Signaling home

Published 9:57 pm Monday, August 30, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
The weather is beginning to cool off in Iraq, and the members of the 711th hosted their own version of the Olympics Saturday.
"The Battalion will be holding its own Olympics," Cpt. Paul West said. Of course, this Olympics will have it's own unique twists, out of practical necessity. There will be beach, or at least sand, volleyball, an uphill run, a golf putting contest, basketball, weightlifting, and the javelin throw.
Of course, the there won't be any carbon fiber javelines at the camp. Standing in for it will be a metal grounding rod of the type used to ground the electronic equipment the company uses. "It's a pretty stout item, so it will be interesting to watch that," West said.
The captain pointed out the service of three men currently serving with Company A.
"Sgt. J.C. Mitchell has been doing a great job as one of our wire men, pulling wire for our communications," West said. "He's a great steadying influence on the younger men. His experience in Vietnam and his ability is something they look up to."
"Spc. Randy Lucas has been really working hard," West said. "He works on what we call a small extension node. He's in with a smaller group, and they've had to work a lot of hours. Spc. Lucas has been a great asset to us. He just got back from leave and that always helps the attitude."
"Sgt. 1st Class Freddy Lambeth is a node center supervisor. He makes sure everyone is getting their jobs done and takes care of the soldiers. He gets a lot done for us, and he usually does it without any help," West said.
The company has made it near the halfway point of its service in Iraq, and the company is doing well, West said. "We're continuing to improve our defenses here and minimizing risks on convoys. It's still a dangerous place, but we've been doing well. The heat has let up a little bit and we can appreciate it."
"Our prayers and thoughts are going out to Sgt. Spillman and his family. We really appreciate the support we get from everyone there."

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