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Patriotic Article

By Army SFC Joe Cashion

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Built in Memory of a Fallen Warrior
(August 21, 2010)

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CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (08-18-2010) - Situated in Helmand Province, supporting Regional Command Southwest are the Soldiers of the 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

One of the 68th CSSB's subordinate units, the 811th Ordnance Company, arrived in Afghanistan late in 2009 and quickly discovered that calling home and surfing the Internet was not as easy as it was at some other locations in Afghanistan.

More specifically, there wasn't a dedicated facility on the FOB that allowed Soldiers to do those things.

So they decided to do something about it.

“We wanted to build something by the Soldiers for the Soldiers,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Gebron, first sergeant for the 811th OD Company.

As a result, beginning on the first day of 2010 appropriately enough, approximately 11 Soldiers began the arduous process of constructing a Morale, Welfare and Recreation center.

Led by project noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Staff Sgt. Richard Ferguson, and technical experts Staff Sgt. Donald Mott and Spc. Carl Kenyon, the plot for the building was determined, materials were gathered and tools acquired to begin the project.

“It wasn't very hard to build,” said Kenyon, who has since been promoted to Sergeant. “The toughest thing was getting all of the materials together. The 811th had some very skilled and hard-working Soldiers to complete it.”

In reality, it wasn't easy to construct a 64x30 building. It had to be built near sources of power, it had to be wired for phone and computer usage, lighting and electrical receptacles had to be included in addition to constructing a 53x11 porch.

Obviously, erecting a building in the heat of the Afghan desert can be extremely challenging.

“It took some long, hot days to make what you see today,” said Mott.

After more than four months work, the MWR officially opened May 1 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Where there were hardly any areas on FOB Leatherneck to call home or get on the internet prior to construction, the new building supports 20 computer terminals, ten telephone terminals a game room and a theater.

“I feel proud that I was able to contribute to the morale of those who use the MWR facility,” said Mott.

Not only is the MWR open to Soldiers at FOB Leatherneck but it is also available to Marines, contractors and DoD civilians stationed there as well.

And those who use the facility on a regular basis surely notice the sign above the door which reads, “Cauley's Corner.”

The MWR was named in honor of Spc. George Cauley, a member of the 114th Transportation Company, Minnesota National Guard, which was stationed at FOB Leatherneck through May 2010.

Cauley, an outstanding young Soldier and the unit's first guidon bearer, died October 10, 2009, from injuries sustained in an IED attack against his convoy in Helmand Province three days earlier.

Upon completion of “Cauley's Corner,” Kenyon summed up the feelings of many.

“I'm proud that the 811th built the first hard-stand MWR center on Leatherneck,” said Kenyon.

“I'm glad it gives service members [and civilians] a place to hang out, watch movies or contact friends and loved ones back home.”

By Army SFC Joe Cashion
108th Public Affairs Detachment
Copyright 2010

Provided through DVIDS

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