In the Military
Pearl Harbor security detail ships out for duty in Iraq
Twelve members of Pearl Harbor's security force departed for Iraq on Sept. 17 to perform security duties as well as guard duty at various prisons.
Chief Petty Officer Tangela Arnold said: "We may send 12 people, but we do have others who are ready to deploy if we are asked to."
Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyrail Woods of Charlotte, N.C., who volunteered for the mission, said he had mixed feelings about the deployment. "My biggest and most difficult concern is leaving my family behind, and I do not know what to expect. However, this is part of the job. What we are going to do is very important. We are liberating a country and giving the freedoms we enjoy."
Despite his concerns, Woods said, he is looking forward to the experience. "This is the main reason we joined -- to protect our country and fight for freedom around the world. You don't join just for education and money. When war or adversity calls us to intervene, there is no complaining, because this is what you signed up for."
The Navy said there are approximately 1,200 Pearl Harbor sailors deployed in support of the global war on terrorism. Fourteen sailors are deployed to Iraq, six to Kuwait and 69 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Hawaii Army National Guard's 298th Engineer Detachment has been assisting in Forward Operating Base Lagman's expansion in Afghanistan. "In less than two weeks, our three-person team brought the electrical wiring up to code," said Army Sgt. Jon M. Julius, a 298th electrician from Kapolei in an Army statement. "We finished running hundreds of feet of cable, installing outlet boxes and building a generator shelter for the provincial reconstruction team pole barn."
The Hawaii soldiers also built transient quarters, a job that involved included selecting the construction site, drawing up plans and ordering materials. A leveled soccer field provided an ideal platform for the 20 tents. "Thirteen carpenter/masons and plumbers joined the team," said Army Spc. Michael Bearis, a social worker from Ewa Beach. "We finished the decks in less than a week. Close on our tail were Afghan workers who erected the tents. All that is left is wiring the 'rooms' for lighting and outlets."
Eleven Kaneohe Marines who deployed to Afghanistan were awarded Purple Heart Medals on Sept. 26 by the commandant, Gen. Michael Hagee,&DEG and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps John Estrada. They are Cpl. Joseph P. Thomas, 2nd Lt. James J. Konstant Jr., Staff Sgt. Lee Crisp, Staff Sgt. Kevin B. Walker, Sgt. Andres A. Torres, Cpl. Dustin R. Epperly, Cpl. Joshua A. Huizar, Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Adams, Lance Cpl. Kendall Boyd, Lance Cpl. Zachary C. Diehl, and Lance Cpl. Jason N. Dunaway. The Marines are all members of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division.
Thomas also was given a combat meritorious promotion from lance corporal to corporal, according to a story in the Stars and Stripes last week. Ten of the Marines from Company F were injured in a battle between the Marines and the insurgents during Operation Whalers in Kunar province, where at least 40 suspected rebels were killed. Two of the Marines were unable to attend Monday's ceremony because they are in stateside hospitals.
"Fox Company has not had a fatality, and we're grateful for that," said Company F 1st Sgt. Craig Cowart. "It's an honor for us to have the commandant and sergeant major of the Marine Corps present these awards for the Marines' sacrifice."
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"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other
sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako, who covers military affairs for
the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He can be reached can be reached by phone
at 294-4075 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org