is within the top five mission-
critical assignments out there right now."
Lake was commissioned in 1985 as a
distinguished military graduate through
the North Carolina A&T State University
Reserve Officer Training Corps and earned
a master of science degree in strategic
studies from the U.S. Army War College in
2004. He was promoted to brigadier general
in September of 2009.
During his career, Lake has served on
active duty andinthe VirginIslands National
Guard, on the Joint and Army staff and at
the White House Military Office in support
of two presidents. Lake also served as the
first joint task force commander in Baton
Rouge, La., responsible for maintaining
discipline and order after Hurricane Katrina
hit in 2005.
Upon notification of his upcoming
assignment at JTF Guantanamo, Lake
set out to find out everything he could
about operations at the JTF. He visited
JTF Guantanamo in September for a
pre-deployment site survey and had an
opportunity to see firsthand the mission and
job he would have to fill.
"[From my experience in Washington],
I already had a pretty good idea of what the
JTF was all about, but it was all peripheral,"
Lake said. "After the site survey, I did more
in-depth research into the mission and
expectations of the JTF."
Lake also had the opportunity to spend a
week and a half with O'Ferrall to familiarize
himself with daily operations, missions and
the Troopers at GTMO.
"I'm thankful for [Brig. Gen.
O'Ferrall's] experience and he has been
very forthcoming in sharing his knowledge
while letting me also get a feel for where
we could make changes," Lake said.
Lake looks forward to his tour as an
opportunity to grow as an individual and
make positive changes at the JTF, while

Army Brig. Gen. Timothy Lake tours the detention facilities at Joint Task Force
Guantanamo during a site survey visit, Sept. 28, 2009. Lake, a Virgin Islands
native, recently took over as the JTF deputy commander. JTF Guantanamo
photo by Sgt. Emily Greene

ensuring the mission is accomplished.
"We are always growing in the military.
You always intend on leaving your mission
better than you found it," Lake said. "I am
truly here to support the JTF commander
and ensure the nation's objectives are
being executed professionally in a joint
After visiting with the Troopers at
GTMO, Lake was given an impression of
the quality of the force tasked with ensuring
every aspect of the safe, humane, legal and

transparent care of the detainees here.
"The Troopers here are very professional
and understand the criticality of the mission
and the national security implications of
what we do here; not only for the United
States, but internationally," Lake said.
As the new deputy commander, Lake has
certain expectations of the Troopers here as
they continue to carry out their mission.
"I expect the Troopers to stay focused,
See LAKE/12


The GTMO Crush placed first in the 2009 Turkey Gobbler All Nighter softball tournament. More than 100 civilians and service
members participated in the 10-hour-long softball tournament. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class
Edward Flynn

Navy Petty Officer Ist Class
Edward Flynn
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

Although many celebrated the day after
Thanksgiving with several hours of non-
stop shopping or rest and relaxation, others
dusted off their old high school cleats for
the Turkey Gobbler All Nighter softball
tournament at Cooper Sports Complex,
Nov. 27-28. It was a tough battle and
fierce competition in the thrilling, 10-hour
marathon softball tournament, but only one
team could win: The GTMO Crush.
Following the GTMO Crush victory
over The Antagonizers in the softball
championship game, GTMO Crush coach/
outfielder Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Matt
Harris complimented his teammates in
their victory. "We were successful in this
tournament because we worked together
as a team," Harris said. "We played many
good teams in the tournament and they
deserve credit for their determination and
hard work. The competition was tough."
Personnel from Joint Task Force
Guantanamo andNaval StationGuantanamo
Bay, both civilians and military members,
participated in this fast-moving, double-
elimination tournament. Organized by
Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the
10 teams left all of their toughness, grit
and sportsmanship on the field. "Like
all MWR-sponsored sporting events,
we stress sportsmanship," said Robert
Neuman, the MWR sports coordinator.


"Uncompromising integrity and fair play is
what we strive for."
Prior to the start of the tournament, a
representative of each team submitted
their player rosters and met with the MWR
staff and were briefed on the rules and
regulations of the softball tournament.
From basketball to bowling, golf to
jogging, MWR ensures personnel have
the opportunity to participate in many
sporting events held throughout the week
in celebration of Thanksgiving.
For the newly arrived Rhode Island
National Guard and the U.S. Virgin Islands
National Guard, itwas theirfirst introduction
to an MWR-sponsored sporting event on
the island. "We literally finished unpacking
our bags and here we are in this all-nighter
softball tournament," said Army Spc. Ross
Manzotti, a member of the Rhode Island
National Guard. "The tournament was
action-packed and competitive. We are
disappointed in the results, but it was a
great opportunity to play and compete."
Although the competition was
tough throughout each game, the teams
demonstrated their respect for each other
and the umpires. "It seemed like everyone
had a great time," said Army Sgt. Pt Class
Olson Christian, a member of the Virgin
Islands National Guard. "This tournament
was a great introduction to the island. It
was also a good opportunity to talk to the
other teams and learn from each other."
Other sporting events and tournaments
are now being planned by the MWR staff.

MWR is now accepting team rosters for
a winter softball league and a 5-on-5
deck hockey tournament. For additional
information on these events and other
upcoming athletic activities, please contact
the MWR sports office at ext. 77262. O


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class
Joshua Nistas
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

"The Blind Side" a story about a
homeless, suffering teenager who is taken
off the streets by a family who shows him
his true potential in the classroom, on the
football field, and in life.
I've never really been into the
inspirational sports movies, like "Remember
the Titans," "Invincible," and "Miracle."
I'm not saying they weren't successful, I'm
just saying that for all things considered,
this movie surpassed them. It kept my
attention throughout, and made me care for
the characters portrayed in the film.
Sandra Bullock ("The Proposal," "Miss
Congeniality") plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a
well-off-Caucasian woman who decides to
take in an African American teen, Michael
Oher (Quinton Aaron, "Mr. Brooklyn," "Be
Kind Rewind"), who's living on the street
while attending a private Christian school
and failing. At the beginning of the movie,
Michael Oher, who lacked prior education
and school records, was only admitted into
the private school because the school's
coach thought it would be the Christian
thing to do to help the less fortunate.
I thought that this movie would have
a lot of football in it, considering that it's
based on the early life of a football player,
but surprisingly it didn't. It focused more

on Oher learning to deal with
real life issues facing teens in
less than savory neighborhoods.
It shows how less fortunate
teens with potential may take a
different route than what society
might expect.
There were many laughs
from this movie, with a great
supporting cast. Tim McGraw,
a country singer who also stars
in "Flicka" and "Friday Night
Lights," plays Sean Tuohy,
Leigh's husband and father of
S.J. and Collins, who have to
deal with the new addition to
their household. The scenes with
S.J. and Oher were hilarious, yet
realistic, as if they were truly
a family and not merely actors
working for a living.
I would suggest this movie
for the whole family-there's
something in it for everyone, not
just the football fans. O

128 minutes

Rating: A****


U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay kicked off the
season with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony that
took place Nov. 28. One tree, located atop of Harbor
Lights Hill, has over 20,000 lights and is 40-feet tall.
The purpose of the tree is to increase the morale of
Troopers by establishing that the holiday season has
arrived. The tree with stay lit until the New Year.

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class
Justin Smelley
JTF Guantmo Public Affairs

Being deployed during the holiday sea-
son is tough for most Troopers, but with the
advances in technology, it is much easier to
keep in touch. For the most part, e-mailing
has replaced the old fashion letter through
the mail or even the classic note tied to the
leg of a carrier pigeon. Troopers also have
the option of using Skype and Microsoft
Network messenger, which are software
applications that allow users to make voice
calls over the Internet, to communicate
with their family and friends.
The military and Morale, Welfare,
and Recreation try their best with helping
Troopers stay in regular communication
with their families by supplying wireless
Internet, phones and computers equipped
with webcams.
"I basically keep in touch with my fam-
ily by phone calls," said Navy Petty Officer
2nd Class Ryan Bell. "I like calling on the
phone, because I think it's more personal
and I get to hear how they sound and hear
their emotions. Where as if I chat with them
on the computer, all you see is the text or
maybe a picture they may send."
What was once a thing of the future,
webcams allow you to see your family and
friends on the screen and talk to them as if
you were talking on the phone.
"I like MSN messenger, because it's like
a video call where I can hear my family at

the same time as I talk to them. It
allows me to see my son and play
games with him over the Internet,"
said Army Spc. Ivan Tejada.
Webcams and other Internet de-
vices not only help Troopers deal
with the difficulty of deployment,
but can also be comforting to the
children who miss seeing their par-
ent's face.
"My daughter had a hard time
with me leaving for deployment, but
since we've been doing the webcam
chats about once or twice a week,
she seems to be much more at ease
with the situation," said Army Sgt.
Kevin Foley.
Troopers who have been deployed
for the holidays in the past have
grown to use these valuable assets
to cope with the difficulty of not be-
ing with their families.
"It's rough, but it's not my first
rodeo or my wife's first, so we know
what to do in these certain situ-
ations. I just make sure I call and
keep in contact with her and wish
her a Merry Christmas and tell her I
love her," Bell said.
Keeping in touch with family is
especially important during deploy-
ments. It helps Troopers deal with
the stress and keep a clear head so
they can continue the mission of
providing safe, humane, legal and
transparent care of detainees. O

Webcams provide an important means for
Troopers at Joint Task Force Guantanamo to
keep in touch. JTF Guantanamo photo by
Nayv Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin Smelley




infomation on," said Bill Keenan. lea
instructor and head technician i "I get 1
pass on my passion."
Ocean Enterprises is your one-stc
resource for diving in Guantanamo Ba
They offer scuba diving classes. dix
equipment for rent or purchase, air fii
and full maintenance on a wide variel
of dive gear. The dive shop also offei
discounts and sales on a regular basis.
Depending on your work schedu
here, instructors main flexible to kee
diving open to as many people on base
nnoroe'l ..

Arimypc. I
Tiffany Addair
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

It can be relaxing, adrenaline-filled and breathtaking.
Naval Station Guantamno Bay offers a once in a lifetime
opportunity for individuals to dive in such pristine waters
Troopers deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo o
stationed at the naval base, Department of Defense civilians
contractors, dependants and foreign nationals all have the
pportuniit to participate in numerous dive classes and
recreational dives offered here on base.
Diving gives individuals the opportunity to relieve stres
Xhile meeting new people. OceanEnteprises, the local d\
shop on base, offers dive classes to get individuals stare
aind oln tir iway to an exhiarating experience. With classe
oDfered year round and flexible schedules, becoming dive
certified is an easy task to accomplish; even if deployed here
for a short period of time.
"We offer between one and two beginning open water
glasses ever month," said Jessie Keenan, dive store manager
'Advanced, rescue and special~ coures are offered once a
month. People looking for uppcr-Icvi courses, such as divc
master or instructor should contact the dive sop for further

c certification. T
Sto complete. Ac
e weekend. The
; to complete. If
urse can be com
e dive shop hig
some certified.
Ators eager to tec
like to instruct I

liver, minimal time is needed
open water course takes about tw
nicd open water can be complete
sct diver course also takes tw
mu want to become a master div
ted lin a minimum of two month
recommends a six month court!
e dilv shop has many aualifih

time jobs as well to work around. Fo
the most part, classes are offered on th(
weekends, but we want to make classes
available for even-one.
"Diving is extremely important," Jessi<
sid. "It is a let loose thing. You can rela?
and get alay from cell phones, pagers o
e-mail and forget about everything goini
Alongside courses offered, the dive shop offers iman
vents for current divers to get involved in. Divers ar
ncouraged to participate in organized events. It is a grea
ray to meet new people and stay involved in the local divk
community on base.
Divers will be decorating a Christmas tree underwater
e'c. 6 at Phillips Dive Park. The dive will start following.
monthly Reef Raiders meeting beginning at 6 p. .
Ocean Enterprises is open Monday Friday, 12 6
.m.; Saturd, 9 a. -6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m
or more information call the dive shon at ext 75336 0

COST: $280
paid in two payments; credit cards, checks, bank drafts
and cash
payments are made at the dive shop:
*$55 to NEX for books and certification card
*$225 to MWR at G. J. Denich Gym
SCost covers: all books, certification and use of
instructor's gear
> You must provide: mask, fins, snorkel and booties (either
purchase at dive shop, rent or use a buddy's!)



Il l I I


Brig. Gen Lake, new JTF deputy

LAKE from 5

pay attention and understand why they
are here and that their primary mission is
the safe, humane, legal and transparent
care and custody of detainees," Lake
As discussion continues in
Washington, D.C., about the future of
the detention facilities, Lake likens the
coming months to a part of an ongoing
relay race. As units and Troopers
continue to transition in and out of the
JTF, Lake's advice is to focus on the
mission and not on a particular closing
"This is the third leg of a relay race,"
Lake said. "There are many rumors in
regard to the JTF life expectancy, but
the guidance from the commander is
that we don't know when the race will
end, so we're going to run the race all
the way through. If we have to pass the
baton on, whether it be to military or
civilian personnel whenever it may be
- we need to make sure we've run the
race through professionally, not with a Army Brig. Gen. Timothy Lake, the incoming deptuy commander of Joint Task Force
focus on the end date, because we have Guantanamo, shakes hands with a Trooper at Seaside Galley on Thanksgiving,
no influence on that date." O Nov. 26. JTF Guantanamo photo by Army Staff Sgt. Blair Heusdens



Making room for dinner
Members of Joint Task Force Guantanamo and Naval Station Guantanamo Bay kicked off their Thanksgiving celebration with
a five-kilometer Turkey Trot run, Nov. 26. Morale, Welfare and Recreation handed out t-shirts, turkeys and gift certificates to
participants in the holiday race. JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Maria Blanchard



Army Capt.
Eric Bey
525th MP chaplain

As we enter this holiday season, there
is no doubt many people will miss family
and friends and the traditions that they may
have had their whole lives.
For some, the tradition they will miss
may be a special dinner or dessert; for
others, it is decorating the Christmas tree;
and perhaps for others it will be the family
reunions. Virtually everyone however, will
partake in the exchanging of gifts, dinners,
parties, decorations and parades.
I wonder how many will remember the
true meaning of these holidays. We just
celebrated Thanksgiving, a traditionally
American holiday and how many
remembered why they were celebrating or
to whom they were giving thanks. Do you
remember that it started out in the days of
the pilgrims? They were thankful to God
for the journey and purpose for which they
came. This Thanksgiving I am sure that

many people performed the ritual of going
around the table and took turns saying what
they were thankful for, but how many were
thankful to God?
I think it would actually set people
back on their heels if they were to read
the original intent of the first Pilgrims who
settled this land those many years ago. In
the Mayflower Compact, they declared
that they were undertaking the endeavor
of starting the first colony for the Glory of
God and the advancement of the Christian
faith. I think it would offend a great many
people if someone today were to feel the
same way the Pilgrims did.
Then there is Christmas. The very
reason for the season is the birth of Christ
and yet how many people get offended at
the mentioning of Him. It seems now that
political correctness has led it to be called
a "winter festival." For decades or longer
people have been complaining about how
commercial Christmas has become. I see a
move away fromourbeginnings; aforfeiting
of heritage; a forgetting of traditions. We

have traditions true enough, but they have
nothing to do with the true meaning of the
beginning. We have substituted superficial
traditions for the tradition where families
gathered and the stories of God, His great
exploits and His love were shared.
I would like everyone everywhere to stop
and meditate. Think about the meanings
of these holidays. Think about something
bigger than you and get lost, enraptured
and inspired again. Reclaim the holidays
and reintroduce and reinstitute meaning
and purpose. Retell the stories, not of flying
reindeer, elves and Santa, but of a God who
gave His only begotten Son; of a people who
gave up everything for a heartfelt belief that
God had called them to leave everything
familiar to spread the Good News of our
redemption through Christ.
Let's be an active part in reviving
the spirit of the holidays and not make
apologies for having done so. Share the
stories and meaning of the holidays with
all those who will listen and let's give glory
where glory is due. O

III I1H m Y ; IH 1 I iil i! J

Protestant Worship
Sunday: 9 a.m.

Spanish Protestant


Bible Study
Sunday: 6 p.m.
Wednesday: 7 p.m.

Spanish Catholic Mass
Sunday: 5 p.m.
at NAVSTA Chapel


Sunday: 11 a.m.


Catholic Mass
Sunday Friday:
6:30 a.m. Mass


Scout popcorn

creates smiles

* Boy scouts begin to distribute more
than 4,000 pounds of popcorn to Joint

Army Spc.
David McLean
JTF Guantanamo Public Affairs

Tight economic times could not stop the Boy Scouts of
America from bringing gifts of popcorn to Troopers. Members
from Boy Scout Troop 115, part of the Baltimore Area Council,
teamed up with the Guantanamo Bay's BST 435 to deliver
tins of popcorn to Marines with Marine Corps Security Force
Company Guantanamo. This distribution of the confectionary
corn snack is the first of many that is intended to reach every
Trooper here at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay.
Air Force Lt. Col. Denise Boyer, commander of the 474th
Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron, coordinated much
of the effort to get the popcorn down to Guantanamo Bay. Her
two sons are scouts in Maryland, and upon seeing the large
number of Girl Scout cookies delivered here earlier this year,
she wanted to get Boy Scout popcorn here.
"Every year my boys sell Boy Scout popcorn, and one
of the options is to make a donation to the Troopers," said
Boyer. "Our Boy Scouts distribute at Baltimore Washington
International Airport when Troopers are coming back from the
field. Most Troopers say they would rather have it in the field
than when they come home."
In order to have the popcorn reach Troopers in the field,
Boyer arranged transportation for the popcorn with the Office
of Military Commissions flights from Andrews Air Force
"I approached the subject of getting stuff down here, and


talked with the local Troops and to the one back in Baltimore to figure
out some way to get some donated popcorn here," said Boyer. "The
Baltimore Area Council approved to send 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of
popcorn to Troopers stationed at GTMO. It is overwhelming to see
how much popcorn they were willing to send here."
Shipments are arriving, and Boyer's two sons and husband made the
trip to distribute the first tins alongside the local troops. The plan for
distribution was first to the MCSFCO who work outer security for the
naval station.
"The first people we wanted to
give to were the Marines at GTMO
who work the fenceline," said Boyer.
"For many of them, this is their first
deployment. Sometimes it will be
their very first time away from home
for Christmas. We wanted to do
something special for them."
Marine Lance. Cpl. Aaron Purkiss,
a MCSFCO member and Eagle Scout,
said he enjoyed the visit from the
scouts and the work they are doing.
"Boy Scouts always have that spirit
of helping out, doing some service for
others and doing what is right," said
Purkiss. "Thank you, Boy Scouts of
America. Thank you for coming here
and treating us."
Continued distribution of the
popcorn is expected in the coming
weeks to reach all Joint Task Force
a and Naval Station Guantanamo
For more information about Boy
Scout popcorn, contact Lt. Col. Boyer
at ext. 5025. 0

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