Opinions

Fri
08
Dec

Chaplain: Good Samaritans found in least likely places

By Chap. (Capt.) JONATHAN AVERILL

FORT POLK, La. — It was 2003 in the height of summer outside Kuwait City when my Army Humvee broke down. Consequentially, my entire group and I were stranded, sweating on the side of the road in 100-degree heat.

Unlike the story of the Good Samaritan, almost every military vehicle I saw stopped to see how we were doing. However, it was a busy highway and I steadily got more and more worried a

 

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Fri
08
Dec

Incredible mission: Answering FEMA call for volunteers

By JEAN DUBIEL

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of commentaries about assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency in its disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

FORT POLK, La. — As the plane landed in San Juan, Puerto Rico, just a month after Hurricane Maria made landfall there, a flight attendant made an emotional announcement. She informed the passengers that a contingent of volunteers was aboard to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency with recovery efforts on the island, and asked for a round of applause. Her voice cracked as she said, “Thank you for coming to help our people.”

I was one of those volunteers, and that thank you was one of many bestowed upon me during my six-week deployment as a member of the FEMA Surge Capacity Force, or SCF.

 

Fri
10
Nov

Life at Fort Polk brings opportunity for Family bonding

By VIVIAN LOPEZ

FORT POLK, La. — When my husband and I moved to Fort Polk, we were young newlyweds from Los Angeles, California, with no kids. Having lived in a big city all our lives, we didn’t know what to expect as we relocated to a rural area. I’ll admit, it was a big culture shock at first. There was no mall nearby and the abundance of city life that we were so used to was nowhere to be found.

 

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Fri
27
Oct

Prioritizing self-care is important in parenting journey

By VIVIAN LOPEZ

FORT POLK, La. — In parenting, it’s easy to get caught up in a daily routine.

You wake up, make sure you and your kids are ready for the day, work, run errands, clean the house, cook dinner, get the kids ready for bed, then do whatever other things you needed to do once the kids are asleep. You’re left wishing there was more time in the day to do things for yourself.

This is especially true for military Families, who often must adjust to short- or long-term periods when a parent is training or deployed.

 

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Fri
13
Oct

Women: Reset your health-care habits

By Vice Adm. RAQUEL BONO

WASHINGTON — I was recently a speaker at a women’s leadership symposium and was asked for strategies for proactively managing one’s health when faced with hectic schedules and numerous responsibilities. I could relate and the timing couldn’t be better.

October is Women’s Health Month and a great time to remember that we, as women, owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to make our health a priority. Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits, ensuring we get regular checkups and immunizations, and being our own best advocates for care will help us live healthier and happier lives. I’m encouraging women to take command of their health by resolving to do three things today that will make a difference in your tomorrows.

 

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Fri
13
Oct

Chaplain: ‘Are you holding on to trash or treasure?’

By Chap. (Capt.) JONATHAN AVERILL

FORT POLK, La. — Are you clinging to trash thinking as if it were a treasure?

On my shelf sits a book written by Francis Kalmy, entitled “The Richest Boy in the World.”

In this book, set during WWI in Hungary, the main character “Tony” at the age of 10 is placed in a state-run boy’s boarding school in the Carpathian Mountains.

He was placed there because his father was a Soldier in the war and his mother died when he was very young.

 

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Thu
14
Sep

My first year as a working mom: Overcoming stigmas, challenges

By VIVIAN LOPEZ

FORT POLK, La. — Where has the time gone? It seems just yesterday I was holding my newborn peacefully in my arms and now I’m chasing around a one-year-old as she walks around the house leaving traces of her mischief wherever she goes.

Today is my baby girl Emma’s first birthday, and while people tell you that time flies when you have children, you never know how quickly it flies until you live it yourself.

I found myself celebrating Emma’s achievements as she learned to sit up, crawl and walk, but I was also sad my baby girl was growing up before my eyes and on her way to toddlerhood.

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Fri
08
Sep

JRTC, Fort Polk sends best to help those going through worst

By JEAN DUBIEL 

FORT POLK, La. — A group of Soldiers and bus drivers from Fort Polk traveled to Lake Charles Sept. 1 to stage buses bound for Texas. The mission was to help move evacuees from flood-rav-aged areas around Vidor, Texas, a community that was drowning in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. A team of about 15 Soldiers decided to grab a bite at a local fast food restaurant before heading out for this humanitarian mission. Once they were seated, a local man asked for everyone’s attention in the restaurant.

“In case you haven’t noticed, the Army is here,” he began.“They are here to help rescue some folks over in Texas. I want to ask everyone two things: First, let’s give these guys around of applause.” The diner sall clapped and cheered for the group, smiling and nodding their heads in approval. “And secondly,” the man said, “let’s offer up a prayer for these guys and the people they are going to help today.”

 

Fri
08
Sep

Fort Polk’s warriors depart for deployment overseas

FORT POLK, La. — Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, departed for service overseas this week.

About 2,100 troops from the brigade make up this deployment.

The 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn Div is the first brigadeszed unit to deploy under the Associated Units Pilot Program, which groups Army Reserve and National Guard units with active component units for training before mobilization.

The brigade has served with the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard since March 2016.

 

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Fri
08
Sep

U.S., partner forces make progress in Iraq, Syria

by By JIM GARAMONE 

WASHINGTON — There is evil in the world, and good people of all faiths and nations have joined together and made progress against the evil that is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the commander of Operation Inherent Resolve said Aug. 31.

Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, who also commands the Army's 18th Airborne Corps, told Pentagon reporters via satellite from Baghdad that ISIS "is the most evil entity I have encountered in my lifetime. 

"In 2014, ISIS swept across Syria and Iraq and declared it as the heart of its new caliphate, with a capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

 

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