Thursday, August 14, 2008

America Supports You: Groups Help the Few, the Proud, the Expecting

By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 14, 2008 - Two troop-support groups hosted a "
Military Showers of Appreciation" for 15 expectant military mothers July 27 at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Many of the expectant mothers helped by the two groups -- North Star Group and Operation Showers of Appreciation -- have spouses who are deployed and will not be home for the birth of their new babies.

Military Showers of Appreciation assists active-duty Military families from all branches that are expecting new babies with various items they will need to care for their new baby," said Mandy Sims, vice president of the North Star Group. "Because many of these pregnant mothers have babies alone with new fathers deployed, we pay special attention to pampering these spouses and supporting them positively during this time."

The North Star Group -- a home-front supporter of the Defense Department's America Supports You program -- has been hosting "
Military Showers of Appreciation" since 2006. The group decided to make this event one of their various military programs after a North Star Group volunteer and military veteran had her baby alone during her husband's deployment.

"This shower shed a little sunlight on a difficult time that many
Military spouses experience during constant deployments," Sims said. "Many people do not realize the sacrifices the entire military family makes during a deployment. It is important to the North Star Group that military families know they are appreciated and that they are not alone."

The baby showers are held quarterly, and applications are accepted on a first-come, most-needed basis. Twenty to 25 spouses are honored per shower each quarter.

At the most recent baby shower, held in July, the North Star Group and Operation Showers of Appreciation honored the 100th family assisted. Families at the special shower received lunch, gifts, massages, mini-makeovers and professional family portraits.

"I received a lot of baby necessities," said Ashley Ruiz, who attended the July 27 shower. "Everything from baby bottles to a bassinet, the gifts helped us out a lot. The entire event was just a very supportive, caring atmosphere. I really enjoyed it. The baby shower also provided me an opportunity to meet and make new friends with other pregnant
Military moms."

North Star Group plans to work with Operation Showers of Appreciation again in planning the next "Military Showers of Appreciation" event, scheduled Dec. 6 for 20 expectant mothers at Camp Pendleton.
Military families are informed about these baby showers through information and application flyers and news releases distributed on bases and posted online at the North Star Group and Operation Showers of Appreciation Web sites.

"We will make every attempt to do something special for expecting families even if they miss the shower cut-off dates," Sims said. "These quarterly showers are currently held at Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms,
California, base locations, with plans of expanding to bases in other states in the future. All military servicemembers in California willing to travel to the shower from any Military bases in the area are welcome to apply."

To be considered, applicants must provide a valid active-duty military ID, current leave and earnings statement, proof of pregnancy and a completed application.

The North Star Group, which also offers information referral services to these mothers, is a supporter of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

America Supports You: Soldiers in Iraq Unite With Families Through Reading

By Army Capt. Kathryn Rains
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 14, 2008 - As deployments have remained consistent for soldiers and family members of the 4th Infantry Division, separation has been commonplace. To aid in strengthening the separated families' relationships, the nonprofit United through Reading program promotes the "read aloud" experience for separated families.

The program fosters communication between deployed soldiers and their children, siblings, nieces, nephews or those to whom they are a mentor.

"If we make a difference in one soldier's life and possibly that of his or her children, we have been successful, but to impact so many soldiers and families is simply overwhelming and fills the heart with pride," said
Army Lt. Col. Steven Palmer, who hails from Las Vegas and serves in Multinational Division Baghdad as commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade.

"This program has grown so large for us that nearly everyone feels the positive influence of this family interaction," he said. "I cannot be more proud of our ministry team and the positive impact they have had on our daily mission."

The support for this program throughout the battalion has been in keeping with the 4th Infantry Division's motto, "Steadfast and Loyal." A video of the deployed soldier reading a book, and the book, are mailed to the child. The child's reaction is mailed in return to the soldier.

"It's a wonderful blessing to be able read to my daughter on video, receive a video in return, and be able to watch her sit and follow along with the book," said
Army Staff Sgt. James Stanley, who hails from Troufdale, Ore., and serves as a personnel noncommissioned officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment. "It helps with the separation, and I get to help teach her to read at the same time."

United through Reading's nationally acclaimed programs provide opportunities for powerful emotional bonding to deployed servicemembers and their families. The program attempts to relieve the stress of separation by coordinating a book reading session between adult and child.

Chaplain (Capt.) Mark Olson, from Dayton, Tenn., who has six children of his own, offers soldiers this opportunity to communicate with their children not only by providing a reading room for soldiers to record in, but also by taking the program to the soldiers working on the flight line.

"Many soldiers do not have the time to come to our reading room, so we take our video camera and books to them," Olson said. "The main idea for this program is simply to keep soldiers in touch with their families. The greatest reward, however, is the knowledge that someone back home will cry, smile, or laugh as they see their loved one in living color, live before them on TV."

Army Capt. Kathryn Rains serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 4th Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade.)

(Editor's Note: More information on groups and individuals supporting the troops can be found at, the Web site of the Defense Department's America Supports You program, which connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.)



The University of
New Orleans, New Orleans, La. is being awarded a $49,283,693 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity with provisions for issuance of fixed-price task ordercontract for analytical and technical support services from undergraduate and graduate students and faculty at a geographically local educational institution in support of advanced research and development projects on behalf of multiple customers in the South Eastern La., and South Miss., region to include, but not limited to, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, New Orleans; Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Command; Naval Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration; Department of Navy Chief Information Office; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Finance Center; and other federal government research and development activities. Work will be performed in New Orleans, La., and is expected to be completed by 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract wascompetitively procured with oneproposal received. The Space and Navy Warfare Systems Center New Orleans, La., is the contracting activity (N69250-08-D-0302).

Alion Science and
Technology Corp., Chicago, Ill., is being awarded a $37,930,000 ceiling-priced indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the procurement of integrated anti-submarine training systems, which will provide single platform and integrated computer based training. In addition, the trainers will support an anti-submarine warfare synthetic training environment and provide a continuous training capability that is interoperable, distributed, mobile, and deployable. Work will be performed in Naval Air Warfare Center, Training Systems Command, Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed in Aug. 2013. Contract funds in the amount of $50,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was competitively procured through an electronic request for proposals and one offer was received. The Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, Orlando, Fla. is the contracting activity (N61339-08-D-0009).

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Bethpage, N.Y., is being awarded a $16,124,867 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-6311) to provide integration services for mission packages that will deploy from and integrate with the Littoral Combat Ship. The
Navy's plan is to use spiral development to improve mission capability in identified mission areas. The LCS mission packages are developed and acquired separately from the LCS sea frame. Work will be performed in Bethpage, N.Y., (32 percent); Washington, D.C., (26 percent); Panama City, Fla., (15 percent); Hollywood, Md., (15 percent); San Diego, Calif., (5 percent); Dahlgren, Va., (5 percent); and Newport, R.I., (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by Sept. 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, D.C., is the contracting activity.

Rockwell Collins Aerospace and Electronics, Inc.,
Portland, Ore., is being awarded a $7,200,000 (in total ceiling amount) firm-fixed-price, Basic Order Agreement (BOA) for spares, repairs, and engineering services and support of HGS-3000 heads-up display system for the C-130J aircraft sustainment program. The HGS-3000 heads-up display system is an electronic system that displays information on a screen so the flight crew does not have to "look down" to read the aircraft instrumentation equipment. Work will be performed 100% in Portland, Ore and is anticipated to be complete at the conclusion of the BOA in Aug. 2013. Funds will be obligated as each job order against this BOA is identified. This contract was competitively procured via Federal Business Opportunities, Navy Electronic Commerce Online, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane website with one offer received. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division, Crane, Ind., is the contracting activity (N00164-08-G-WT00).


Watterson Construction Co., Anchorage, Ala., was awarded on Aug. 11, 2008, a $33,850,000 firm-fixed price construction contract for the construction of a barracks facility. Work will be performed at Fort Richardson, Ala., and is expected ot be completed by Sept. 10, 2010. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Dec. 20, 2007, and one bid was received. U.S.
Army Engineer District, Elmendorf Air Force Base, Ala., is the contracting activity (W911KB-08-C-0023).

Evergreen Helicopters, Inc., McMinnville, Ore., was awarded on Aug. 11, 2008, a $9,507,456 firm-fixed price contract for MEDEVAC services. Work will be performed at Fort Wainwright, Ala., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Four bids were solicited on Jun. 13, 2008, and two bids were received.
Army Contracting Agency, Fort Richardson, Ala., is the contracting activity (W912CZ-08-D-0006).

Raytheon Missile Systems Co., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded on Aug. 12 2008, a $6,057,283 firm-fixed price with cost-plus fixed fee line items contract for GRIFFIN munitions and engineering services. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. One bid was solicited on Feb. 5, 2008. U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity (W31P4Q-08-C-0252).

Valley Machine Co., Alexandria, Ala., was awarded on Aug. 12, 2008, a $6,000,000 firm-fixed price contract for the finish, repair and paint of various combat vehicle parts. Work will be performed in Alexandria, Ala., and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Aug. 2, 2006, and two bids were received. Anniston
Army Depot, Anniston, Ala., is the contracting activity (W911KF-06-D-0009).

Air Force

Micro-Sat Systems, Inc, of Littleton, Colo., is being awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract for a maximum of $14,999,579. This contract provides for research and development in the area of space plug-n play electronics. MSI, with its subcontractor Advanced Solutions Inc., will develop modular flight software and continue in the development of a robust software architecture that takes advantage of various software modules to address the wide range of mission needs, evaluate wireless data and power transfer technologies for PnP application, develop thin film deployable solar arrays to provide additional power to the location of performance is Micro-Sat System, Colorado Springs, Colo. At this time $200,000 has been obligated. Kirtland AFB, N.M. is the contracting activity (FA9453-08-C-0249).

Soldier Sets Two Olympic Records En Route to Double Trap Gold

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 13, 2008 - Spc. Walton Glenn Eller III, of the U.S.
Army Marksmanship Unit, set two Olympic records en route to winning a gold medal in double trap at the Beijing Shooting Range here yesterday. Marksmanship unit teammate Spc. Jeffrey Holguin finished fourth in the event.

Eller's score of 145 in the qualification rounds eclipsed the previous Olympic record of 144 set in the 2004 Athens Games by United Arab Emirates shooter Ahmed Almaktoum, who finished seventh in Beijing.

In double trap, competitors fire their 12-gauge shotguns from five adjacent shooting stations. At each station, two targets are thrown simultaneously from an underground bunker at speeds up to 50 mph at set angles and height. The targets are thrown with a variable delay of up to one second, and competitors get one shot per target.

"I realized with my last pair to go, 'Oh, the Olympic record is only 144. If I hit my last pair, I'm going to get the Olympic record.'"

When Eller did that, he said, he sensed he was on his way to a spectacular day. He missed his first two targets in the final, but settled down and missed only three shots the rest of the way.

"If you shoot the Olympic record [in qualification rounds] and you've got a little bit of a lead, you expect to come out with gold," Eller said. "But after I went out there [in the final] and missed that first pair, it was a little dicey there for a second, but I brought it all back together."

Eller's final score of 190 topped Almaktoum's world record of 189, also set in Athens. Italy's Francesco D'Aniello won the silver medal in Beijing with a score of 187, and China's Binyuan Hu took the bronze with a 184 total.

"It's incredible," said Eller, 26, a native of Katy,
Texas, who is stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. "I finally made a final in the Olympics. I came in like 12th [in Sydney] and 17th [in Athens], and finally came out and put a good day together. This was the only thing I was worried about for the last two years."

Explaining his key to success, Eller reached into his vest and revealed a handful of trading cards.

"Hard work," the three-time Olympian said as he shuffled cards featuring soldiers of the U.S.
Army Marksmanship Unit. "That, and I had my teammates with me. The military has been great to me. They've helped me fulfill a dream that, without them, I don't think would've ever happened. I owe everything to them.

"Joining the
Army was an incredible gain for me," he continued. "It gave me a lot of discipline. I was fortunate enough to go into the Army Marksmanship Unit. It's great having those guys to train with every day. They really pushed me along. Just working with them all day, every day, it keeps you in it.

Being a soldier means he's expected to do what's asked of him, Eller noted. "For right now, they asked me to come to the Olympics and win a gold medal for the United States," he said. "I don't know how to better represent them than with a gold medal in my hand."

Eller said he couldn't wait to give his parents a big bear hug.

"I'm going to go find my parents and celebrate," he said. "They've been here all week, and to the last two Olympics, watching me. To have them here and to finally win a gold medal for them is incredible. The crowd was amazing. The facilities were incredible."

Holguin, 29, of Yorba Linda, Calif., finished fourth with a 182 total.

"I shot really well today, until the final," Holguin said. "This game is all about putting four good rounds together, and honestly, I could only manage two. I had a mediocre round and a bad round. So when you've got two good rounds, they don't offset the mediocre and bad rounds.

"Finishing fourth," he added, "that's where you finish when you shoot like I did in the final."

On this day, Holguin tipped his cap to Eller.

"It's all about him now," Holguin said. "Glenn Eller and I started shooting against each other a long, long time ago, and we actually enlisted in the
Army together in the fall of 2006. This was half of our goal. We wanted gold and silver at the Olympics. We came really close, but I'm happy for him."

But during the competition, Holguin said, he did not pull any punches.

"When we're out on the shooting line, we take the gloves off and go at it as hard as anybody else," Holguin said. "I don't feel bad when he misses a target. If he would have lost the gold medal, yeah, I would have felt badly for him, but not if I was in the silver medal position. I'd be chasing him the whole way."

Holguin agreed with Eller that joining USAMU was their best move.

"Joining the
Army was probably the best thing I could've done for my shooting career, just because of the discipline and structure that comes along with the Army," Holguin said. "The Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning has world-class shooting facilities. We shoot with and against some of the best in the world," he said. "I've been training with the 2008 Olympic gold medalist for the last two years straight since I joined the Army, so the Army has definitely taken my shooting to the next level.

"My heartfelt thanks go out to everybody who has been behind me this whole time, but it's Glenn's day," Holguin said. "He earned it. He deserves it."

(Tim Hipps works in the U.S.
Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs Office.)

Soldier Becomes Oldest U.S. Woman Competitor in Olympic History

By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service

Aug. 13, 2008 - At age 56,
Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Elizabeth "Libby" Callahan became the oldest U.S. woman competitor in Olympic history with a 25th-place finish in the women's 25-meter pistol shooting event today at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall. "I've been told oldest-ever female Olympian of any nation, of all time," Callahan said. "But I don't know if that's right."

USA Shooting officials could not confirm that claim. At any rate, Callahan certainly has withstood the test of time on the competitive pistol-shooting line.

"Well, it shows my longevity, I guess," Callahan said with a laugh and a smile that rivaled the seemingly never-ending smiles of the Chinese hosts of the Beijing Games. "I'm just still kicking, and I'm not putting any restrictions on myself. It doesn't say I have to stop at a certain age.

"In fact, the oldest Olympic medalist was in shooting," she noted, "and he was 73, back in the early 1900s."

Therefore, Callahan, a four-time Olympian, already is considering taking a shot at the 2012 London Games.

"I'm not ruling it out," she said. "I'm not ruling anything out. I still feel good, and I still have that competitive fire in me."

Callahan's passion for pistol packing already has earned Summer Olympic trips to Barcelona,
Atlanta and Athens, Greece, along with journeys to Hyderabad, India, for the Conseil Internationale du Sport Militaire's 2007 Military World Games, and to Salinas, Puerto Rico, for the 2005 Championships of the Americas. She's also competed in five world championships and as many Pan American Games.

After retiring in 2003 from a 28-year career with the Washington, D.C.,
Metropolitan Police Department, Callahan moved from Upper Marlboro, Md., to Pawleys Island, S.C., to be closer to her seven older brothers and sisters. She now has an unprecedented amount of free time to sharpen her shooting skills and compete internationally.

"What I've probably done in a lot of areas is that I've tried too hard," Callahan said. "I shoot great technique. I've been told this not just by U.S. coaches, but other international coaches. It's just something's happening just a few times in a match that throws me out of some competitions. That's a mental thing. And you know, the brain, the mind, is a terrible thing."

Callahan can easily laugh with herself -- seemingly oblivious to the fact that Father Time could be ticking on her athletic career. Her approach to the sport, however, remains unchanged as she approaches her 57th birthday.

"You still have to have the same mental approach, have to have the same techniques to execute the shot," she said. "There may be a different perspective in maybe somebody who is younger or hasn't been here before, but that's just all part of experience -- just having general experience in life.

"Throughout shooting, you will find that some things work at a certain period of time, and then after a while it doesn't work any more," she continued, "so you maybe try something different. Maybe it's your stance, maybe it's your grip, maybe it's your gun. There are always things that if something's not working and you've worked at it for a while, OK, let's try something different. How you execute, and how you execute under certain conditions, is always the important thing.

"I'm way [more] advanced than I was when I first started shooting," she said, "but it's some mental things that really grab me at certain times, and it hurts me in the match."

Callahan did not advance to the final here, where gold medalist Gundegmaa Otryad of Mongolia equaled the Olympic record with a 590 total. Germany's Munkhbayar Dorjsuren won the silver medal with a score of 587. China's Chen Ying took the bronze with a 585 total.

Callahan's career-best Olympic finish was 19th in the 2004 sport pistol event in Athens, where she also placed 30th in the air pistol competition.

"Some days you're really good. Some days you're really bad. And some days you're mediocre," she said. "That's what makes shooting interesting and, I guess, challenging. You can shoot a perfect score, and the next day go out and you aren't diddly squat."

Either way, Callahan always finds the resolve to shoot another day.

(Tim Hipps works in the U.S.
Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs Office.)

America Supports You: 'D-Lister' Shows Audience Laughter is Best Medicine

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 13, 2008 - As summer ends, so goes the summer TV season, which means many favorite shows will go into hibernation for the winter. Comedian Kathy Griffin, Bravo network's somewhat saucier answer to Lucille Ball, has ensured the fourth season finale of "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D List," affects its audience when it airs tomorrow night.

Don't expect the funny lady to reel it in just because she's visiting with servicemembers recuperating at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center here.

"I know our show isn't exactly 'Frontline,' but we definitely tried to weed as much comedy into the situation as possible, because these men and women let me know very quickly that when you're dealing with these kinds of injuries, you just gotta laugh," Griffin said. "What I'm proud of with [this] show is that it shows how people use humor to cope with a traumatic situation."

Griffin found laughs razzing a corporal about his questionable tattoo while touring the Fisher House Foundation's two housing facilities where outpatients and their families stay while receiving treatment at Walter Reed. She found laughs while talking with troops during a visit to the hospital. Even George the therapy dog provided amusement when Griffin stopped by the hospital's physical therapy room.

In fact, Griffin and Walter Reed's residents and employees didn't stop laughing from the moment she arrived until she walked off the stage after performing a stand-up routine in the evening.

The "little show," as she described it, was well attended until Griffin started her more-than-PG routine and some members of the audience opted to call it a night.

"To me, that's the sign of a good show," Griffin said. "You always need a couple of [ticked-off] chaplains combined with some laughing soldiers and a couple ER nurses."

Supporting servicemembers has long been a cause near and dear to Griffin, whose father, a World War II soldier, died last year. It wasn't that
military legacy, however, that led her to first performance for deployed troops.

"What really got me involved was when a friend of mine, Kerri Turner from the television series "JAG," talked me into my first [United Service Organizations] trip to Afghanistan in 2002," Griffin said. "She told me that the trip would change my life, and she was right. It did."

Last year's season of "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List" included her visit to Iraq to entertain troops. Her positive experience and the overwhelmingly positive response from the audience was a catalyst to feature the
military again this season, she said.

"My goal this year with the Walter Reed episode is to have these men and women seen for the heroes they are and their families for the human beings they are," Griffin said. "This experience shows us what happens to these brave men and women when they come home and deal with the injuries they have sustained while at war. I saw the bravery from the moment I walked into Fisher House to the rehab facility to the little show I put on that night."

Griffin said she's open to featuring the
military in another episode, but isn't sure that will happen.

"At this point, I have basically put the
Army through hell. I believe they call my crew 'the insurgency,' but I won't stop," she said. "I visit with returning soldiers before each show I do on the road. I am so happy to be involved with performing for the armed forces [and] meeting them; whatever I can do."

The season finale of "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," which was filmed at Walter Reed in April, will premiere tomorrow on the Bravo network. Check local listings for times.

The Fisher House Foundation and USO are supporters of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

Face of Defense: Airman Helps Injured Warriors 'Face' World

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Erin M. Peterson
Special to American Forces Press Service

Texas, Aug. 13, 2008 - The characteristics of a person's face are unmistakable. They are the uniqueness that makes people recognize family members, friends, co-workers. Now imagine suddenly being stripped of those defining characteristics. Facial injuries are becoming more prevalent among wounded warriors. The features that protrude the most on a person's face are at a high risk for injury.

Air Force Senior Airman Justin Jones, a maxillofacial prosthetic technician with 59th Dental Squadron here, works to help servicemembers who have suffered disfiguring facial injuries.

After he enlisted in the
Air Force in December 2002, Jones was a dental lab technician for three and a half years before switching to his current specialty through on-the-job training. His position was previously occupied by a civilian contractor, now retired.

Jones' qualifications come from studying art in high school and college, where he gained an understanding of color and light. He has experience with oil painting, watercolor and clay sculpting. He is now the only full-time maxillofacial prosthetic technician in the
Air Force.

According to the Baylor College of Dentistry, maxillofacial prosthodontics is a subspecialty of dentistry that deals with the rehabilitation of patients with acquired and congenital defects of the head and neck region. Facial prosthetic devices are an essential part of restoring the physical and psychological well-being of patients with missing or disfigured facial structures.

Jones is brought in when a patient could benefit from a facial prosthetic. He often uses a pre-injury photo of the patient as a guide in restoring a patient's facial features. On one occasion, a patient's father was even brought in to shape an ear and match the pigment exactly.

His goal is to improve patients' quality of life, Jones said, allowing them to live without drawing attention to a specific aspect of their physical appearance. He works directly with the patients, perfecting the prosthetic until it suits each person precisely.

"I get to know my patients, and they let me know exactly what they want. I love the work that I do," Jones said.

Maxillofacial prosthetics staff members work mainly with patients from Brooke
Army Medical Center and burn units in San Antonio. Air Force Col. (Dr.) Jose Villalobos, program director of maxillofacial prosthetics, praised Jones' work.

"With all the war casualties coming in right now, it is important that we use our capabilities to help those wounded warriors," he said. "Senior Airman Jones has an artistic background, and he uses his knowledge of sculpting, color and contours to restore missing or altered facial features. He has a passion for his craft, and he is filling big shoes right now."

Air Force Staff Sgt. Erin M. Peterson serves in the 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs Office.)

Rice Calls Military Relief Mission in Georgia 'Continuous, Robust'

By John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 13, 2008 - The U.S.
military-led mission to provide humanitarian aid in Georgia will be "continuous and robust," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today, calling on Russia to commit to keeping open the lines of communication and transportation during relief efforts. "We expect that Russia will respect the humanitarian nature of that mission, and that ports, sea lanes, air routes will all be open for humanitarian purposes, another pledge that Russia has undertaken to the French," Rice told reporters in a news conference this afternoon.

Rice's remarks came hours after President Bush announced a first U.S.
Air Force C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft was delivering humanitarian aid and medical supplies to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.

An additional delivery slated for tomorrow will mark the second shipment in a relief effort that could comprise many planeloads of humanitarian relief, Defense Department officials said.

"There are plans for another flight tomorrow as we continue to assess the wide range of humanitarian assistance options that we might be able to provide both in the immediate and long-term humanitarian capabilities," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said today.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates will oversee the
military's humanitarian mission. Rice, who is scheduled to depart this evening to France en route to Georgia, is delivering the U.S. diplomatic response.

"I am going ... first to meet with the French president and other members of the French government in France," she said, "and then I will fly on to Tbilisi to underscore the strong support of the United States for the Georgian people and for their democratically elected government."

Fighting that began in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia is now in its sixth day, and has broadened to include Russian attacks on Abkhazia, another heavily separatist region, and other parts of the country, where Russia's forces reportedly are still engaged despite Moscow's cease-fire pledge yesterday.

Company Focuses on Families to Support Military Employees

By Sara Moore
American Forces Press Service

Aug. 13, 2008 - Kim Robinson knows that when
military members deploy, they face a lot of stress overseas on top of worrying about their families at home. To help alleviate that stress, Robinson has committed to do what he can to ease the burden on the families of his employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Robinson's company, Robinson Transport, of Salina, Utah, provides $1,000 a month to the families of employees who are deployed with the National Guard or Reserve. This money is meant to supplement the family's income, and the company still pays all company bonuses, as well as full life, health and dental insurance for the deployed employee.

For its efforts to support employees who serve in the reserve forces, Robinson Transport is receiving the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. The award is the highest honor a company can receive for its support of
military employees.

Robinson Transport has seven employees in the National Guard or Reserve, all of whom have been deployed within the last five years, Robinson said, adding that he's happy to do what he can to support his employees while they're serving the country.

"They're over there fighting for my freedoms, which I enjoy very much, and they're leaving their families and their wives, and most of them have smaller children," he said. "They're over there worrying about their life for one thing, but on the other hand, they're worrying about what their children and their wives are going through. If I can help them that way, then that's a little less worry that they have."

Robinson Transport, which has about 130 employees, also supports its deployed employees by keeping in close contact with them via e-mail, and the company has contributed $5,000 to provide faster Internet service to deployed personnel.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Roger Orton, who has served for 33 years in the Utah National Guard, nominated Robinson Transport for the Freedom Award because he saw their dedication to military personnel firsthand. Orton has been a truck driver with Robinson for 26 years, and in 2006 he was deployed to Afghanistan. While he was gone, someone from the company called his wife at least twice a week to check on her. They also paid her the $1,000 a month, even though Orton told his boss that he actually made more money while deployed than he'd been earning at Robinson Transport.

"I asked them why they thought they needed to do that, and they said it was to ease the pain of us being gone and that it was a small price to pay for what we were doing," Orton said. "It's too bad all employers aren't this good to work for, and it's easy to see how easy it is to work for them for 26 years."

Orton said that several other members of his unit also work for Robinson, and the company always has accommodated them when it came to taking time off for drill weekends and summer training. He said when he came back from Afghanistan, he talked to the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve representative from Utah, who told him that he had received many letters telling him how supportive Robinson Transport is of its
military employees.

Orton said he enjoys working for Robinson because the management is caring and supportive. "You go to work every morning knowing that you work for good people," he said. "There's no other employer that tops them. They deserve the red carpet treatment from the
Army for what they do."

Having employees who also serve in the
military, like Orton, is helpful to the company, Robinson said. "They're all pretty humble people anyway, but when they come back they're so appreciative," he said of the National Guard and Reserve employees. "With the other people listening to them out there on a daily basis, I think it makes the other people better Americans and makes them appreciate what they really have here."

Robinson said he's always thought of himself as patriotic, but was completely surprised to hear his company was receiving the Freedom Award.

"It's a great honor for me to be selected as one of the recipients," he said. "For my employees to nominate me for that, that was an awesome thing. I'm just proud to be a part of it."

Robinson Transport will receive the Freedom Award, along with 14 other companies, in a ceremony Sept. 18 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center here. The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.

Missing WWII Pilot Is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from World War Two, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is 2nd Lt. Howard C. Enoch Jr., U.S.
Army Air Forces, of Marion, Ky. He will be buried on Sep. 22 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

Representatives from the Army met with Enoch's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with
military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.

On March 19, 1945, Enoch was the pilot of a P-51D Mustang that crashed while engaging enemy aircraft about 20 miles east of Leipzig, near the village of Dobersch├╝tz, Germany. His remains were not recovered at the time, and Soviet occupation of eastern Germany precluded his recovery immediately after the war.

In 2004, a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) surveyed a possible P-51 crash site near Dobersch├╝tz. The team found aircraft wreckage. In 2006, another JPAC team excavated the site and recovered human remains and aircraft wreckage.

Among other
forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Enoch's remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call (703) 699-1420.