Woodland soldier honored

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2004

FOB CALDWELL, Iraq – While the national media focuses its main spotlight on the negative impact of the war in Iraq, there is some good news to report from the front lines.

Staff Sgt. Cary Long of Woodland, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division, 230th Support Battalion, has been named as Combat Logistician of the Month. Long’s daughter, Ashley, also of Woodland, was recently notified of her father’s distinguished honor.

&uot;I’m so proud of him,&uot; said Ashley Long. &uot;It’s tough emotionally knowing that he’s in harm’s way, but those anxieties were eased a bit when I learned of what a great job he is doing as American troops are battling against the ongoing threat of terrorist activities.&uot;

Staff Sgt. Long was deployed to Iraq on Feb. 28. His unit is based in Durham.

His daughter said that her brother and sister – Charles Long and Janine Long, both of Charleston, S.C. – were also notified of the honor.

In a letter dated April 30 from U.S. Army Sgt. Major Frank G. Cardoza and Commanding Officer, Colonel Paul L. Wentz, Long’s children were informed that their father was instrumental in providing improved living conditions for the soldiers assigned to &uot;Tent City&uot; at FOB (Forward Operating Base) Caldwell.

&uot;He took it upon himself to address the problems found in the supply and heating of water to the tent shower houses,&uot; said Cardoza and Wentz in their letter. &uot;He found the problems, fixed them and then monitored the system in order to provide more reliable service to those in the Tent City.&uot;

The Army brass said that Long was praised because his knowledge of generators, electrical wiring and plumbing has been, &uot;undeniable in the maintaining of the shower facilities.&uot;

The letter of commendation continued, &uot;Your father went out of his way to contact and assist the local contractors in improving the tent showers. He persuaded them to perform repairs with spare parts and free labor until a contract was established to provide for these services. He used his own experience to redesign the plumbing system in order to increase the capacity of the system to meet the increasing number of personnel using the facilities.&uot;

Staff Sgt. Long was also praised for being the liaison between his unit and the 30th Brigade, Kellogg Brown and Root Company and the local contractors since he arrived at FOB Caldwell.

&uot;His initiative has improved the living conditions for all personnel assigned to this area,&uot; the letter writers stated. &uot;The pace here is intense and it challenges each soldier to excel in mental and physical toughness. We have the best trained and most professional officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers as demonstrated by your father’s performance.&uot;

The letter closed by saying, &uot;I do not have to remind you that it takes special people to be a part of today’s professional military. You should be proud, as I am, of your father’s service and accomplishments during such a critical and important time in our Nation’s history.&uot;

The 1st Infantry Division and Division Support Command have a long and proud history in America’s military. They trace their roots to World War I and have since taken part in World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II.