Friday, September 29, 2006

314

Thank you to those of you who replied to my last post. If there are any others that read this that didn't reply to the last message, I would like to know who you are too!
Below is an article about the memorial ceremony that was held Wednesday for 3 more of the soldiers from our community.
This week the DoD also announced that another brigade here in Germany would have their deployment extended. One company from Baumholder is with that brigade, so it has been a hard week for those families. Please continue to pray for the families of all the soldiers we have lost, the families of the soldiers who have been extended, and for the soldiers of both brigades that are still downrange to have the strength to push through to the end of this deployment. They need the motivation now more than ever.


Baumholder remembers three soldiers killed in Iraq

By Matt Millham, Stars and Stripes

Three casualties of the war in Iraq were remembered at Baumholder on Wednesday in a ceremony that hinted there are few safe places to be or jobs to have in Iraq.

The soldiers, from different units under the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were killed in three separate incidents in two different cities within eight days.

Sgt. Aaron A. Smith, 31, of Killeen, Texas, died in Baghdad Sept. 14 when a dump truck loaded with explosives and covered by sand exploded near a West Baghdad power substation he was guarding. Smith was a member of the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment.

Sgt. Allan R. Bevington, 22, of Beaver Falls, Pa., died in Ramadi on Sept.21, when a makeshift bomb detonated near him during combat operations. Bevington was assigned to the 40th Engineer Battalion.

Pfc. Jeffrey P. Shaffer, 21, died Sept. 13 in Ramadi when a roadside bomb hit his Bradley fighting vehicle. Shaffer was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment.

Capt. Eduardo D. Rodriguez, rear detachment commander of the 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, said at the ceremony that Smith was the soldier that every unit has: “Everyone’s favorite.”

Rodriguez said Smith, who was born in Ghana, “was also one of the best tower guards in the power plant.”

“Although Sgt. Smith loved his job and his friends, he loved his family most. While deployed, he would always take the time to call and talk to his wife, Fran, as often as possible,” Rodriguez said. “Sgt. Smith would constantly brag to everyone about AJ, his 14-month-old son.”

One of Bevington’s old supervisors, 1st Sgt. Orville Wilson, said his former troop was “a real go-getter.”

“I mean, there wasn’t a mission he wouldn’t go out and do,” Wilson said. Bevington, who Wilson described as “happy-go-lucky” was a popular soldier who had recently been promoted to sergeant before his death.

“We took it pretty hard, because there were a lot of (noncommissioned officers) back here that had worked with him,” Wilson said. “He was one of those guys you love to have around.”

Capt. Marvin L. King III, the rear detachment commander for the 2nd Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, said at the ceremony that Shaffer had recently told his mother of his decision to re-enlist.

King said Shaffer told his mother, “I think the Army’s been good for me.”

Shaffer “joined the Army because of 9/11 and the fact he wanted to protect his daughter and family from any more terrorist attacks,” King said.

According to King, Shaffer told his father he didn’t want his two brothers, Stephen and Addrin, to have to fight in Iraq, “So I will stay here until this job is done.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

311 - Who's Out There?

I would REALLY like to know who is reading my blog. Please leave a comment letting me know that you are. All you have to do is click where it says " 0 (it may say another number) Comments" under my post. I know most of you probably don't have Blogger Id's, so you can choose "Other" and enter your name there. You can also choose "Anonymous", but if you do, please put your name in the message!
You don't have to leave an actual message, just your name!
PLEASE do this for me!
Even if you read this late, please still do it!

PS - Bryan and Shelleigh you are both exempt from this request, because I know y'all are regular readers! ;)

Monday, September 25, 2006

310


Another busy week has passed, and I'm glad it's over!
Monday night I had an FRG meeting, Wednesday night we had a Redeployment Spouse Brief (yay!), Thursday night I went to a free concert by Carly Goodwin (check her out at
www.CarlyGoodwin.com - she's really talented!), Saturday I took a CPR/First Aid class all day, and yesterday I participated in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Race for the Cure for the 2nd year in a row. The run was held in Frankfurt and the picture above is of me and my friend Jenny after the race.
This upcoming week and weekend will hopefully be uneventful. I need some R&R!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

305


Look at all the green!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

304

Slain Baumholder soldier had a bright smile, good humor

By Geoff Ziezulewicz, Stars and Stripes

BAUMHOLDER, Germany — To hear his loved ones tell it, Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Loa was constantly smiling and lifting the morale of everyone around him. He was as adept with a joke as he was with his skills as a tank commander for the 1st Armored Division’s 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment.

But underneath that smile and good humor was a deep and thoughtful man who loved his family, his soldiers and his country, friends and family said. The Baumholder community remembered Loa during an emotional ceremony Friday at Smith Barracks.

Loa, 32, died Aug. 16 of injuries suffered when a makeshift bomb detonated while he was on foot patrol in Ramadi, Iraq.

It’s been a rough year for the families and soldiers of Baumholder. The community has lost 18 soldiers from the 2nd Brigade in Iraq since April.

On Friday, Loa was celebrated for his life and his sacrifice.

Loa, a native of American Samoa, was not only a hero for the way he died, but also for the way he lived, said Sgt. 1st Class Eduardo Ramos. Fighting back tears, Ramos recalled Loa as one of the most dedicated noncommissioned officers he had ever known.

“He would always make the best of a situation, and come up with a joke to make his comrades smile,” Ramos said. “Let us be strong because of him.”

Loa left his small community back home for the small community of Baumholder, and his selflessness should be remembered, said Capt. Daniel Costin, the battalion’s rear detachment commander.

“We celebrate the life of another fallen soldier,” Costin said to a full chapel audience. “He seemed to always be enjoying himself, even in the most mundane of tasks.”

Sorrow and joy are two inevitable parts of life, said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Frank Hudson.

“I’m sure his family feels as if the light has been taken out of their lives,” Hudson said. “If we live long enough in this world, all of us will experience some sort of sorrow.”

Loa considered Waianae, Hawaii, his second home, and his two brothers and stepbrother were all in the Army, according to reports from the Honolulu Advertiser.

Loa was in the Army for about nine years, and married his wife, Mary, in March of last year.

Loa also is survived by his father, Duke Loa; his sister, Tanya Bishop; brothers Sgt. Monty Loa and Spc. Jason Loa; and stepbrother Sgt. Lloyd Mageo.

“This world is not our home, we are just passing through,” Hudson said before Loa’s final roll call was announced. “I believe joy will come to the Loas again.”

Monday, September 18, 2006

303

From what I understand this was on the news in the states. Another battery in Bryan's batallion was significantly affected by this attack. The battery suffered 1 fatality and there were 21 soldiers wounded. Please pray for the family of the solider we lost and the wounded soldiers and their families as they recover. A large section of the building they were living in was also destroyed and soldiers lost many of their personal items too.
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/09/14/iraq.main/index.html

Friday, September 15, 2006

300

Over R&R Bryan and I had some family pictures taken. Now I have a lot of prints that I want to get rid of. I uploaded all the pictures and the sizes and quanitities I have of each one. Some of them are ok, but some of them I really dislike. As I've said before, you can't expect much from our little shop here on post though.
Here are all the pictures. Please let me know if you'd like one!
http://cristin.fotopic.net/c1083545.html
The sizes are listed underneath the pictures with the quantities I have of each one in parentheses. For all but 2 poses, I only have one 3.5 by 5. Some of the pictures also look off center, but the actual prints are correct and look better.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

298


Things are starting to get back to normal for me again.
Mama and Dale arrived on the 31st and I went to the airport to pick them up. I came back to work for a few hours, but then my boss let everyone go home early that day. On Friday I drove us to Brugge, Belgium. We spent the night there and left just before noon on Saturday. From Brugge we went to Brussels and spent the night there also. We came back to Baumholder on Sunday to get a little rest before venturing out again.
On Monday I drove us up the Rhine River and back down the Mosel River. Along the way we stopped at Bacharach, St. Goar, Burg Eltz, and Bernkastel-Kues for their annual wine fest.
I worked again Tuesday through Thursday. On Tuesday Mama and Dale walked around downtown Baumholder and on Wednesday and Thursday they went to nearby Idar-Oberstein on a bus themselves. Thursday evening we also went to a family day event that was hosted by Bryan's battalion.
Friday we went to Heidelberg for the day and Saturday we went to Trier.
Of course we enjoyed eating a lot of good German food while they were here!
Sunday morning I took them to the airport for their long flight back to the states.
Monday I resumed my daily work and workout routine. After work that day I went to spinning. Yesterday I did my early morning weight lifting before work. This evening I'm going to attend my 2nd yoga class ever!