Thursday, November 8, 2007

“The Alpha Mail” Vol XIII

“The Alpha Mail”Vol XIII
Alpha Company, 425TH BSTB, 4TH BCT (ABN), 25TH ID
Ocotober 2007

Thoughts from Sapper 6 (Company Commander)

Another cooler month has come and gone. Clouds litter the Desert Blue sky and the evenings have a mild chill. The Sappers of Alpha Company have borne their mission proudly and without complaint, despite the rigorous mission set and challenges of redeployment. Alpha Company Paratroopers have met their operations leaning forward, hard charging and without complaint. We have begun to dare to dream of returning home to our loved ones, friends and things like snow machines and Alaskan Amber. Our eyes are still firmly fixed on the mission though, and the men will continue to stay focused to see this through. SPC Keith Carter was wounded by a 14.5mm Anti-Aircraft Machine gun that penetrated his Husky while conducting a route clearance mission north of FOB Iskan on 7 October 2007. He is doing well and should be home by the time we redeploy.SPC Keith Carter at the 28th Combat Support Hospital in the International Zone, Baghdad Iraq, holding His war souvenir that was removed from his left thigh. Sapper 6 got a chance to see him before he left for Balad on 8 OCT 07.
The operating environment is continuously changing on a daily basis. We have seen real, tangible progress in our mission. The bad guys are on the run in a lot of areas, and the people are stepping up to partner with the Coalition Forces to keep it that way. Alpha Company, your brothers, fathers, sons, and husbands are getting that done. Be proud. All of the Sapper platoons to include Redsox (2nd Platoon/182nd Engineer Company) and Blacksheep (1st Platoon/224th Engineer Company) have all broken new ground outside the wire. First Platoon with 1-40 CAV is continuing their impressive mission support with limited resources and time. They continue to support themselves as being one of the only route clearance teams who stay fully mission capable attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. Their performance in patrolling and clearing is absolutely stifling and has been truly remarkable. Second Platoon continues to man up to the long enduring missions that 1-501 PIR Battalion requests. Many of the routes we have traveled this month were cleared months ago during the early stages of the deployment. They have ventured deep into the heart of Karbala and Najaf to clear critical routes for operations and key leader engagements. Third Platoon is the “jack of all trades” platoon with a little bit of everything. Their unique diversity allows them to clear a route while conducting road sanitation with the up armored heavy equipment. They manage to have the flexibility to conduct “Trifecta” missions, meaning route clearance, route sanitation, and force protection missions all within the same day. All of the platoons manage to get their hands on demolition to conduct missions, or conduct an air assault mission with our brother infantry companies. The glow in every Sapper’s eyes never fade, they give everything they have 24/7.

Overall, combat operations test and challenge the men we call Sappers everyday. They are eager to accept this willingly, and these past 14 months will be remembered for the rest of their lives. They have been in the forefront of every major Brigade mission as the only Engineers who coined the term “You Fear ‘em, We Clear ‘em.” This company has earned the respect of every Paratrooper in the Brigade by accomplishing the impossible every day. Soon these husbands, fathers, and loved ones will be home,
holding you close, or seeing their little ones who are not so little anymore. These men were called to fight a relentless enemy who is now running like cowards. They did the unimaginable and will continue to protect our Freedom. You have done more than anyone could have asked for; standing by them, talking to them on the phone in the middle of the night, sending countless letters and emails, and growing closer together. THANK YOU. Be proud that your family is making the world a better place right now. This month I wanted to shed some light on what we are thinking about and the things we look forward to once we return home in Alaska.

“Breach Hell!”
-Sapper 6 – CPT Calvin Kroeger
"When we ge home" notes from Sappers of 3rd Platoon

“Go on vacation to Australia.” –SPC James Apgar
“Go skiing with the wife at Alyeska, eat at DAMI and kill a few Irish Car Bombs at the Pioneer Bar.” –SSG Ryan Finn
“Get away from the people I have spent the past 14 months with and spend most of my time with the wife and family.” –SGT Jacob Matson
“I’m going to purchase Anchorage.” –SPC Jonathan Araiza
“Eat real food and Sleep!!” –SPC Sean O’loughlin
“I’m gonna go hunting and just relax.” –SPC Devin Moore
“I wanna drink a few then sleep for 48 hours.” –SPC Pham Hoang
“Watch Law & Order with my wife.” –SGT Brian Clayton
“Plan to spend time with my wife Nicole and new baby girl, Maddison; just hanging around the house, and watching my new t.v.” –SGT James Battenberg
“I plan to spend a lot of time relaxing with my wife. We will spend a long weekend in a secluded cabin together.” –SPC Dennis Hyde
“I’m going to spend a lot of time hanging out with my wife, go snowboarding, and relax.” –SPC Dustin Lueckenotte
“Spend time with my family, and enjoy the things I used to take for granted.” – SPC Brandon Johnson
“I will be resting.” –PFC Ryan Winkle
“I will be visiting family, relatives and friends in California.” – SPC Manuel Perez “Going to Costa Rica with my wife for vacatiton.” –SPC Collin Black
“Having a wedding.” –SPC Brandon Hux
“Road trip across the U.S. and Canada.” –SPC Matthew Chappuies
“Maddie says ‘Poa we’re going to Disney World to see Cinderella’s Castle’ so that’s what we will do.” –SSG Nicholas Swanson
“I am going to chill out at my house and rent a cabin in Seward for a few days.” –SGT Steven Hooper
“Go cross country skiing with my wife up at Hatcher’s Pass then get a pizza and beer at Moose’s Tooth.” -1LT Samuel Chamberlain
“SFC SHAW” - SFC Beau Shaw

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thank you for posting this information. It's good to know what the boys are up to, how they are feeling, and what they need! My brother is deployed with Alpha Company, and I was wondering if you could email me the latest installment of the Alpha Mail, so I could read his "when we get home" thoughts. We are excited for the redeployment, as I'm sure you are as well. Stay's only a few more days...

Stay safe, SAPPERS!