Soldiers 'make a difference' in Roy
January 20, 2011
Soldiers from the 61st Chemical Company spent time last week in the city of Roy near Joint Base Lewis-McChord to make 330 of the city's water meters accessible to city meter readers and to give back to a community that has provided so much support to them.
The Bulldog Soldiers spent the day removing dirt and debris from inside and around the water meter boxes and assessing the conditions of the meters in the small community Jan. 12.
"This community service project will really make a difference," said Karen Yates, mayor of Roy. "The work that is done today will cut down on the meter reader's time significantly and meters will be easier to access."
Because of the economy, the public works budget was cut back, decreasing the manpower available to perform maintenance around the meters.
"We have a symbiotic relationship with the communities around us," said Capt. John Boyle, commander, 61st Chem. Co.. "We wouldn't be who we are as a military without community. It is important for us to foster positive community relations with the communities that we are a part of."
"It feels good helping other people," said Spc. Christopher Kokko, decontamination operations, 4th Platoon. "I thought it was pretty fun. It is good to show respect for the community that has supported us."
"We have Soldiers who live in this community," said 1st Lt. Peter Aching, officer in charge of the detail. "This is our way of saying 'thanks for supporting the troops.'"
The Bulldogs received significant support and care packages from Roy while they were deployed.
"We are giving back to the community of Roy because they supported us while we were deployed," said 1st Lt. Christian Romeo, a 61st Co. platoon leader.
This mission was twofold for the Bulldogs; it also served as an opportunity to hone basic warrior tasks and provide Soldiers experience with those skills.
"We simultaneously honed our basic Soldier tasks and battle drills by exercising both mounted and dismounted land navigation skills, orienteering skills, publishing orders, deploying a command post and basic radio communication skills," Boyle said.
Aching said that many of the Soldiers are new to the unit, fresh from advanced individual training. This project helped them learn about the planning process for a mission and how to communicate with leaders.
"This mission will give many Soldiers a chance to experience these things in the field for the first time," Aching said. "They are very motivated to carry this out and help this community."
Boyle credits the support of his Soldiers and superiors with the success of the mission.
"The Bulldog Soldiers truly embodied the vision of this community project and despite the inclement weather conditions, accomplished the mission above and beyond the standards set and were impressive beyond reproach," Boyle said. "The Army value of selfless service was evident in the spirit in which the Soldiers tackled the mission."