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Story Sgt.Erin Viola Just like Joint Task Force Guantanamo continues to find ways to support the troopers here, families back home are doing the same. Various Reserve and National Guard units deployed here have excellent Family Support Groups that families are using, not only to support the troops here, but to support each other back home. These active family support groups provide anything from unit newsletters to care packages to troopers, and from fun events for children to self-defense classes for spouses. It's all for a good cause. It is all for the well being of the families and the servicemembers. Many family members expressed that this is not an easy time, but those same family members have also stepped up to the plate and decided to put a positive spin on things. By participating in family support group activities, family members get to know each other better and find comfort in spending time with others who are going through the same thing missing their servicemember, dealing with household issues, raising children while mom or dad is away, shoveling snow off of the roof, finances, and everything else that life presents to them. Keeping busy is the key. Terry Laster, the FSG Coordinator for the 438th Military Police Company, of Murray, Ky., understands this all too well. Her husband, Staff Sgt. David Laster and her son, Spc. Michael Laster, are both deployed here with the 438th. Mrs. Laster has organized potluck socials, pizza parties, and informative meetings with guest speakers from groups like the American Legion and American Red Cross. Additionally, she organized the "Adopt a Soldier" program, which was a huge success. This program involves local individuals and organizations from the surrounding communities, who volunteered to adopt a soldier in the 438th and show their support by sending packages and letters to soldiers here. "Salute to Our Soldiers" is the latest project Mrs. Laster is putting together. Sponsored by the Murray Women's Club, it involves the whole community and 438th MPfamilies. This event will be a special tribute to the 438th solPublished in the interest of personnel assigned to JTF Guantanamo and COMNAV Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Honor Bound to Defend Freedom Volume 3, Issue 20 Friday, April 18, 2003 Inside the Wire... Page 1 Page 1 1 1 Page 5 Page 5 Page 3 Page 3 Fleet and Family Support Center Infantry train for EIB Sizzling steaks at Seaside Family Support Groups forge bonds on home front See FAMILIES, page 4 Photo courtesy of the MIUWU212MIUWU212 Family Support Group members Angie, wife of Chief Petty Officer Jerrold Patterson (left),and Shirley, wife of Petty Officer 2nd Class Carrie Bosarge, grill up some burgers at their most recent picnic.
When people come together from various walks of life to join in a common cause and serve their nation, they quickly bond and become a second family. In fact, troopers tend to see one another here more than they would even see their real family, were they back home. We work together, eat together, play together and share living quarters with one another. We form a sense of camaraderie that comes from knowing we are serving our nation, and we build friendships that will last a lifetime. But our JTF family stretches far beyond the shores of this island. For every trooper behind the wire, pulling security on land and sea, or supporting the force in every way possible, there are people who love them back home and who will always be there to support them. They are parents, spouses, siblings, and children. They are the flesh-and-blood reminder of why we commit ourselves to defending freedom every day. And we must never forget the sacrifices that they too are making for our nation. There is no reason for any family member back home to feel as if they are carrying their sacrifices alone. Every unit has a Family Support Group that can provide help when needed. It can be particularly challenging for families of troopers in the National Guard and Reserve, though, who come from a variety of places where other military families may not be readily at hand. This is why it is even more important for us here to find ways to stay connected with our larger JTF family, remembering that the people we work and live with each day have concerns that stretch beyond the mission at hand. If there are families who feel they aren't connected or that they have no one to turn to for help, troopers must make it known and leaders must fix the problem immediately. Our JTF leadership makes a covenant with our troopers and families we ask for their very best every day and we owe them our very best to take care of them. Our families and loved ones may simply need a phone call or a letter, reminding them they are part of an important struggle in which our nation will ultimately prevail. Or they may need much more as they deal with life at home. No matter what they need, we must extend our collective hand to them, offering help and understanding. This is the standard of a great organization and what we will work hard to do every day. Our JTF motto is "Honor Bound to Defend Freedom." Let us not forget that we are also honor bound to care for one another, to include our loved ones back home. There are times when they will feel alone, but we must let them know that they are not. They are a part of our JTF family and we care for our own. HonorBound! J T F -G G T M O C o m m a n dCommander: MG Geoffrey D. Miller Joint Task Force CSM: CSMGeorge L. Nieves Public Affairs Officer: Lt. Col. Barry Johnson Deputy PAO / 362nd MPADCommander Maj. Paul J. Caruso Command Information Officer / Editor: Capt. Linda K. Spillane Circulation: 2,100 copiesT h e W i r e S t a f fThe Wire NCOIC & Layout Editor: Staff Sgt. Stephen E. Lewald Staff writers and design team: Sgt. Erin P. Viola Spc. Delaney T. Jackson Spc. Lisa L. Gordon Spc. Alan L. Knesek Spc. George L. Allen Contact us: 5239/5241 (Local phone) 5426 (Local fax) Joint Information Bureau/HQAnnex Online: http://www.nsgtmo.navy.mil/jtfgtmo The Wire is produced by the 362nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment assigned to the Joint Information Bureau at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. This publication is printed under the provisions provided in Army Regulation 360-1 and does not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the personnel within.Friday, April 18, 2003Page 2 From the Top MGGeoffrey D. Miller Joint Task Force Commander JTF Guantanamo From the Field According to the JTFJ1, the Unfunded Environmental Morale Leave (EML) procedures are as follows: 1. Complete the SC Form 101-R 2. Complete the leave form that corresponds to your branch service and in the box for the type of leave check other and put "EML" in remarks. 3. Complete the EMLauthorization memo signed by the Company Commander or J Staff. 4. Bring the packet to the J1 JPSC in the Headquarters Building for leave control number. 5. Fax the packet to the hanger at x6170. From the Field is a weekly feature addressing questions from service members on policy, procedures and other topics of interest to Joint Task Force Guantanamo. If you have a question for From the Field, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Wire at 5239. How can Itake advantage of the Unfunded Environmental Morale Leave? Our JTFleadership makes a covenant with our troopers and families we ask for their very best every day and we owe them our very best to take care of them.
Story & photo by Spc.Lisa L.Gordon The soldiers of Bravo Co. 2-116th Infantry, recently conducted training at Bulkeley Field in preparation for Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) testing later this year when the unit returns home. In order to obtain an EIB, an 11-series soldier (infantryman) must pass a series of tests over the course of almost a week. In addition to first aid stations, tasks relating to properly reacting to nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks, day and night land navigation, a 12 mile ruck march, and many others, the soldiers must pass an Army Physical Fitness Test with a minimum score of 70 percent in each event. All events are timed and soldiers must get a go at each and every station in order receive the badge. According to Sgt. Adrian Lewis-Walker, getting an EIB is very difficult, but well worth the effort. "Approximately 11 percent of a company will pass the EIB It's like getting a Special Forces tab. Not everybody can do it. It's personal pride you put yourself through a world of hurt to do this. You've taken a lot of time to train for this; mentally and physically It's not a mandatory thing to get the badge, but it's something that everybody strives for," Lewis-Walker said. During their red cycle, Bravo Co. frequently trains on infantry and soldier tasks that will help them when it comes to EIB testing. This time around, the soldiers conducted functions checks and loading and unloading of the 50-caliber machine gun and the 240 Bravo machine gun. They also trained on NBC tasks such as individual decontamination of self and equipment and protecting oneself from a chemical or biological attack. Soldiers also reviewed the proper procedure for using Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS) for communication in a field environment. Sgt. Lewis-Walker said that the company's frequent review of EIB tasks will help the soldiers have a higher than average passing rate when it is finally testing time. Bravo Co. soldiers will test for the EIB after they have returned to their home station in Lexington, Va. Page 3Friday, April 18, 2003 2-116th practices infantry skills for future EIB test (From left) Spc. Paul Ufema gets instruction from Spc. Aaron Wallace on the proper procedure for disassembling the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon during Bravo Co. 2-116th Expert Infantry Badge training at Bulkeley Field. Story by Spc.Mark LeoneDuring peacetime or war, the American Red Cross is the communication link between United States servicemembers and their loved ones back home. According to Denise A. Clark, Red Cross station manager here, the Red Cross assists more than 4,000 American families daily. From urgent messages regarding a serious illness, death of a loved one or the joyous birth of a child, the Red Cross is the network that links members of the military stationed anywhere in the world (including ships at sea, embassies and isolated military units) with their loved ones, 24-hoursa-day, seven-days-a-week. Through their morale visits, the Guantanamo Bay Red Cross station manager and volunteers give them a small piece of home and let troops know that they care when they go out to meet soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, or firefighters where they work. "The most rewarding aspect of our day is a morale visit," says Clark. It gives us an opportunity to talk and get a feel for what the troops are going through. In addition to visiting troops down in Camp America, they distribute goodies. We go out and distribute a gift from the generous American people like gum, Chap Stick, cards, or just a Tootsie Pop, adds Clark. Clark advises, When a family crisis arises, family members must contact their local Red Cross, relay the situation and servicemember's full name, Social Security number and military address. In addition, depending upon the circumstances, family members must also be prepared to convey the relationship of immediate family members to the service member, the name of the doctor, hospital or funeral home. Troops can also turn to the Red Cross to access emergency financial assistance. If no other financial resources are available, the Red Cross now administers a new assistance program that National Guard and Reserve troops can tap into, said Clark. The face of the military is changing and many civilians are being called to service and leaving their daily roles of parent, coworker, neighbor or friend. These members of the National Guard and Reserve are often unaware of the valuable Red Cross services until mobilization. The Red Cross also helps the Guard and Reserve members and their families cope with separation and other special needs related to service in the Armed Forces. Many of the Red Cross chapters and stations across the United States are sponsoring family support groups. Families of National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty service members attend meetings to learn to cope with separation. Red Cross chapters are listed in local telephone books and on the American Red Cross web site at: http://www.redcross.org/where/where.html. American Red Cross: linking families to servicemembers
diers where the community will gather together and offer items and letters of encouragement to the soldiers here. Angie Patterson (wife of Chief Petty Officer Jerrold Patterson), the ombudsman for Mobile Inshore Undersea Waterfare Unit 212 of Gulfport Miss., with the help of volunteer support coordinators Kathleen Kent (wife of Cmdr. Craig Kent), and Shirley Bosarge (wife of Petty Officer 2nd Class Carrie Bosarge), work together to provide support to family members of MIUWU 212. Mrs. Patterson said that during their first two family support group meetings, they mostly offered tips on things like 'who has the best telephone long distance plan to Cuba.' They also used those meetings to take care of any administrative issues, and each meeting was followed by a dinner. Since then, they have held a family picnic and plan on giving classes on selfdefense and hurricane preparedness. "I am constantly looking for information that may be useful to the spouses in different situations that may arise," said Mrs. Patterson. "Most of our husbands handle the big preparations. We will now have to handle all the preparations. So there is now a need for each of us to develop a hurricane plan. I'm also looking into a summer program for working mothers." The night before the family picnic, the MIUWU 212 volunteers organized an outing to the Mobile Bay Bears opening game, where service families were given free tickets. "There were fireworks and afterwards they displayed pictures on the scoreboard of the deployed service members. It was wonderful, yet very emotional," said Mrs. Kent. Families need to know that they can reach out and take advantage of the many opportunities offered by family support groups, and that emotional support is an added bonus. "The support and knowledge we have gained from each other has been wonderful. We also have a few laughs. We know we can pick up the phone and someone is there to listen, or lend a hand if need be," said Mrs. Patterson. Emotional support is especially important to families who may not have been prepared for their service members to stay in Cuba longer than expected. Overall, most families are doing well, knowing that their loved ones are not half way around the world, but in the sunny Caribbean instead. Mrs. Kent said she was happily surprised with the views of the MIUWU 212 family members. "We only found out a few days before (the picnic), but after the few allowable 'woe me's,' we turned to productive questions about employer leave, employer notifications, things like that. Angie reminded us that the service member is probably reacting to the news the same as we are, and not to blame them for the extension," said Mrs. Kent. Another fringe benefit of making it through a deployment is that we are all learning new things about ourselves. "One of the most challenging things is understanding that things change at the last minute and you have no control over them," said Mrs. Bosarge. "This deployment has had its ups and downs, but through it all I've learned that I am a much stronger person than I ever realized." Mrs. Bosarge is putting some of her energies towards organizing beneficial activities for the younger children and teens, as well as making preparations for the long awaited homecoming. "We are in a situation where our family, friends and neighbors don't fully understand what we are going through, and it's nice to have someone who can relate," said Mrs. Bosarge. The 2-116th Infantry has a strong family support group as well. Last Christmas, they held a potluck dinner where donated gifts were passed out to the children. The Brigade Executive Officer and Chaplain attended the dinner and offered an open forum where they answered questions from the families. Last week the family support group held a basket Bingo event that helped raise money for the welcome home party. Future meetings for 2-116th family members will include free massages contributed by a local massage school, followed by a meeting to discuss more details about the extension here. Next month, in celebration of Memorial Day, they plan to have a free picnic catered by a local steak house. Crissy Tolliver, wife of Sgt. Stephen Tolliver of the 300th Military Police Brigade, is and active volunteer with her family support group. Last December, the 300th FSG organized a Christmas party for the families of the deployed reservists as well as for the soldiers who remained behind. The party featured a dinner, arts and crafts for the kids, a masseuse and a consultant from a major cosmetics company. The 300th FSG also has a website where soldiers, families and friends can view and post pictures, inspirational messages and events. "We are working on making a psychologist available to meet with the families who have a service member deployed. This may help them with any problems they may be facing. We are also organizing a babysitting co-op," said Mrs. Tolliver. To cope, Mrs. Tolliver also tries to keep busy. She understands her husband's mission and is grateful that he is not in a combat zone and that she can communicate with him often. "I am very proud that my husband has chosen to serve our country. He takes his job seriously and gives it 100 percent. I am honored to have the opportunity to contribute to defending the freedom of our country. It is a sacrifice that most generations since the birth of the United States of America have been called upon to make. It is a sacrifice we are willing to make as a family to ensure our children and our children's children will have that same freedom," said Mrs. Tolliver. Family support groups can also provide contact information regarding TRICARE, Red Cross, legal aid and other resources. Mrs. Tolliver recommends that families of deployed servicemembers accept offers for help from friends and family, and to take those offers seriously. "Many of them (friends and family) want to do their part to support our troops, too. When soldiers know their families are being taken care of, it makes the deployment a little easier for them as well. Have a list of needs handy so that when someone offers to help in any way, the offer is not forgotten. Help can come in all forms, from home maintenance to babysitting, to lending an ear," said Mrs. Tolliver. Page 4Friday, April 18, 2003 FAMILIES, from page 1. Photo courtesy of 300th Military Police Brigade Family Support GroupWives of deployed soldiers gather at a recent 300th Military Police Brigade Family Support Group function. (From left to right)Deberia Witherspoon, Delaney Provencher, Kristy Midora (husband Capt. Troy Midora is deployed to JTFGuantanamo), Joyce Fabian (husband Maj. Norman Fabian is deployed at JTFGuantanamo), and Cindy DeSousa. See FAMILIES, page 7
Friday, April 18, 2003Page 5 Fleet and Family Support Center offers variety of services Story &photo by Sgt.Erin P.Viola Deployments are challenging in many ways. Sacrifices are made by service members and by families; people's lives are put on hold. Being away from home is not easy, and many times troops as well as families need guidance and assistance during times like these. The Fleet & Family Support Center at Guantanamo Bay can do just that. They provide a wide variety of services to help Joint Task Force Guantanamo service members cope. Ray White, Joint Task Force Guantanamo Liaison for Fleet & Family Support Center, said his office works as a team with the JTF 85th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control Team and the JTF Chaplains to provide as much support to the troops as possible. "If a trooper needs any assistance we can offer, we will bend over backwards to get it to them. That is why we now have two additional stations at Camp America (Building 3103), and after normal duty hours at the Joint Aid Station in Tierra Kay," said White. The FFSC staff is warm, friendly, professional and has extensive training, according to White. Confidentiality is one of their top priorities. "We treat all our clients with respect and dignity," said White. The numerous services offered by FFSC include individual private counseling sessions, group sessions, and even classes. Most likely, if you have an issue that you are trying to deal with, FFSC can help you. Some FFSC services most applicable to JTF troopers at this time are: Personal Financial Management, Personal and Family Counseling, and Anger and Stress Management. Awide variety of personal and financial management classes are offered to provide advice on things like checking account management, savings and investments, credit management and more. During deployments it is important for families to have open lines of communication when it comes to finances. Using the Family Financial Check List as a guide can help. It addresses budgeting tasks, utility bills, long distance bills, rent and/or mortgage, and more. FFSC also offers a Command Financial Specialist Training class which is basic training for command members on how to counsel subordinates on financial issues. Topics include: pay and allowances, consumer issues, communication skills, and rehabilitative finances. The personal and family counseling that is offered can be of great benefit to a trooper in need, but also to that troopers spouse. Spouses can also take advantage of family support services at a post or base closest to their home. For example, if the trooper is in the Army, and the closest base to their spouse's home is an Air Force base, the spouse at home can seek counseling at that base. Likewise, the trooper can receive counseling here. Counseling services offered here are numerous, but a brief listing includes: short term counseling, marriage/family issues, parenting issues, couples communication classes, anger management, and stress management. The anger management class offered is designed for people who want to control their anger both in work and social/family settings. The stress management class teaches troopers how to keep stress from accumulating. Since stress can cause other problems such as health concerns, mental confusion and relationship conflicts, this class is important for troops who are suffering from stress and may be having trouble staying focused at work. The list goes on regarding what the FFSC has to offer to JTF servicemembers here. The important thing for troopers to know is that assistance is available 24 hours a day. JTF Guantanamo cares about it's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, and this is just one of many ways in which they can receive help. Joe Black, Director, Fleet and Family Support Center (far left) leads a group meeting before the Fleet and Family Support team starts their day. From left to right: Paul Walker, Lillie Johnson, Brenda Kittrell, Cendy Sheldon, and Bill Barber. AirForce Crossroadswww.afcrossroads.comArmy &AirForce National Guardwww.arng.army.milArmy and AirForcewww.guardfamily.orgArmy Reservewww.army.mil/usarCoast Guard Reservewww.uscg.mil/hq/reserve/reshmpg.htmlDepartment of Defense (DOD)www.defenselink.milEmployerSupport of the Guard and Reservewww.esgr.orgLIFElineswww.lifelines2000.orgMarine Reservewww.mfr.usmc.milMFRC (Military Family Resource Center )http://mfrc.calib.comNaval Reservewww.navres.navy.mil/navresforReserve Affairs (Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense)www.defenselink.mil/ra/TRICAREwww.tricare.osd.milUnited Concordiawww.ucci.comVirtual Army Community Service Linkhttp://trol.redstone.army.mil/acs/virtual2 Individuals with prolonged reactions that disrupt their daily functioning should consult with a trained and experienced mental health professional. JTFGuantanamo resources include Fleet & Family Support Center 4141/4153, for Mental Health, call central appointments at 72110, Chaplain call 2323, and Rapid Intervention Team (SPRINT) call 5251/81160. Family Support Web Sites
Page 6Friday, April 18, 2003 JTF servicemembers survive tax season By Army Maj.Jo Irby ChiefLegal Assistance/Tax Officer This was the first season of free tax preparation for the service members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) at Guantanamo Bay. Despite this, the experience and professionalism displayed by the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistors and unit representatives made this tax season a complete success. The season began with a three-day training seminar for 19 volunteers and a week of continuous familiarization and practical exercises, including reviewing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), delivering pamphlets of duties and responsibilities to the representatives, and advertising the free tax preparation service. Although this was the first tax center for the JTF, it was not the first tax preparation experience for most of the volunteers. The volunteers consisted of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including accountants, CPAs, attorneys, brokers, investors, IRS employees, computer technicians, linguists, counselors and administrators. The volunteers prepared over 165 tax returns, saving the service members well over $18,000 in tax preparation fees and resulting in refunds totaling over $114,000. Most taxpayers were accustomed to the April 15th tax-filing deadline; therefore, as that date quickly approached, they hurried to the tax center to avoid filing late. Surprisingly, many taxpayers did not know that one of the benefits provided service members who are overseas on the date that taxes are due, is eligibility for an automatic two-month extension to June 15th, 2003. In order to take advantage of this extension, soldiers (who paper file) need only attach a statement to their return explaining that their duty assignment is outside of the United States. Although the extension allows you to file on June 15th, however, the IRS charges interest on any amount owed and not paid by the regular April 15th due date. Soldiers can also request an additional extension to October 15th by completing Form 2688 and enclosing a letter to the IRS. Tax season at JTF Guantanamo was made easier thanks to the volunteers who assisted other service members in preparing their taxes. One soldier stated, "You're a lifesaver," as he handed the necessary paperwork to one of the assistors. The tax office (located at bldg #2300 in Camp America) will remain open throughout the month of April and will continue to provide assistance to JTF members as long as tax assistance is necessary. The hours of operation will be Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and appointments may be made by contacting the tax center at 3637 or 3563. Dont sit at home and be bored!You are invited to have fun with us at the Christian Night Club This Saturday, April 19, at 8 p.m.All are wlecome!The Christian Night Club is sponsored by the Joint Task Force Guantanamo Unit Ministry Team Contact Staff Sgt. Mike Montgomery at 3202 / 3203 By Spc.George Allen The Secretary of the Air Force recently approved a 'mass waiver' that extends JTF Guantanamo airmen beyond 179 days. According to Air Force Maj. Tim Newman, JTF GTMO J-1, airmen are "frozen in place indefinitely." Air Force officials in Washington say that during this time of heightened readiness, the personnel process will be adjusted to accommodate the priority of the Aerospace Expeditionary Force and focus the priority on the war. Regardless of Air Force Specialty Code, all personnel who are deployed in support of JTF Guantanamo are stop-lossed for the duration of their deployment. For most of the 49 Air Force personnel here, it'll be business as usual; nothing has changed and the stop loss remains in effect until further notice. This only affects active duty members in Aerospace Expeditionary Force 7 and 8. "Personnel with PCS assignment conflicts will be worked on a caseby-case basis by their own MAJCOMs," said Newman. According to the recent message put out by Headquarters, Department of the Air Force, assignments and reporting dates will be adjusted on a case by case basis by the Air Force Personnel Center assignment teams in cooperation with commanders, members and gaining and losing major air commands. This includes join-spouse assignments and permanent changes of station (PCS). Rather than being PCS-ed directly to one's next assignment, airmen will return to their current units to out-process. In all cases, the desires and needs of the Air Force member will be taken into consideration. Newman pointed out that staff sergeant selectees who have not attended Airman Leadership School may request a waiver, through their home station commander, to pin on the rank prior to completion of ALS. For those airmen who are asking the question, "What is indefinite?," Maj. Newman says we just "don't know the answer," but you can be rest assured that officials here will stay in close contact with the Southern Command J-1 and keep the JTF airmen abreast of when relief will be sent in. Within Joint Task Force Guantanamo, questions should be directed to the Joint Personnel Reception Center at x5395. For other specific questions or concerns, you can check out the Air Force Personnel Center web site at www.afpc.randolph.af.mil. It's business as usual for JTF airmen Special Announcement for the Catholic CommunityAll Catholic religious services during Holy Week will take place at the NAVBASE Main Chapel. This will enable the entire Catholic community at Guantanamo Bay to come together for these sacred celebrations. Good Friday3 p.m., April 18 Holy Saturday 8:30 p.m., April 19 EasterSunday 9 a.m., April 20 Please remember to abstain from meat on the Fridays of Lent. Also remember that Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence.
Page 7Friday, April 18, 2003 Deployment is "family affair" for 344th MP soldier Story by Sgt.Robert Mitchell &photo by Spc.Jared MulloyNine years ago, John Biehn volunteered to enlist in the United States Army. Less than a year ago his wife, Jen, volunteered her services to the 344th Military Police Company's Family Support Group. Staff Sgt. John Biehn is a 95B, Military Police Officer with the 344th. For him, it was a simple case of patriotism. "I joined the Army because I wanted to serve my country," he said. Jen's reason was similar. "My husband asked me if I wanted to volunteer for his unit's Family Support Group. I accepted with honor." To paraphrase Garth Brooks, "They're two of a kind, working on a full house." Afull house is precisely what the Biehns have back in Bridgeport, Conn. The couple has four children, which is a full-time occupation for Jen, especially while John is deployed to Joint Task Force Guantanamo. However, she has a true volunteer's attitude. "Although the time away from my husband is very hard, I feel comfort knowing that I'm helping other people going through the same things. I have made lifelong friends and will continue to do so as time goes on," she said. "I've also learned to appreciate what our soldiers sacrifice when they go to war to protect us." While Jen is looking after their offspring at home, John is keeping a close eye on his soldiers at JTF Guantanamo. "My biggest challenge here is coordinating with S3 trying to make improvements inside Camp Delta to make better working conditions for soldiers working there," he said. Staff Sgt. Biehn serves as a police officer for the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in his civilian occupation. He is also a scuba diver for the Bridgeport P.D. Search and Rescue Squad, which qualifies him to enjoy some of his precious few leisure hours in the blue waters in and around Guantanamo Bay. He spoke with great pride about his wife and the energy with which she has tackled her role in the Family Support Group. "My wife is currently involved in the Family Support Group phone tree," he explained. "If a situation occurs here, like the extension a couple of weeks ago, she'll contact another family support group member, who will contact another member and the tree will take effect so that everybody's notified." Not coincidentally, Jen spoke with great respect for her husband and his unit. "It (the deployment) has made me see what a great country we live in they (344th MPCo.) have a mission to do and they are the best unit to do it." Whether Staff Sgt. Biehn and his wife, Jen, are together in Bridgeport or separated 2,000 miles by a military deployment, one thing is certain: they'll both perform their duties with patriotism and pride. After all, they're both volunteers. The family support groups will also be there to help families during the transition period that takes place when the service member comes back home. There will be more challenges that lie ahead. "I will have to be willing to release many things I now have control over. I will have to remember that I have to consider my husband when making plans. He will have to be willing to realize that I may have done things differently than he would have. In some cases I could only do the best I could do, and that had to be enough," said Mrs. Tolliver. Melissa Saren, wife of Capt. Jeffrey Saren, 303rd Military Police Company, has been organizing family support group activities for the 303rd for some time now. She says they are geographically challenged because the families are spread out all over Ohio and parts of Indiana. To meet this challenge, Mrs. Saren has concentrated on bringing together small groups that are closer in proximity and its been working well. The 303rd FSG is also working on activities for the children. "We have someone who has volunteered to have the children go fishing at their pond soon. We also plan to have a family support picnic when the weather gets a little nicer," said Mrs. Saren. Mrs. Saren said some of the families find it beneficial to just get together on the weekends and have their kids play together, then perhaps go to dinner and take in a movie. During future meetings, the 303rd FSG plans to have guest speakers and subject matter experts discuss issues relating to family separation and how children deal with a family member being deployed. Overall Mrs. Saren says that the families of the 303rd are dealing with the deployment fairly well. "I believe that the family members of the 303rd are extremely proud of their soldiers. If they didn't realize the sacrifices of a soldier and a military family believe me we all feel it to the core now. Deployments for Reserve families have their own unique issues that make it extremely hard," said Mrs. Saren. Although Mrs. Saren and Mrs. Tolliver don't know each other and have never met, they agree on a unique point learning to accept help from others. "I would suggest (to family members), that they swallow their pride and ask for help when someone offers up a helping hand. People want to help. It makes them feel good," said Mrs. Saren. FAMILIES, from page4 Staff Sgt. John Biehn communicates with the 344th MPCo. Command Post.
Page 8Friday, April 18, 2003 B y 2 n d L t D a v i d D a b b s J o i n t T a s k F o r c e G u a n t a n a m o E n v i r o n m e n t a l H e a l t h O f f i c e r It seems like every time there is a torrential rainfall, those pesky little biting nuisances, the mosquito, comes back with a vengeance to wreak havoc on our quality of life here at Joint Task Force Guantanamo. Well, not anymore! How do I prevent mosquitoes from biting me you may ask? Well whether you're just out for a walk, working on the block, out at the beach, or barbecuing on the back patio, the following suggestions will help to optimize your personal protection: (A) Military uniforms should be treated with premethrin aerosol. This service is provided by the Preventive Medicine (PM) personnel and can be arranged by contacting 7-2990. (B) Liberal applications of DEETcream to unprotected areas. Reapply as needed due to excessive sweating. DEETcream is available on island through the normal supply system for troops who have used or misplaced their initial issue. Other alternatives include the use of Deep Woods Off or Avons Skin So Soft which are available at the NEX. (C) The high grass areas need to be cut down to deny the mosquitoes a place to live and breed. (D) Once the grass is cut down, optimal effectiveness of mosquito control by way of fogging application can be achieved. (E) All trashcans need to have proper fitting lids on them to prevent possible breeding sites. (F) Recyclable containers need to be emptied and rinsed before placing in recyclable bins. Birdbaths need to be rinsed and sanitized with bleach solution, as both could be a place of harborage for mosquitoes. (H) Lastly, for those of you who prefer a holistic approach to pest control, the intake of daily garlic pills may help although not proven. A note of courtesy just always be downwind when talking to your fellow trooper. So lets make our life here bearable by protecting ourselves with what the former COMNAVBASECommander, Capt. Buehn, called the official cologne of Naval Base Guantanamo Deep Woods Off. Charlie Papa! JTFHealth Source Mosquitoes: a pest to protect yourself from Compiled by Army Spc.Delaney Jackson Man on the Street This weeks question: What does it mean to you personally to have a good family support group? Army Sgt. Al Lamont, 785th MPBn. Good family support groups are a necessity. In having this I am able to focus on my mission here knowing my wife has an entire battalion to lean on." Petty Officer 1st Class Ana Calidonio, J-4 Supply "As a single parent it helps you to stay close to your child's activities, his personal complaints, and his welfare. By knowing what's going on at home you're able to focus on your mission here with a little more ease. Army Sgt. Ruben Aquino, 240th MPCo. "Family is the number one motivation for our mission, doing the job, accomplishing the mission. It helps to know that the family support group can get together, talk to each other and support each other while we are away." Spc. Denise Haynes, J-1 "I'm new to the Army, and this is my first deployment. I'm also the mother of three children, and it's good to know that the family support group is there to assist my husband with any problems that may arise. Air Force Staff Sgt. Vichittasuk Hebel, 86th Logistics Readiness Sq. "It keeps the communication lines open between families and service members, they also have family counseling."
Friday, April 18, 2003Page 9 Worship ServicesCatholic Main Chapel Daily6:30 a.m.Mass Cobre Chapel Wed.5 p.m.R.C.I.A. Cobre Chapel Fri.5 p.m.Rosary Sat.4:30 p.m.Confession 5:30 p.m.Mass Sun.9 a.m.Mass Camp America Sun. 10:45 a.m.Mass Wooden Chapel 5 p.m.Mass Wooden ChapelProtest ant Main Chapel Mon.7 p.m.Prayer Group Fellowship* Wed.7 p.m.Mens Bible Study* 7 p.m.Spanish Group 390-Evens Pt Thurs.6:30 p.m.Home Group Nob Hill 5B 7:15 p.m.Youth 7-12 Fellowship* Sun.6:30 a.m.Praise and Worship Servce 9:30 a.m.Sunday School 11 a.m.Service/Sunday School 5 p.m.Bible Study** Fellowship Hall located in Chapel ComplexCamp America Wed.7 p.m.Service Sun.9 a.m.Service White Tent 7 p.m.Service Wooden ChapelChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint s Sun.9 a.m.Sanctuary AIslamic Fri.1 p.m.Classroom 12 ChapelComplexJewish Fri.8 p.m.Fellowship HallCampAmerica Church Bus schedule: Sun.8 a.m.Windward Loop 8:15 a.m.Tierra Kay The bus will return immediately following worship. Chaplains Corner By CH (LTC) Herbert Heavner Joint Task Force Guantanamo Command ChaplainWhat EasterMeans To Me I posed this question to three of our chaplains here at Joint Task Force Guantanamo: What does Easter mean to you? In this article I do not mean to exclude those who do not come from a background where Easter means the celebration of the premier event on the Christian calendar; however, since it is a major event in the lives of so many I feel that it is appropriate to address this celebration. CH (LTC) Raymond Bucon responded to my question in this way: Twenty-four years ago I made a list of 50 things I wanted to experience before I die. Some of the more secular events included walking on China's Great Wall, skiing in the Alps, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Visiting Cuba was also on my list but I had the city of Havana in mind, not Guantanamo Bay. My list's final item is to experience Easter. I want to do more than celebrate and rejoice in it. I want to experience Easter by rising with Jesus, having complete understanding and perfect ability to love and be loved. I want to know complete peace, joy, and truth. I want to live in God's freedom because time and space do not limit his freedom. His freedom is everlasting. On April 20th this year the majority of Christians celebrate Christ's resurrection. We gain a glimpse of what can be when the future and the present come together with the past and are sanctified in Christ. May all who celebrate Easter this year be encouraged by Christ's message of hope and eternal peace. CH (MAJ) John Terrill writes: Growing up, Easter was a time for family to gather together, to enjoy a day of worship and fellowship (for me personally that was eating and games). Now, Easter, means for me power. Resurrection power that, 'Christ in me,' gives to me. Realizing that if Christ had not resurrected I would have no power to make it through the day, to talk to people about Christ, or to stand before people with a message from the Bible, God's Word. To me, Easter will always celebrate the vision of new life. Easter comes in the spring, and in most places back home spring means new growth. Most trees and the lawns return to a beautiful shade of green. Many trees produce beautiful blossoms that are as pretty to look at, as they are aromatic to smell. There is that same sense to the celebration of Easter. The man who was the fulfillment of so many ancient scriptures offered the hope of new life through belief in who He was and in what He represented. The apostle Paul wrote that through that belief we become new creatures. The very essence of our spiritual being is transformed through the power that was unleashed on that first Easter Sunday. We have always been individuals destined to an eternal existence. It is through belief in Jesus that our eternal existence has real meaning and hope. For all the soldiers and others here at JTF Guantanamo I think this helps us to define the meaning and hope that we need to hold on to in the months ahead. Because He lives, we do have hope, not only for today but also for tomorrow and for all eternity! U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains, CH (MG) Gaylord T. Gunhus will visit Joint Task Force Guantanamo as the featured speaker at two prayer breakfasts sponsored by the JTF Guantanamo Unit Ministry Team. The first prayer breakfast is Friday, April 25; the second will be on Saturday, April 26. On both days, the breakfast begins at 6:45 a.m. at Seaside Galley. The formal program begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 8:30 a.m. Friday's focus is on E-2s through E-6s; and Saturday's focus is on E-7s and above, to include all officers. If you can attend on one day and not the other-please come regardless of your rank! Seaside Galley to host prayerbreakfast
After securing the top seed in the NBAEastern Conference without Ben Wallace the Detroit Pistons expect to have their rebounding machine back for game one of the playoffs this weekend against Milwaukee or Orlando Wallace has missed the past five games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, which was injured in a home loss to San Antonio on April 6 when teammate Tayshaun Prince fell into his knee. Michael Jordan's final comeback has come to end. Jordan played his last game Wednesday night with the Washington Wizards against the Philadelphia 76ers In National Hockey League news, the NHLplayoffs began last week and the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Redwings are on the brink of elimination. The Bruins are down three games to one to the New Jersey Devils and the Redwings are down three games to zero to the eighth-seeded Anaheim Mighty Ducks In the West, Colorado leads Minnesota two games to one, St. Louis leads Vancouver two games to one, and Edmonton and Dallas are tied up at two games a piece. In the East, the Washington Capitals lead Tampa Bay two games to one, Toronto leads Philly two games to one, and the Islanders lead Ottawa two to one. In Chicago, an unruly MajorLeague Baseball fan grabbed an umpire. On Tuesday night, first base umpire Laz Diaz turned to watch a fly ball that was hit along the right-field line. Asplit-second later, a fan was grabbing him around the waist. Just seven Page 10Friday, April 18, 2003 NATIONALSPORTS Hootie & the Blowfish in concertSunday, May 4, 2003 at 8 p.m. Downtown Lyceum Next Malanga Time is at the Windjammer Saturday, April 19, at 8 p.m. Performances by: Bryan V. Randall (Red Eyes), Melvin Rodriguez (Rappero Latino)The Electric Slide & The Cha Cha Dance Swing, Salsa, & Merengue dance competition Comedy Interludes by Johnny Header's (Malanga) One trophy for each category, T-shirts, Surprises and much more. Master of ceremonies: From New York USAJuana Lynn Gonzalez Cantina: Open Throughout the event The music of: DJ Jose Cruz, Otto and the latest hits of Radio & Video Come participate, be a fan, have the greatest time of your life right here in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Special announcement forthe Jewish CommunityFor anyone wishing to meet with or counsel with a Jewish Rabbi, the Naval Base Chaplain section will have one available through April 30th. To request a time with the Rabbi please contact the Naval Base Chaplain section at 2323. months after Kansas City coach Tom Gamboa was assaulted by a father and son who ran onto the same field, another fan at the Chicago White Sox's home park attacked Diaz. Apolice spokeswoman said police are leaning toward a charge of aggravated battery, a felony, but that must be approved by the prosecutor's office. The fan's name will not be released until he is formally charged. The New York Yankees are off to their best start in franchise history at 11 wins and two losses after a stellar outing from pitcher Mike Mussina Mussina went eight innings, allowed no runs and struck out nine. The Masters Tournament went on as planned, despite protests from Martha Burk and Mike Weir is very happy about that. Weir became the first lefty to win a major championship in 40 years. He also became the first Canadian to wear the coveted Green Jacket. Wier shot a final round 68 to take Len Mattiace to a one-hole playoff where Weir took the championship and a million dollar purse. In the National Football League the San Diego Chargers traded all pro linebacker JuniorSeau to the Miami Dolphins Seau will go to the Dolphins in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2004 that could upgrade to a fifth-rounder depending on playing time. Sports highlights compiled from ESPN.com. In the headlines.....
Friday, April 18, 2003Page 11 JTFSPORTS&LEISURE Camp Bulkeley Fri., Apr 18 8 p.m.Batman PG13 105 min. 10 p.m. NARC R 106 min Sat., Apr 19 8 p.m. Two Week Notice PG13 101 min. 10 p.m. DarknessFalls PG13 85 min Sun., Apr 20 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. LOTR The Two Towers PG13 179 min Mon., Apr 21 8 p.m. National Security PG13 90 min T ues., Apr 22 8 p.m. Adaptation R 114 min W ed., Apr 23 8 p.m. Aliens R 137 min Thurs., Apr 24 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Catch Me If You Can PG13 140 min Downtown Lyceum Fri., Apr 18 8 p.m. The Jungle Book 2 G 72 min 10 p.m. Darkness Falls PG13 85 min Sat., Apr 19 8 p.m. Shanghai Knights PG13 111 min 10 p.m. Dark Blue R 118 min Sun., Apr 20 8 p.m. Dreamcatcher R 134 min Mon., Apr 21 8 p.m. Biker Boys PG13 107 min T ues., Apr 22 8 p.m. Dark Blue R-118 min W ed., Apr 23 8 p.m. Dreamcatcher R 134 min Thurs., Apr 24 8 p.m. Daredevil PG13 105 min Seaside Galley grill-outSeaside Galley diners were treated to the first Joint Task Force Guantanamo grill-out on Saturday, April 12. The inaugural grill-out featured distinguished guests preparing steaks for JTFGuantanamo troopers. JTFGuantanamo Commander, MG Geoffrey D. Miller along with Deputy Commander for Operations BG James E. Payne and Navy Capt. Albert J. Shimkus, Jr., were among the distinguished chefs who fired up the grills at Seaside Galley. Future grill-outs at Seaside Galley will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on April 16, April 22, May 4, May 8, May 17, May 21 and May 27. There will be a special sunrise celebration of the resurrection on JPJ Hill at 6 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 20. Transportation will be provided from the NAVBASE Chapel at 5:30 a.m. Bus transportation will be provided from JTF Guantanamo housing areas on the following schedule: Windward Loop 5 a.m. 5:35 a.m., housing office. Tierra Kay5 a.m. 5:35 a.m., main bus stop. Camp America 5 a.m. 5:35 a.m., main bus stop. For details please call the JTF Guantanamo chaplains' office at 3202, or the NAVBASE Chapel office at 2323. photo by Spc. Delaney T. Jackson Sunrise Easter service at JPJ Hill There will be a special Easter Sunday Protestant Worship service with special music and a special Easter message by CH (LTC) Herb Heavner, the JTF Guantanamo Command Chaplain this Sunday at 9 a.m. at the Camp America Worship Tent. Softball rained out! By Spc.Mark A.LeoneAll softball games have been postponed until further notice. In addition, all softball fields are closed due to the rain accumulation. When the fields are in game condition, gym personnel will notify the coaches and games will resume. *Teams will play out the existing schedule*
Page 12Friday, April 18, 2003 Interview by Sgt.Benari Poulten Its hard enough when one member of your family gets deployed, but when both your husband AND your son get deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, it takes a special person to make the best of the situation. Terry Laster of Murray, Ky., is just such a person. She is not only the current President of her local family support group, but shes the wife of Staff Sgt. David Laster and the mother of Spc. Michael Laster, a father-son team serving Joint Task Force Guantanamo in the 438th Military Police Company. Q:Why did you want to become a family support group coordinator? A: My husband has been in the service for 18 years and Ijust wanted him to know that Iwas very supportive of what he is doing ... then when my son enlisted it just made me very proud. The military has become such a big part of our lives. I think what the American soldiers are doing is wonderful, and Ijust want to do my part. Q:How long have you been involved in the family support group? A: Eighteen-plus years. Q:What is the hardest part about being a family support group coordinator? A: It is hard not to get discouraged. Ifeel that families should be very supportive of what their spouses/family members are doing and the support just doesnt seem to [always] be there during a time like this. I am not doing any of this for the glory and recognition, Iam doing this because I sincerely care for the soldiers and their families. I know how hard it is when your spouse/family member is goine for an extended time and Ineed the support, so I guessIfeel everyone else does, too. Q:What has the biggest challenge been so far? A: Getting families involved, and trying to please everyone ... that is impossible! Q:Whats the best thing about being president of this family support group? A: The 438th is made up of some of the best soldiers Ihave ever had the honor to know. I feel like they are my extended family, and Itruly care for each and every one of them. Q:Is it hard to have both yourhusband and yourson on a deployment? A: Iwont lie!!! It has been very difficult, especially with my husband and son being gone. Ijust take one day at a time and keep in mind that what they are doing for our country is worth the sacrifice. Q:Is this the first time theyve been deployed? A: Yes. Q:Has the recent extension affected family support group activities? A: It really hasnt affected our activities, it just means we will have more time together for support. It gives us more time to plan for their Welcome Home! Q:How does yourfamily feel about you being so involved in the family suppport group? A: As far as I know, they are very supportive of the time it takes of me. My daughter, whom as married two days prior to her father and brother leaving, is very supportive. She attends most every meeting and function with me; shes a trooper and very supportive of her father and brother. My daughter-in-law Jennifer, Michaels wife, is also very active in the support group, and that helps her to cope with this deployment. She and Michael were married in December, 2001, and Michael was deployed 10 months later. Q:How did yourfamily react to the news that both yourhusband and son would be extended? A: Well, I guess we werent really surprised ... With the war, we pretty much expected this to happen. The way we look at the extension is, Iwould rather them go ahead and stay where they are instead of coming home a few months and then have to leave again! We are all very proud of our soldiers. Q:Do you think its significant that they have been extended as part of Operation Enduring Freedom? A: They are doing what they are trained to do. Q:How do you plan to improve the readiness of yourfamily support group in the next few months? A: I will just keep in touch with families, via a monthly newsletter and emails, etc. The only thing we can do is pull together and be here for one another. Q:How will you keep yourfamily support group motivated during the deployment? A: We will keep activities planned, and just keep communicating. Q:What keeps you and the members of your family support group motivated? A: We all have the same thing in common and its a good feeling to get together and talk with each other. Q:What words of advice could you offerto members of otherfamily support groups? A: We all need to keep our goals in focus ... Support our Troops, so they can support us!!!! 15 Minutes of Fame...with Terry Laster President of the 438ths Family Support Group Caring for her extended family Terry Laster, relaxing here with her husband Staff Sgt. David Laster, says she is very proud of her soldiers.