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Around the Volume 9, Issue 42 Friday, December 12, 2008 A JTF Journal Wounded Warriors Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba JTFs Pilot Flying Troopers home
PAGE 2 | THE WIRETROO P ER-T O-TROO P ER | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008Comfort zonesJTF-GTMO Commander: Navy Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby Joint Task Force CMC: Navy Command Master Chief Brad LeVault Office of Public Affairs: Director: Navy Cmdr. Rick Haupt: 9928 Deputy: Army Lt. Col. Edward Bush: 9927 Supervisor: Army 1st Sgt. Patrick Sellen: 3649The WireEditor: Army Staff Sgt. Paul Meeker: 3651 Assistant Editor: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Johnstone: 3594 Layout and Design: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Keen: 3594 Army Sgt. Scott Griffin: 3594 Army Sgt. Jody Metzger: 3592 Web Design: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Richard Wolff: 8154 Staff Writers: Army Sgt. Jody Metzger: 3592 Army Spc. Shanita Simmons: 3589 Army Spc. Daniel Welch: 3589Contact us:Base Information: 2000 Public Affairs Office: 3651 or 3596 From the continental United States: Commercial: 011-53-99-3651 DSN: 660-3651Cover Photo By:Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert ClowneyOnline:www.jtfgtmo.southcom.milJointTaskForce-Guantanamo, produces The Wire, which is printed under the provisions of Department of Defense Instruction 5120.4 The Public Affairs Office JTF GUANTANAMO Commander: Navy Rear Adm. David M. Thomas, Jr. Joint Task Force CMC: Navy Command Master Chief Brad LeVault Office of Public Affairs: Director: Navy Cmdr. Pauline Storum: 9928 Deputy: Army Capt. Kim Kleiman: 9927 Supervisor: Army 1st Sgt. James Venske: 3649The WireExecutive Editor: Army 1st Lt. Adam Bradley: 3596 Editor:Army Sgt. 1st Class Vaughn R. Larson: 3651Assistant Editors: Army Staff Sgt. Emily Russell: 3592 Army Staff Sgt. Gretel Sharpee: 3594 Staff Writers: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jayme Pastoric: 3499 Army Spc. Megan Burnham: 2171 Army Pfc. Eric Liesse: 3589 Graphics: Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher Dollar: 3589/5371Contact usEditors Desk: 3651 or 3596 From the continental United States: Commercial: 011-53-99-3651 DSN: 660-3651 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Online: www.jtfgtmo.southcom.milThe WIRE is the official news magazine of Joint Task Force Guantanamo. It is produced by the JTF Public Affairs Office to inform and educate the Troopers of JTF Guantanamo through news, features, command guidance, sports and entertainment. The WIRE seeks to provide maximum disclosure with minimum delay with regards to security, accuracy, propriety and policy. This DoD news magazine is an authorized publication for the members of the Department of Defense. Contents of The WIRE are not necessarily the official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or Joint Task Force Guantanamo. It is printed by the Document Automation & Production Service with a circulation of 1000. COVER:Divers swim through the water as part of the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) program. The program teaches disabled and wounded recovering veterans how to scuba dive. Photo by Chief Petty st Roy Re_______________________________________Serving in the military over the past 22 years, Ive grown comfortable working in several different operations deck operations, visual signaling and anti-terrorism/force protection to name a few. It is always great to speak, train or operate in any of these areas. However, we need to be able to get out of our comfort zones to continuously grow both personally and professionally. The majority of the personnel working in Joint Task Force Guantanamo had little to no experience working with detainee operations prior to reporting to this duty station. This is a very unique mission our nation has asked the military to perform. We are making history. This operation will be reported in the mainstream media for decades. I know a lot of personnel have stepped outside their comfort zones as electricians, infantry, quartermasters, engineers and many other areas to perform detainee operations. I want to challenge you to keep stepping outside your comfort zone to continually grow, both personally and professionally. A lot of people may be uncomfortable communicating with personnel senior to them. You must get comfortable communicating both up and down the chain of command. One of the most important elements in the military is the chain of command. In simple terms, the chain is a pyramid structure of communications. The most effective military leaders I have ever encountered relied heavily on the relationships, communication and inputs established with subordinate personnel. Get comfortable communicating with your seniors trust me, they really depend on your input. Many people may be uncomfortable taking college classes, tests or completing classes online. It is a great foundation of growth to complete college classes and earn your degree on your off-duty hours. Regardless if you are planning on making a career of the military or planning on getting out, many employers not only look for experience but also college degrees. Get comfortable back in the class room environment. I often tell people regardless how much we enjoy the military, we must prepare for our lives outside of the military. Once again, I challenge you to get outside your comfort zones and step into those uncomfortable areas that may need attention. The more you operate in these uncomfortable zones, the more will help you to grow and grow personally and professionally. Thanks for all you do and dont get too comfortable.
visitors and residents to and from the island. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | MISSION THE WIRE | PAGE 3Flying GTMOs friendly skies ____________________________Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has had an airstrip for decades, with planes coming and going on a regular basis. As the only mode of transportation to and from the states for virtually every Guantanamo resident, air readiness and family life. For Joint Task Force Guantanamos aviation needs, Navy Lt. Luke Riddle was C-12 passenger charter plane. Were pretty much the only way to get people on and off the island other than twice each week, on average. During his six months working for the JTF which he Since Gitmo is such a big organization, Morale, Welfare and Recreation guests here for the Troops. hurricane once, Riddle noted. need to go to or from the base and not just to Jacksonville Naval Air Station like the rotator does. We kind of go all over, but Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., more often than not, Riddle said. N.C., and other islands in the Caribbean, such as Puerto Rico. Sometimes though Riddle stressed not often the chartered plane is following the same rules and procedures for space-A travel on other military aircraft. Theres no such thing as a private plane in the military, Riddle said. If there is space available, then its available.See Not many people have gotten to see what I have seen on these deployments. The adventure of it [is what drew of putting yourself out there doing something that you couldnt do before. Navy Lt. Lucas Riddle
MISSION | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 PAGE 4 | THE WIREDeep-down rehabilitation teaches disabled and recovering wounded veterans how to scuba dive. st Class ____________________________For two years the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) have taught more than 100 injured veterans how to dive. The program is designed to assist returning veterans injured in Afghanistan and Iraq with their rehabilitation at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The SUDS program uses the pools at Walter Reed for the initial training to the dives in open water. Shane Heath is a member of the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that caters to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and their transition to civilian life. Heath recently made his second trip to Guantanamo Bay with the SUDS SCUBA diving program and felt that this time around was much better. I love coming to Guantanamo and diving, Heath said. I really enjoy diving with all of the guys and folks down here, everyone was awesome. Heath earned his open water and this year in late February. I got into diving to explore, Heath said. I wanted to see thing other people will never see. diver course. I had some challenges going through some of the dive programs, like weight compensating for the injuries on my left side, Heath said. I enjoyed overcoming challenges and achieving the same standards as everyone else for my rescue diver program. John Thompson, SUDS president and with the program since its inception. He works with the students on their initial pool training training at Walter Reed Medical Center prior to their open water. Its the most rewarding project I have ever been involved in, Thompson said. Many things are just easier to do in the water with these types of injuries. Thompson said the program does much more than assist with physical therapy alone. building, part adventure for these Wounded Warriors, he explains. Im really inspired by the Soldiers at Walter Reed. Heath has plans to do a lot of diving in the future, with an ultimate goal of becoming a Im working on my Master Scuba fun dives in that I can. Divers swim through the waters off of Blue beach.
st Class ____________________________The question Monday morning, Dec. 8, of war crimes related to the Sept. 11 terror attacks would confess to those crimes. By Monday afternoon, the question became whether such a plea would prohibit the death penalty, as the pleas would have been offered without members of the military jury, or commission, present to render a verdict. Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak bin Attash, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi composed a letter dated Nov. 4 stating their intent to withdraw all well as their intent to confess immediately to the charges. They claimed this plan was of their own desire and free of intimidation or coercion. But because the mental competence of bin al Shibh and al Hawsawi is in question pending a hearing to that effect, the other defendants decided not to enter pleas Monday afternoon. Our plea request was based on joint strategy, Ali explained. Military judge Army Col. Stephen Henley allowed Mohammed, bin Attash and Ali to withdraw motions Monday hear motions. Bin al Shibh and al Hawsawi were not allowed to withdraw their motions or dismiss their detailed counsel Monday due to pending questions about their mental competency. The issue of al Hawsawis mornings court session. Henley informed bin al Shibh and al Hawsawi that, if they are found to be competent following a hearing, they may at that time seek to withdraw motions and enter pleas. Unfortunately, this cannot occur today, Henley explained. Henley for potential bias as the session opened. Henley replaced retiring Marine by family members of Sept. 11 victims. Accused do about-face on pleasAlleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators (from top) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Walid Muhammed Salih Mubarak bin Attash, Ramzi bin al Shibh, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi appeared before military judge Army Col. Stephen Henley on Dec. 8 in this courtroom sketch by FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | MISSION THE WIRE | PAGE 5
NCAA football is a popular video game and for this occasion,offered the platform for all competition. program in spirit of the classic Army Navy football game. LOCA L SP OR T S | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, PAGE 6 | THE WIRE Gretel Sharpee____________________________The Army Navy football game took a virtual turn this year with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program hosting a NCAA video game tournament. The tournament whittled away contenders for over three weeks until one Sailor and one Soldier remained. football game. The two players, Frank Wooten, representing Army, and Daniel Brown, representing Navy, arrived ready to play Im going to win for sure, said Wooten, who has been playing video games for about 10 years. screen, the game was delayed slightly, also enabling Brown to arrive before going to work. I like the [NCAA] game and a lot of my buddies here play it so it is a way to get away from the routine, Brown said. I dont know who is going to win, I havent seen [Wooten] play before, so well see. The game took off with a small lead by the Army; however the game stayed close and often tied as each player furiously managed his video game controller. minutes of the game, Navy pulled away brief celebration. the Navy Exchange, and both had great things to say about Guantanamos MWR program. MWR boosts morale, Wooten said. What are your options stay at home doing nothing or come out? Its simple. I tried to get a lot of my buddies to do this it is a good way to get away from the routine, Brown said.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | MOVIE RECON THE WIRE | PAGE 7Epic in all the wrong ways ____________________________If you were to look at the poster for Baz can tell it has sweeping helicopter shots of the countryside, multiple kisses between the leading lady and man, and a long running time. Australia does have all these things and more but its mostly the running time youll remember. At a mind-numbingly unneeded 2 hours and 45 minutes, Luhrmanns postcard-set-toin tone and has entire scenes of unnecessary dialogue. This is not a dig on the dialogue Hugh Jackman deliver everything pitchan unfocused story and sporadic pacing. minutes, pacing is a big deal. Ashley, an English aristocrat who comes to force her husband to cut their losses and sell their cattle ranch property in the northern territory. However, her husband is killed shortly before she arrives, leaving her to decide the farms fate. Ashley quickly learns that the man who almost has a monopoly on Australian cattle, stealing her cattle to force the ranch out of business and take the land. So she decides to sell her remaining cattle to the Australian army and employs Jackman as the Drover he isnt given an actual name the man who leads the cattle herd across her land to the city of Darwin for sale. Lady Ashley is also the boss of Nullah (Brandon Walters), a half-Aboriginal, halfCaucasian boy whom she attempts to mother because Nullahs actual mother dies early in George (David Gulpilil), the man framed as Ashleys husbands murderer. The real murderer and Nullahs white father is Neil Fletcher (David Wenham), the main antagonist who works for Carney trying to take Ashleys farm and repeatedly disrupts their herding. At about 45 minutes in, weve seen the murdering of a man from Hullahs perspective, the beating of a child and his mother, and the gruff Drover taking the dainty Lady Ashley across the Outback in a beaten-up truck. The opening goes from comically funny to neardisturbingly violent at the crack of a whip. Thankfully, the audience is mostly awake to keep up at the start. Later on, however, these changes just confuse and distract viewers. But wait! Thats the (again) 2 hours and 45 minutes! After summarizing an hours worth of story into a short montage (i.e. plot device), Ashley and Nullah. The Drover leaves and Ashley evacuates the ranch because of the outbreak of the war and the bombing of Darwin by Japanese planes. This, of course, all happens while Ashley deals with racist Australian aristocrats, Fletchers continuing attempts to take the ranch, and the Drover dealing with his feelings for Ashley. would be an understatement. seem to be enjoying themselves in this almost mythological Australian uber-story. Both are veterans who keep on point for every scene and play wonderfully off each other. Both are actual Australians as is Luhrmann himself and the rest of the main cast so their parts are that much more believable. high-society ways clash with the Drovers ranching lifestyle to an impassioned bleeding heart when she sees white Australians shunning Nullah for being a creamy and half-caste. Her acting chops do get a workout, but the movie suffers because of the story, not those delivering it. Jackman without any retractable knives in his hands is the epitome of romanticized Outback machismo. He wears a perfectly trimmed beard, dons a hat cocked just slightly, dresses entirely in an overly tight wardrobe, and uses an accent that seems almost too Sexiest Man of the Year nomination from People Magazine seem like a movie release tie-in. told through these shots, but theyre there sweeping the country, beautiful and epic. However, the actors supposedly riding through the countryside look cut out from a different movie due to the excessive and obvious use of green screens and special effects. So yes, Australia has its good and even great aspects, maybe enough to be a good movie for some. However, its ridiculous length (did I mention it was 2 hours and 45 minutes?), neck changes in pace and tone just taint this billabong from being an otherwise refreshing epic.
THE WIRE | PAGE 9 Members of the Guantanamo Bay community wave and throw candy to observers during the annual Electric Light Parade Saturday, Dec. 6. Twenty organizations, rep parade, which concluded at the Downtown Lyceum with an awards ceremony and a Stephen Doherty locate their signature on an oversized holiday greeting card at the Downtown Lyceum Sat urday following an awards ceremony for the Electric Light Parade. The band Mustang Sally staged a per formance Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Downtown Lyceum. The concert followed the annual Electric Light Parade, which concluded at the Lyceum PAGE 8 | THE WIREPhotos by Army Sgt. 1st Class Vaughn Larson
NE W S & IN F ORMA T ION | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 PAGE 10 | THE WIRE Hit the trails ____________________________ and make a plan to hit the trails around Guantanamo Bay. Whether a hiker, runner, biker, or just an outdoor enthusiast, the recreational trails offer scenic views, challenging hills and technical riding for those saddled on a bike. Morale, Welfare and Recreation recently began coordinating group bike rides. The most recent organized ride took place on the Leeward side of base. The mountain biking trip was suggested by a patron, said Becky Creed, Liberty events coordinator for MWR. So far its been very successful. Its a great event. You get exercise and it gives you a different look at the base. The trails around base offer varying trail to steep hills. There are sections that travel along the coast as well as a nature trail at the marina. With 14 named sections such as the Hutia Highway, Ridgeline Trail and Pelican Pass, there is plenty of ground to cover. Its a nice path along the Leeward coast, Creed said. Its approximately four miles, and very scenic. If you dont have a bike, rentals are available at the MWR Marina. According to Creed, the next organized ride should take place sometime in January. With heavy rains, especially during the hurricane season, Creed noted the trails occasionally close due to poor trail conditions. On another organized ride taking place on the Windward side a section of trail was closed, so riders took on John Paul Jones hill instead and traveled the steep climb up to the wind-turbines. When travelling the trails, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, plan your route and be respectful of wildlife and of the trail and abide by them and, most importantly, practice safety. The full list of trail rules can be found on the back of the MWR hiking and biking trail map. Trail maps are available at the Deer Point Liberty Center. For more information on organized bike rides, call the Liberty Center at 2010. nd Class Kate Class Edith Mitchem squeezed in a hike along Ridgeline Trail before the sun set.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | NE W S & IN F ORMA T ION THE WIRE | PAGE 11 Megan Burnham____________________________Not often are siblings given the opportunity to deploy together, especially to such a unique place as U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, but its even less likely for siblings to promote one another. However, Army Capt. Pedro Pomales, commander of the Headquarters, Headquarters Service Battery 2-162nd Field Artillery unit, and younger brother Spc. Pedro Pomales-Alverio were given this opportunity during a promotion ceremony Dec. 8, when Pomales-Alverio was promoted to sergeant. It was a great honor to promote him, said Pomales. It feels really good to see one of my loved ones go up in the nonBack in Puerto Rico, the brothers are in different units, but when Pomales became the commander and discovered that the unit was short on personnel, he asked PomalesOne day my brother asked me if I wanted to go with him to Cuba, and I said yes, said Pomales-Alverio. This was him and it sounded too good to miss. Pomales-Alverios name was on the promotion list back in Puerto Rico, but it was the dedication and knowledge for his job that got him promoted. Its feels great [to become a NCO]. I now have more responsibilities in taking care of the younger Soldiers in my unit and setting a good example for them, said PomalesAlverio. Pomales-Alverio also commented on how he felt about being promoted by his brother. Its both an honor and a privilege, because it be in the same unit with a brother who is the commander, said PomalesAlverio. But then I last time this will happen because when we get back to Puerto Rico, we will go to different units. The overriding factor for this opportunity to come in the Pomales family was the extensive family history with the military. It started when their grandfather joined the military followed by three uncles who also served. Their father was in the service for 42 years and constantly of joining the military. This resulted in Pomales, Pomales-Alverio and their older brother joining the military and, later on, all serving their country in the global war on terrorism. Since I was a kid, I always said I wanted to be like my father when I grew up, said Pomales. I used to wear his Battle Dress Uniforms and equipment around the house. the curiosity and also because my dad was asking me. The deployment of HHSB 2-162 FA to Guantanamo Bay concludes soon. The unit will return to Puerto Rico, ending the brothers only deployment together. This has been an outstanding year, said Pomales. My Soldiers are a group of professionals, no matter the rank. So Im really thankful to be the commander of this unit for this deployment. Brothers in arms Above: Army Sgt. Pedro Pomales-Alverio (right) salutes older brother Army Capt. Pedro Pomales after being promoted from specialist to sergeant in a Dec. 8 promotion ceremony. Below: Pomales (left) and Pomales-Alverio normally serve in
NE W S & IN F ORMA T ION | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 PAGE 12 | THE WIRE Happy birthday, National Guard Gretel Sharpee____________________________Happy 372nd birthday National Guard! As Soldiers and Airmen celebrate the National Guards 372nd birthday Dec. 12, a brief look into its inception demonstrates the Guards long roots into United States history. It is said that the National Guard is older than the United States since it begun as a militia force. The need for a militia force was recognized by the original 13 colonies, and its purpose to execute the laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions. Since those early days as a nation, the National Guard has gained strength through defense acts passed 111 years. But in 1903 the Militia Act of that we are more familiar with today, and secured its place as a reserve military force. Today, National Guard members support both Federal and State missions. To accommodate the Federal mission, Air and Army National Guard members maintain readiness for rapid mobilization for national emergencies. They can also be activated under Title 10 of the U.S. Code for Federal Mission operations. For state missions, the Army and Air National Guard report to their respective state governor as their commander-in-chief. For state active duty, Guard members can be mobilized under Title 32 Active Duty in response to man-made disasters or Homeland defense missions. The National Guard proudly states they have fought in every American war from the 1600s to present operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, Army National Guard forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom have made up as much as 50 percent that hasnt been reached since World War II. Yet, the National Guard has also maintained its readiness to respond to natural disasters, such as hurricane As the National Guard turns 372, its impact on U.S. history is felt in every chapter.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | VOICE O F T HE FORCE PAGE 13 THE WIRE | PAGE 13Riddle has been a Navy pilot just shy of seven years. Until his JTF deployment, C-12. That is pretty unusual for the Navy, Riddle said of changing from helicopters to only a handful of people who ever get to do that. So thats a huge deal. piloting traditional planes, Riddle said he was very impressed by all the pilots The other pilots who man the C-12s planes, giving Riddle added support for his change in aircraft as JTFs sole pilot. Corps college classes in New York, and although he isnt certain, he doesnt foresee You cant ever know what is going to never know in the Navy, said Riddle. Not many people have gotten to see what Ive seen on these deployments, Riddle said of his time in the corps of Navy pilots. The adventure of it [is what drew me out there doing something that you couldnt do before. to and from the island. Boots on the GroundWhat unique Christmas or holiday tradition does your family do every year?by Army Spc. Megan Burnham Air Force Tech. Sgt Tommy Jackson Wayne Miesen rd Class Cristina Lamboy Air Force Senior Airman Darnon Harper A few family members and I will eat chitlins with hot sauce both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We eat spanish food Christmas Day. We also open one gift Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas Day. Ill pick up my daughter, go to my stepsons and well all go to the light display in Bedford, Va., which is also known as Christmas Town, USA. Every year, someone in the family will sponsor our holiday get-together and everyone will travel there.
Faith doesnt make senseLI F E & SP IRI T | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 PAGE 14 | THE WIRE JTF CHAPEL SCHEDULED PROGRAMSCatholic Mass Sunday: Wednesday: Protestant Worship Sunday: Spanish Protestant Worship Sunday: th_________________________________________________Have you ever considered the fact that faith doesnt make sense? hope for, and certain of what we do not see. It is the perception of surety without any sensory proof. For example, I dont have to have faith that apple pie smells good if I can smell it; nor must I have blind faith that anything is real if I can see and touch it with my natural eyes and hands. It is because of this very fact that there is no faith in heaven. It may come as a shock to some, but it also is true. In heaven you dont have to have faith in God because you can see, hear and know Him. That is the reason that angels can not be forgiven of sins when they transgress. When they sin, they do so full knowing that there is a God and a punishment for sin. Anything that can be perceived with the senses requires no faith. That is why I say that faith doesnt make sense, it simply makes faith. Conversely, Peter got out of the boat to walk to Jesus, it didnt make sense. It didnt to pay their taxes with. It didnt make sense to stop funeral processions to raise the dead, but when He did, the dead were raised. It didnt make sense for Jesus to touch lepers but He did and they were didnt make sense to sit them down and give them the hope and expectancy stone jars with water. It made no sense for the servants to draw some out and take it to the master of ceremonies but because they believed, in spite belief combined with an action produced the desired result. That is how faith works. James says that faith without works is dead. He is simply saying that if you believe so much that it compels you to action, you have great faith. I will remind you that faith, great or otherwise, is only as good as the object in which you place your faith. Faith in an old rickety bridge might not be the best investment of belief, but a faith in God is never misplaced. The Psalmist says that some trust in chariots, and some in horses but we will trust in the name of the Lord. All that is required is the child-like faith to jump when He says that He will catch you.
THE WIRE | PAGE 15 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2008 | 15 MINU T ES O F FAMECharles James Shaffer, a wounded Iraq war veteran, accepts a memento of Rear Adm. Dave Thomas, Jr. after Shaffers weeklong scuba diving trip with the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba Diving Program. st Vet returns for family, fun ____________________________Within Guantanamo Bays community, scuba diving is a wildly popular activity. The Bay offers many unique opportunities for the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, came to Guantanamo to get wounded veterans in the water. The program, a chapter of Wounded Warriors and Disabled Sports Project, teaches disabled and wounded recovering veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom how to scuba advanced programs such as rescue diving. One former Soldier, recovering from severe injuries sustained in Iraq, joined the program and came to Guantanamo with a live here. My mom is the banker, and my stepdad is a BRDC contractor, said Charles James with the Armys 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 1-A Infantry, E Company, 2nd Platoon in Mosul, Iraq when he was wounded. On Sept. 1, 2008, Shaffer was in Mosul conducting route clearance in a procession of tactical vehicles. There a kid was with a shape charge, Shaffer said. He detonated it on our vehicle, injuring [the four of us] in our vehicle. Then we were hit by a cratering explosive while we were decelerating. The attack mangled and severed Shaffers right leg and his lungs were badly burned. After treatment in Germany, where Shaffers sister met with him, he was admitted to Walter Reed AMC on Sept. 5, and regained consciousness a few days later. died? Shaffer said. My second question was Am I paralyzed? He was happy to learn he still had use of his remaining limbs, though he knew the recovery would not be quick. Shaffer currently lives in Walter Reeds assisted living homes while he recovers. Shaffers activities with the SUDS Diving Program came at the suggestion of his mother. My mother told me about it, and she said it would be fun, said Shaffer. He joined the SUDS program, doing some work in pools at Walter Reed. In what he calls coincidence, SUDS was planning a trip to come to Guantanamo Bay just one of many dive sites the program has gone so he made sure he was able to go. Shaffer, a 24-year-old from OFallon, Ill., lived in Guantanamo as a child, from 1988 until 1992. His mother has been working on-island for about 20 years, while his stepfather has been here as a contractor for about 36 years. The base is very different now according to Shaffer, especially with the Joint Task Force aboard. Shaffers last visit to the base was July 2001, so he considered coming to opportunity. They asked me if I could swim, said Shaffer. I said, Well, I could try. I used be a really great swimmer, before the accident. Now, he swims using webbed gloves to help propel him through the water, allowing him to swim almost as fast as before. After dives between his time in Guantanamo Bay and in swimming pools back in the United States. the SUDS diving program. They were here in February teaching wounded veterans the proper techniques of scuba diving. Shaffer said he wishes to continue diving, hopefully sticking to the ocean. He also plans to see his unit come home when their deployment is scheduled to end in the spring.
AROUND T HE JTF | DECEMBER 12, 2008 Army Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek and Spc. Erica Isaacson take time out of their morning to read to a second grade class at W.T. Sampson Elementary School. Members of the Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba (SUDS) program participate in a beach cleanup prior to diving. SUDS has taught over 100 injured veterans how to dive. The program is designed to assist returning veterans injured in Afghanistan and Iraq with their rehabilitation at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. st Army Capt. Shane Lauritzen, washes off a vehicle he used this weekend to transport Wounded Warriors visiting U.S. Around the
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