Sunday, October 16, 2005

“Just doing our job, Sir!”

This Sunday morning Lt-Colonel Lytle, XO under the Base's General of the 116th Brigade, came to present us with an award of recognition. We were surprised and honored! Bringing with him the S-4 (don't know what that means either) Major Etcheverry, Sergeant-Major Boren, and a small entourage.

Our sub-contractor group (LSI) is split into two groups: one does lubricating maintenance and service, and my group, which does add-on armor. Together we serviced, armored, and repaired well over a thousand fleet vehicles for the 116th Brigade, bringing them from way behind right up to date and combat readiness. When the 116th came in, they were so far behind they thought they’d never catch up. Together, Lieutenant-Colonel Lytle said of us, in part:

…you guys did that for us which was something we never really thought we could accomplish--what ended up happening was we were able to accomplish that; we were able to keep vehicle fleets in this brigade on the road, and a large part of that has been through your efforts.

This is a unique presentation for contractors. To his knowledge, Lt.-Colonel Lytle said,

Of all the contract arrangements we’ve dealt with never once has ever been issued a praise about how well you guys were able to help us. Believe me, nobody’s gotten that.

He conclude by handing us the 116th Calvary Brigade Commanding General’s Coin, a keepsake in recognition of excellence! It is pictured below, front and back. We were each handed this award in a handshake---I’ve got mine in my hot little hands now---right after his final words:

“…just wanted to recognize you and thank you….What we’d like to do is give you all a token of our thanks and hope you hang on to it--”

Sergeant-Major Boren, who is directly in charge of the Brigade’s vehicle fleets worked directly with us and was responsible for tracking down all the armor, equipment, and parts that we needed to do our job for them. Cutting through typical military red-tape, he procured the hard-to-get supplies needed to protect his troops. In front of us, he was also presented with an award, a “Meritorious Unit Certificate” for bringing the fleets up to speed for the benefit of the troops and their operations.

We, again, have been honored to work for, with, and be honored by, the 116th Calvary Brigade of Idaho. The awards were a formal and unexpected surprise, but the accomplishments and friendships and we forged with these good gentlemen in achieving our common goals in Iraq is to me of equal or greater importance. Combined with election successes: It is a good day in Iraq.

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