By Spc. Courtney Marulli, 2nd Birgade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry DivisionJanuary 9, 2007
OBSERVATION POINT TROTTER, Iraq, Jan. 8, 2007 - While some soldiers in Iraq are swimming for exercise and enjoying a large dining facility, others are in more primitive areas where portable toilets are a luxury and two long tables provide the only dining area. Soldiers in Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment have taken up residence at Observation Point Trotter and have starting giving the rundown facility a much-needed facelift.
The top noncommissioned officer of the company, 1st Sgt. Kenneth D. Bosier, said the rest of the observation point has been redone to improve hygiene and make life more comfortable for the soldiers.
Upon arriving at Trotter, the Goliad, Texas native said there were 10-foot reeds growing out of about two feet of standing water. Besides being an inconvenience, this damp environment was a mosquito breeding ground. The water feeding the pond was leaking from the only shower trailer that was semi-operable.
Knowing that the water had to go, Bosier said his soldiers swung into action draining the area and removing the tall reeds. Without the swamp present, the mosquitoes left and the area dried.
However, a shower was still a necessity. After looking around, Bosier found a water trailer that had been abandoned for two years.
Everything in the trailer was new - a gold mine covered in dust and mud. "We cleaned it up and it's very nice," he said. "It even has working urinals." Mud is always a risk - not just in trailers. Fine dust covers Trotter and when it rains, the dust turns to a thick mud. Bosier said the previous unit had to prepare to leave on missions an hour early because they would get stuck trying to leave.
His company is working of resolving this problem too. In preparation for the rainy season, Bosier and his soldiers constructed a wooden boardwalk that connects two buildings and the shower trailers. The next phase is to get rocks to cover the rest of the dusty ground. "We prepare for the rainy season so we can conduct operations in an efficient manner," he said.
That isn't the only reason for making improvements though. "We are learning this is our home and if we don't take care of it, no one will," he said. Many of his soldiers are just starting to realize that this will be their home for the next 10 months, and are beginning to take ownership, he said. Part of taking care of Trotter is daily chores such as raking and removing debris so the ground can be leveled. They are even planning on putting in a horseshoe pit, he said.
Throughout the process, Bosier said he has learned that if things need to get done he and his soldiers have to rely on themselves. Bosier said the company has plenty of resources within its own ranks. Many of his soldiers have backgrounds as certified electricians, contractors and other occupations. When the day is done though, they do take a little time for themselves too.
For entertainment, Bosier said his soldiers participate in boxing nights, watch movies and sometimes play cards. There is also a gym and there are plans to build a volleyball court.