By 1st Lt. Marvin Nelson ,46th ECB (H), 225th Eng. Bde., MND-BApril 20, 2009
BAGHDAD - Today's Soldier in Focus is Pfc. Donald Welch, heavy equipment operator, 46th Engineer Combat Battalion (Heavy), from Shelbyville, Ind.
Welch deployed with Company A, 46th ECB (H), based in Fort Polk, La., and is a proud member of the earth moving platoon, also known as the "Gator Pit."
Welch is at the forefront of numerous route sanitation missions where he removes tons of debris from key Coalition routes in an effort to deny the enemy the opportunity to emplace roadside bombs.
The scoop loader is not a convention tool for maneuvering large concrete barriers, but Welch has used his equipment to emplace, remove, and reposition hundreds of walls and barriers in the Baghdad area in an effort to deny enemy forces freedom of movement.
What did you have for breakfast this morning'
"I had a cigarette and a couple of rip-it's this morning for breakfast. I know it's not the
most nutritious breakfast, but it's the fastest when there is work to be done."
If there was one word to describe you what would it be and why'
"If there was one word to describe me it would be 'easy,' because I'm laid back and don't
let the small stuff bother me."
If your squad leader could describe you in one word, what word would that be'
"'Focused.' When I get behind a piece of equipment, I get into the zone and all I am
focused on is the task at hand."
How do you fill your free time'
"I like to spend my free time playing X-Box 360. Just like operating a piece of
equipment, I get focused."
What is the best part about being an engineer'
"One word: 'demolition' and that is the name of the game. I know the work is dangerous and I have literally found myself 'stuck' in some deep situations, but we always find a way to get out of it and finish the mission on time; there's not a mission out there too big or too small that we can't pull off."
If you were a piece of engineer equipment, what would you be and why'
"I would be the D9 Dozer, because I'm big and I break things."
Welch has committed countless hours to enhancing the force protection posture for coalition forces across Baghdad, and has completed over 20 missions to date.