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Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Inductees - DEC 2008

By SFC Deanne Dunn-Smith The induction ceremony for the 10 newest members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) at Fort Huachuca happened on 4 Dec at Greely Hall. The hosts for the ceremony were MG Custer and CSM Wykoff. SAMC recognizes those NCOs who set the highest standards for leadership and excellence. eight new members were inducted in SAMC during the ceremony along with two honorary inductees.

The inductees were presented the Army Com- mendation Medal, the SAMC Medallion, the SAMC certificate of membership, and SAMC membership card by MG Custer, CSM Wykoff, and SAMC Presi- dent SFC Jennifer Lee. The newest members from E Co, 309th MI BN are: SFC Reginald M. Barkley, SSG YvonneA. Black, SSGAdam L. Champion, SSG Rachel K. VanSon, and SSG Andre S. Walker. From

C Det, 344th MI BN: SSG MarcusA. Cairns and SSG Stephan G. Kraus. SGT Steven W. Black, B Co, 305th MI BN. CSM Gerardus Wykoff and CSM William Hedges are the new honorary inductees (those SMs whose rank makes them ineligible to compete in the SAMC selection, but who dedication to soldiers is unwavering).

The NCOs being inducted into the club are those who exemplify the characteristics of Sergeant Audie Murphy, who was a legend in his own time. He was the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II who died tragically in an airplane accident in 1971. He received every decoration for valor that this country had to offer (the highest being the Medal of Honor) plus five decorations presented to him by France and Belgium. He is credited with killing over 240 of the enemy while wounding and

capturing many others.

Audie Murphy began his military service as an Army Private and quickly rose to the enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant. He was given a “battle field” commis- sion to 2nd Lieutenant all in the span of three years! What is amazing is he was wounded three times, fought in 9 major campaigns across the Europe, and, ultimately, he survived the war.

Audie Murphy became one of the best fighting combat soldiers of this or any other century. What he accomplished during this period is most significant and probably will never be repeated by another sol- dier, given today’s high-tech type of warfare. Audie Murphy is considered to be the greatest combat sol- dier in the 200 plus year history of the United States Army. He lived for only 46 years, but made a lasting imprint upon American history.

Installation Safety Office promotes safety during holiday season

By Jennifer Vollmer Although Fort Huachuca recently celebrated their semi-annual Safety Day fair on Post, Marilyn Jones, Safety Technician at the Fort Huachuca Installation Safety Office said safety is something that should be a focus year-round.

“We sponsor Safety Day fairs twice a year to help keep our community aware of the latest trends in safety products and methods for living safer lives,” said Ms. Jones. “But our hope is that the Safety Day fairs will motivate our community members to practice safety techniques every day.”

Ms. Jones said that this time of year it’s very im- portant that people are aware of the fire dangers in their homes. “The holiday season is one of the most dangerous for fires because people tend to light candles more often. And then of course there are the dangers of Christmas lights on dry Christmas trees,” she said.

To avoid these hazards, Ms. Jones recommends that when purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label that says “Fire Resistant.” And if purchasing a live tree, Ms. Jones said a buyer should carefully look the tree over to ensure it is fresh.

Ms. Jones explained that a fresh tree is green and the needles are hard to pull from branches. “When bent between your fingers, the needles do not break,” she said. “The trunk butt of a fresh tree is sticky with

resin, and when tapped on the ground, the tree should not lose many needles.”

Holiday lights that are placed inside, outside, and on Christmas trees should be approved by a recognized testing laboratory in order to make certain they meet modern safety standards. “Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections, and throw out damaged sets,” explained Ms. Jones. “Use no more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord and never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted!”

Before using lights outdoors, Ms. Jones said to check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house walls, or other firm supports to protect the lights from wind damage. Use only insulated staples to hold strings in place, not nails or tacks. Or, run strings of lights through hooks.

Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. For added electric shock protection, Ms. Jones said to plug outdoor electric lights and decorations into circuits pro- tected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Por- table outdoor GFCIs can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold. GFCIs can be installed permanently

to household circuits by a qualified electrician.

Another major safety concern this time of year are motorcycle accidents. Ms. Jones said that the climate here is one that allows motor bikers to ride throughout the winter months. But unfortunately, many riders tend to not wear the proper personal protective equipment. “When they don’t wear the proper attire, it’s hard for motorbikers to be seen by other motorists,” said. Ms. Jones. “Some riders think that they can zip in and out of traffic because they have a smaller vehicle, but then auto drivers don’t always see them.”

The Safety Office offers courses in motorcycle safety. In the course, students learn proper attire for riding a motorcycle and proper driving etiquette for a motorcycle. The Safety office also offersArmy required Drivers Education courses for military members aged 26 and under.

The Safety Office is also responsible for inspecting the child care facilities on the Fort as well as making sure all the playgrounds are well maintained. Ms. Jones said that it is a lot of work with a military installation this large, but well worth the effort. “It’s very gratifying to know that we help our community live better lives. By maintaining our installation’s safety procedures and providing the education to our members, everyone can be happier, healthier, and more productive,” said Ms. Jones.

UA and Southern Arizona VA Developing Sleep for Returning Military Personnel

Approximately 70 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have problems with sleep. The University of Arizona and the Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System are conducting a joint study to create a non-medication-based therapy to help veterans and active-duty personnel learn ways to improve their sleep. The purpose of the study is to learn how to modify current sleep treatments to address the specific needs of these soldiers.

The study is in its first phase, which involves gathering information about sleep from military personnel and veterans through focus groups. The study is recruiting military personnel and veterans who have returned from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan within the last two years.

Individuals interested in participating in the focus groups can call the research study at (520) 626-2178.


December 18, 2008


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