Operation Tribute to Freedom

Faces From the Front for April 4, 2011 - Staff Sgt. Michael Meck and Spc. Jeremie Meck

Staff Sergeant Michael Meck

Name: Staff Sgt. Michael Meck
Current Unit: Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan (CSTC-A)
Current Position: Reconnaissance and Force Protection Non-Commissioned Officer
Component: Active
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Lena, Wis.
Years of Service: 10

Specialist Jeremie Meck

Name: Spc. Jeremie Meck
Current Unit: 96th Aviation Support Battalion
Current Position: Medic
Component: Active
Current Location: Afghanistan
Hometown: Lena, Wis.
Years of Service: 2

When Staff Sgt. Michael Meck joined the Army more than ten years ago, he wasn’t thinking about the impact his decision might have on his younger brother Jeremie. Eight years later, Spc. Jeremie Meck followed in his brothers footsteps and enlisted. Today, the pair serves in Afghanistan.

Spc. Meck is a medic with the 96th Aviation Support Battalion. He works at an aid station in Kandahar, helping to preserve the lives of his fellow Soldiers in Afghanistan.

As an Engineer with the Combined Security Transition Command, Staff Sgt. Meck gathers information about the terrain, local populous and enemy activity in areas surrounding potential Afghan National Army sites. Based out of Camp Mike Spann, he is located north of his brother.

Staff Sgt. Meck is also responsible for the security and transportation of military personnel and supplies in Afghanistan. Among his current duties is the demolition of roadway obstacles on routes used by coalition forces. By carrying out this task he is able to aid U.S. troops and allies, while also hindering insurgent efforts.

“Demolitions, or explosives, can be used to remove obstacles from routes coalition forces use, destroy enemy weapon caches and prepared enemy fighting positions, or destroy routes used by the enemy to move supplies and troops,” explained Staff Sgt. Meck. “It allows coalition forces to move troops and supplies safely, and stops or slows the enemy from doing the same.”

In addition to security and reconnaissance tasks, Staff Sgt. Meck volunteered to assist with the rehabilitation of a school facility that is currently being used to teach English to Afghan children. He and his fellow Soldiers collected money for the project and used it to cover expenses such as painting, building desks, and providing learning materials to students.

“The children seem to always be excited to see us when we visit, and they are really eager to show us through conversation that their English is improving,” explained Staff Sgt. Meck. “The children are the future of this country; any way we can have a positive impact on them, and make their future better is helping the future of Afghanistan.”

Spc. Meck is also no stranger to helping others. As a medic, he provides both routine and emergency medical care to Soldiers in the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.

“It is always a good feeling to see a smile on someone’s face after I have helped them,” said Spc. Meck.

Currently serving his first deployment, he has found his experiences thus far have helped to bolster his skills in the medical field.

“I have learned numerous new skills to include suturing, and other minor surgical procedures while improving my skills at procedures I learned previously,” he explained. “I hope to someday pass on the knowledge I have gained while working during this deployment to junior soldiers.”

Although stationed at separate bases, the brothers keep in touch through e-mail and Facebook. But before they arrived in Afghanistan, Staff Sgt. Meck shared experiences from his three previous deployments with his brother to help prepare him for life on the front lines.

“I let him know what kinds of things to bring and what to have accessible in the event that he would want it sent later,” explained Staff Sgt. Meck. “I also shared with him threat indicators and different experiences I have had hoping to make him more aware.”

Whether Staff Sgt. Meck realized it or not, his decision to join the Army played a large part in his younger brother’s decision to do so. As the younger brother, Spc. Meck looked up to Staff Sgt. Meck as a positive role-model and influence.

“My brother has always been an inspiration to me,” said Spc. Meck. “Serving has made us pretty close.”

For his part, Staff Sgt. Meck takes much pride in his younger brother as both a Soldier and a person.

“I am very proud of him—although I’m not sure I’ve ever told him that” explained Staff Sgt. Meck of his brother. “He is a good person and has a positive drive to achieve goals.”

The brothers are scheduled to return in the coming weeks. Upon arrival, each of them plans to visit their home in Lena, Wis. to spend time with friends and family.

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