FOB Tacoma

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Archives: Sep. 2007

Sep.
27th

More homecomings

The Washington National Guard will welcome back another batch of its soldiers from Iraq, the 790th Chemical Company, due in Friday afternoon.


The company’s name notwithstanding, its soldiers spent the past year guarding high-value detainees near Baghdad. Pennsylvania National Guardsmen who had this mission told interesting stories about Saddam Hussein’s weakness for Dorito’s; perhaps the returning guardsmen will share similar experiences.


Ordinarily the 790th’s mission is to provide decontamination and medical triage in the event of, say, a chemical, biological or radiological attack or accident.


But in Iraq they were employed as security forces. They guarded

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Sep.
25th

Capt. Drew Jensen memorial

Fort Lewis officials are expecting a huge turnout at the Main Post Chapel for the memorial ceremony for Capt. Drew Jensen, a Stryker platoon leader who died Sept. 7, four months after being shot in Baqouba.


The ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m.


The West Point graduate from the Portland area was serving on his second deployment with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at the time he was wounded. A gunshot wound to the neck left him a quadriplegic, and per his wishes, his family removed him from life support at a Seattle hospital.


As

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Sep.
21st

Help for those grieving the loss of a service member

POSTED this last month but wanted to move it up in case you might have missed it: The TAPS organization out of Washington, D.C., will bring its grief support and counseling programs to Fort Lewis on Sept. 22 for a one-day seminar for those who have lost a service member. They’ll also hold a mini-version of the Good Grief camp for children ages 5 and up.


Norma Melo from Fort Lewis writes to tell us that organizers especially want to reach out to people beyond the active-duty Army community at the post.


“I know that there

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Sep.
20th

More about Landry, Olson and Valentine

The Department of Defense announcement about the three latest soldiers from 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division moved at about 8 o’clock last night.


All three were young infantrymen who joined the Army in 2004 and were sent to Fort Lewis to be part of the new Stryker brigade. They served in the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment.


According to Fort Lewis:


&bull Spc. Joseph N. Landry III, 23, of Pensacola, Fla., enlisted in September 2004 and arrived at Fort Lewis the following March after infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga. He was a high school graduate.


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Sep.
20th

Longer version of the Yee story

For space reasons, we ran a shorter version of today’s story about the Department of Defense Inspector General report on the treatment of former Fort Lewis chaplain James Yee.


The Olympian ran the story at full length, and you can read it here.


And click here to read the unclassified executive summary of the IG’s report.


To be honest, it’s hard to understand why it took the Pentagon three years to come up with this.


U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Tacoma, was among several members of Congress who asked the Pentagon to review

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Sep.
18th

Iraq pullout debate

If you want to listen to a couple of local college professors debate whether and when the United States should pull its forces out of Iraq, King’s Books in Tacoma is the place to be Friday night.


D.W. Sid Olufs of Pacific Lutheran University will argue that we have a responsibility to stay until the country is stable, and Steve Niva of The Evergreen State College will argue that we should get out as soon as possible.


King’s Books is at 218 St. Helen’s Ave. One would hope that afterward the participants would retire for a civil

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Sep.
18th

POW/MIA Recognition Day is Friday

There are at least a couple of local observances to remember the sacrifices of Americans who were prisoners of war or are still listed as missing in action.


At 10 a.m., the Washington State POW/MIA Concerned Citizens Association will hold a remembrance ceremony at the POW/MIA Memorial on the capital campus in Olympia.


And at 3 p.m., the Washington Memorial Cemetery in SeaTac will open its POW/MIA bracelet repository. Bracelets engraved with the names of those who’ve been recovered in the past year, as well as broken

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