(I had started to update this blog several weeks ago, but unfortunately, with traveling to Florida and so many other activities to take care of lately, the post got put on the back burner. I do apologize for the tardiness!)
What a great group of young people! It was wonderful to meet them all, to talk with them, and to learn more about their lives. It’s amazing that they are from all different parts of the country.
The platoon leader and our POC (Point of Contact) for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Reconnaissance Platoon (CBRN Recce), Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion (HHC, 1BSTB, 10th Mountain Division Light Infantry) was 2nd Lt. Kapua Ampong. Kapua’s Platoon Sergeant is SSG Jason Roberts. Under their command are 16 soldiers: SSG Tony Riggs, SSG Duffy Ewert, SGT Cole Etheredge, SPC Peter Walsh, SPC Michael Escoffery, SPC Thomas West, SPC Edgar Salinas, SPC Anthony Norris, SPC Bob Conteen, PFC Donavon Ditzler, PFC Jake Antignano, PFC Terrell Brownfield, PFC Joshua Henkel, PFC Jessica Cabrera, PFC Jade Fernandez, PFC Richard Gegekas. Two of the soldiers were unable to make the lunch because of job duties.
Club members who traveled to Watertown to meet the soldiers were President Joyce Charboneau, Judy Routson, Daphne Larrabee, Peg Sawyer, Elaine Tompkins, and Barb Traxel, along with Keith Routson and Jack Tompkins.
Shortly after their arrival in Afghanistan at Camp Spann, Kapua discovered she was being detached from the unit. She was sent to Bagram Air Force base to serve there as LNO (liaison officer). SSG Jason Roberts has now replaced her as our POC. We recently heard from SSG Roberts, who told us there were additional personnel changes. In his email, Jason wrote:
I finally got my email up and working so I figured I would write you and let you know how everything is going. The Platoon is good, a few changes were made shortly after we arrived here. We lost Lt. Ampong, SSG Ewert, SPC Salinas, and SPC West as well as gain a few…a SGT Connolly, SPC Malave, and SPC Constance. We are doing well though adapting quickly. We go out a few times a week on mission, prep and train when time allows and try and let the guys have a little down time to unwind. Most of the guys spend their time watching movies or playing on their psp’s, computers, xbox etc, read books and we built a horse shoe pit out behind our two buildings to help us unwind. The weather has been ok it has stayed pretty nice so far, a little warm but bearable. The food is good, most of the time, they have a BBQ pit for lunch and dinner along with the regular chow hall. We have electricity in each room and hot water for showers.
Prior to hearing from Jason, we also had an email from Kapua, who wrote that she had made it safely to Bagram AFB. She says she tracks “all equipment and personnel coming and going to Spann from Bagram.” Her main job is “tracking people for R&R.” We are sorry to lose her as our POC and wish her well in her new position.
We’ll soon be preparing packages ready to send to our adopted 10th Mountain Division soldiers. If anyone would like to donate items (see previous posts for what we’re sending) or help pay for the postage, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment here on this blogsite (don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up immediately; it has to checked for spam first!)
Thanks to our club president, Joyce, for most of these photos!