December 13, 2007

Memphis Man Fixing Military Vehicles 6,600 Miles From Home

Brian Brush is working for Lear Siegler Services, Inc., repairing U.S. marine vehicles in Iraq.

For most folks that commute to work, the long drive typically is a negative. Fortunately for Memphis resident Brian Brush, he decided not to travel back and forth to work this year. That decision was made pretty easy by the fact he is working more than 6,600 miles from home in Iraq.

Brush was back in Memphis over Thanksgiving on a two-week vacation from his position as a mechanic for Lear Siegler Services, Inc.

The former city alderman departed from Memphis in early may to attend 10 days of training and initiation in Houston, TX.

On May 21st he left the United States for Iraq and a one-year commitment to work for the military contractor. As part of the corporations Defense Systems and Services group, Brush is a member of a unit providing system modification and logistics support for government aircraft, tracked and wheeled vehicles, shelters and ground support equipment.

Specifically he is working on United States military vehicles, the majority of which are humvees and the Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement MTVR, more commonly called the 7-ton truck.

All of this is being done at Camp Fallujah, located approximately 45 minutes west of Baghdad. That is 45 minutes by helicopter, which is the only way brush has ever entered or left the camp.

I can honestly say I have never felt unsafe once at the base, Brush confessed. That said, I still have never ventured outside the wire.

The wire is the secured barbed wire fence that houses the base, which houses only contractors and other non-military personnel.

Brush instead focuses his attention on work, which goes on seven days a week.

On the typical day, Brush is up at 5:00 a.m. and on a bus to the meal hall by 5:30 a.m. After breakfast, the employees answer the muster call at 6:30 a.m. After a 30-minute safety briefing, it is back on the bus. Brush and five fellow mechanics travel to the transportation unit where they work on US Marine Corps vehicles.

The workday closes at 6:00 p.m. with a bus ride back to the main facility, for muster and another safety briefing before being dismissed at 7:00 p.m. After dinner, its a bus ride back to the sleeping quarters, large tents.

The Memphis man then waits patiently with the 300 other employees for access to one of the camps four telephones or four internet connections to send a message back to his family or try to catch up on news from back home.

That is one of the more difficult aspects of life at the camp, Brush said. There is only one TV station and one radio station, so we are limited on what news we hear, Brush admitted.

After that time, Brush said he hits the shower and then normally mingles with co-workers, normally finding time to watch a movie on a neighbors portable DVD player.

A lot of guys have laptop computers and other entertainment to keep them busy after work, he said.

Brush admitted there are plenty of days that folks are not too interested in doing anything after dark except sleep.

After working in 120 degree temperatures, he noted that the mechanics can be pretty drained by the end of the day.

The hottest I saw it was 144-degrees, he said. In July and August the temperatures ranged from 120 to 140 degrees. But we have a system in place that mandates regular breaks when it gets that hot, to make sure no one overheats.

That also means the consumption of large quantities of water.

That was one thing I realized when I got back, he said. I stopped at Caseys and bought a Mountain Dew and I couldnt get over how small the bottle felt in my hand compared to the giant water containers we can down in just a few drinks while working in that heat.

But as the seasons change, the 100-degree nights are being replaced with what we would call fall weather here. Temperatures are still in the 80s during the days, dropping down to the 50s after dark. The mercury will continue to fall, but winter will mean lots of rain instead of snow.

Brush said he is packing his cold-weather gear for his return trip. His final five months in Iraq will include the winter months when temperatures will cool off. Carhart coveralls will be a must as Brush said that most of the vehicles his crew works on are too large for the tent where they work, forcing them to brave the heat, or cold to get the job done.

The work includes second and third level maintenance. The mechanics work directly with the U.S. Marines, handling the more difficult tasks to maintain the trucks and humvees used for military convoys.

While Brush spent approximately 19 hours on planes on his way to Iraq, he said the long distances were erased when he arrived. He rooms with a fellow mechanic from Des Moines, IA and also works regularly with a marine from Quincy, IL, proving it really is a small world.

That isnt to say that his 53-person unit isnt diverse. While 90-percent of the crew has past military backgrounds, their hometowns are scattered across the United States and even Europe, with one man from the Philippines.

While the schedule sounds like all work, Brush said the group does get treated to special events from time to time, including barbecues on Sundays.

While he has lost more than 20 pounds on the job, Brush said it was not due to the food. He praised the cafeteria as well as the other infrastructure at the camp, referring to it as a small-scale town.

He couldnt say the same for the area outside of the camp. While he doesnt see much around the camp, as all of the helicopter traffic is conducted after dark, with no lights, he said he was sad to see the conditions in Baghdad.

The contractors are transported off base to the capital city where the travel on commercial airlines from Baghdad International Airport.

The area shows what it has been through, a war, he said. Obviously the conditions arent great.

The 19 hours of travel commence from there on a plane to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Then it is on to London, before hopping a plane to Chicago, and then down to St. Louis.

It definitely is a long trip, Brush said. Factor in a nine-hour time difference and it really hits you.

Despite the heat, the long days and the jet lag, Brush has a positive response to the year-long adventure.

I have to say that I have enjoyed the experience, he said. And yes, if I had it to do all over again, I would make the same decision to go to Iraq.

A Parachute for the Planet

by Emma Gil

A group of kids and teachers from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage created a parachute, designed by 12-year-old student Taylor Helmich, as part of the international project Parachutes For the Planet.

Parachutes for the Planet cares about helping the earth and wants to show that kids have power. The purpose of this project is “to raise awareness of people living sustainable lives and affected by climate change.”

According to the project’s website: “Saving the environment is vital to our health, safety and future, and parachutes are a metaphor for this process. Parachutes are safety nets and when collectively displayed in large numbers, they transform into powerful messages of strength, hope and communal determination.”

“In the 1990s, thousands of HIV/AIDS Quilts (blankets) were exhibited in Washington, DC, to bring attention to a disease that was previously not understood. The result of this exhibition was dramatic – people became more aware and governments began to fund research to find a cure.” Using artwork and comments displayed on parachutes, they are hoping to accomplish similar goals for saving the environment. They are going to exhibit 100+ parachutes in Washington D.C. hoping that people will finally notice.

Taylor and teachers, Sharon Bagatell and Katherine Hanson, designed the parachute to have a central image and an outside ring. Taylor created the central image from her own imagination. Many of the children from Dancing Rabbit helped put handprints on the parachute to symbolize that young people care.

I wanted to find out more about Taylor’s artwork so I asked her some questions.

“Why is there a rabbit in the center?”

“I see everything as being carried on the back of nature and I see the Earth as another person or animal. The rabbit was a way of saying how I feel about the Earth as another animal or being. The rabbit symbolizes the Earth and I see the Earth as having a personality. The rabbit also represents where we live – it’s the name of our place and there are lots of rabbits here.”

“Why is there little patches of space?”

“I really like space. I used to be afraid of it but now I’m not. I’ve come to terms with it and now I feel really connected to it.”

“How did you get the job of designer?”

“I’m known for being an artist and teachers Sharon Bagatell and Katherine Hanson thought it would be great to have me help with the project.”

“Why is there a flower on the back of the rabbit?”

“The flower is another representation of our community – the rabbit and the moon in the center of the flower is our logo.”

“Why are the details on the back of the rabbit there?”

“I really like mushrooms and they are sort of magical. There are mushrooms here on our land. The solar panels and the wind turbine show what we have here as an ecological power source.”

The parachute will represent northeast Missouri as part of the large Parachutes for the Planet display in Washington D.C. this summer.

Mizzou 2018 Spring Caravan Set to Make Stop in Memphis

Head University of Missouri football coach Barry Odom is expected to be one of the featured speakers when the Mizzou 208 Spring Caravan stops in Memphis on May 8th.

Spring hasn’t exactly sprung just yet in the state of Missouri, but even so, it’s time for the Mizzou Athletics spring caravan to make an appearance around the Show-Me state.  The Department of Athletics has finalized plans for a four-stop tour this May, with Tiger fans of all ages invited to come out to Mendon,  (May 1st), Memphis, (May 8th), St. Louis, (May 9th) and Kansas City (May 17th).

Headline speakers scheduled for the tour will include Director of Athletics Jim Sterk, Head Football Coach Barry Odom, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Cuonzo Martin and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Robin Pingeton – all three coaches who led their teams to the post-season during the 2017-18 season.  Fans will hear from the VIP contingent and also have a chance to meet and visit in person with the movers and shakers of Mizzou Athletics.

Individual appearances have not been finalized for all four stops, and all headliners may not attend every event, but fans can expect an exciting lineup each night.

Coach Odom has ties to northeast Missouri. The former MU linebacker is married to Tritia Trump, a Kahoka native.

Momentum is building at Mizzou under Sterk, as the Tigers rank 23rd in the latest Learfield Directors’ Cup standings (sixth-best in the SEC) and are coming off a fall and winter season that saw its football team reach a bowl game, and both its men’s and women’s basketball squads reaching their respective NCAA tournaments – marking the first time since 1980-81 that has happened at Mizzou.

The caravan will be in Mendon on May 1st at the Northwestern R-1 School (18475 Highway 11) at 6 p.m.

The caravan will be in Memphis on Tuesday, May 8th at Keith’s Café (470 S. Market St.) at 6 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $50. To register, call Dr. Harlo Donelson at 660-465-7770 or 660-465-2244.

The following evening, the caravan will be in St. Louis at 6 p.m. at the Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

The Kansas City caravan stop is set for May 17th at 6 p.m. at Chicken N’ Pickle (1761 Burlington, North K.C.).

Scotland County Claims Conference Baseball Crown With 2-1 Win Over Rams

After advancing to the conference championship game with a pair of wins by the 10-run rule, Scotland County was able to lock down the Lewis & Clark crown by the narrowest of margins, defeating Schuyler County 2-1 to claim the title of the league tournament on Saturday in Moberly.

After  blanking Salisbury 10-0 and pounding Paris 12-1, SCR-I had to rally from an early deficit in the championship game to secure the crown.

The Rams jumped on top 1-0 in the first inning courtesy of a leadoff triple by Riley Veatch and a two-out single by Wyatt Homer.

SCR-I stranded a pair of runners on base in both the first and second innings before finally getting on the board in the bottom of the third. The Tigers tied the game courtesy of a pair of Schuyler County errors but again left a pair of runners on base.

The Tigers pulled ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Brady Curry reached on an error to start the rally. Singles by Jacob McDaniel and Gage Dodge loaded the bases. Curry scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Buford, but for the fourth straight inning, Veatch was able to limited the damage, again stranding a pair of SCR-I runners.

The trend continued in the fifth when Branton Burrus and Curry had back-to-back two out singles but were left stranded on base.

In the sixth, Dodge led off with a double and moved to third on a one-out hit BY Fromm. But the Rams again got out of trouble, turning a double play to end the scoring threat.

Fortunately all of the missed scoring opportunities did not come back to haunt SCR-I. Dodge held the Rams scoreless over his final five innings of work before Fromm recorded the save, pitching a perfect seventh inning to secure the 2-1 win. Dodge allowed one run on seven hits and no walks while striking out 10.

Both Tigers runs off of Veatch were unearned as the Rams committed five errors on the day.

McDaniel went 2-3 at the plate while Dodge was 2-4. Curry went 1-3 with a run scored.

The Tigers improved to 5-2 on the year with the victory.

Jolly Jacks & Jills 4-H Club Hosts April Meeting

The April meeting of the Jolly Jacks and Jills 4-H Club was called to order by President Elsie Kigar on April 3, 2018 at the SC Fire Station. The pledges were led by Kenna Campbell and Sadie Jackson.  What is the name of your favorite spring activity was answered by 30 members for roll call.  There were also 21 parents and guest present.  Elsie Kigar read the March minutes and they were approved as read along with the treasurer report given by treasurer, Corbin Kirchner.

Projects reports were given by:   Wesley McSparren, Corbin Kirchner, Emery Kirchner, Mason Mallett, Eli Kigar & Kadence Burnett-Woodworking. Eli Kigar and Kale Creek-welding.  Trent Mallett-goats.  Lily Wheeler-quilting.  Mason Mallett and Kenna Campbell-Beef.

Kyle Dunnett reported on the Rabbit Clinic.  Sadie Jackson and Morgan Jackson reported on the Chicken Clinic.  Mason Mallett, Sadie Jackson, Morgan Jackson, Wesley McSparren reported on the Beef, Swine and Sheep meeting.

In old business:

Julian Valle, Kenna Campbell, Kara Mallett, Tanner Valle and Corbin Kirchner reported on our spring activity of roller skating on March 11.

Morgan Jackson, Lily Wheeler and Sadie Jackson reported on SMQA training for livestock growers.  They learned how to give shots by using a banana and food coloring on March 14.

Eli Kigar, Elsie Kigar, Kara Mallett and Corbin Kirchner reported on attending 4-H teen conference on the MU Campus on March 24 & 25.

In new business:

Trash pickup was set for April 17th afterschool.

Volunteers were asked to work at the Bible Grove breakfast and lunch on April 21.

Announcements:  May 1st will be the next meeting at the Fire Station at 5:30 pm.  Drinks and paper products will be provided by Creek & Wheeler families.  May 6 – Goat Weigh-in 2-3 at the fairgrounds, May  30-June 1  State Congress, June 3-6  Junior Camp, June 6-9  Teen Camp July 7 –  SC Open Shows, July 8-14  Scotland County Fair.

Kenna Campbell and Alyssa Kirchner led the members in a game of Telephone.

After adjournment, snacks were enjoyed.

Submitted by Wesley McSparren, Reporter

SCR-I Students Attend MOFB Youth Leadership Day in Jefferson City

Scotland County R-I was represented at the Missouri Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day by (L to R) Khloe Hamlin, Nova Cline, Abby Blessing, Jared Dunn, Katelyn Talbert, Hunter Frederick and Vocational Agriculture Teacher Waltedda Blessing.

Four hundred thirty-seven high school students and chaperons from around the state attended the 24th Missouri Farm Bureau Youth Leadership Day April 12. They met with legislators at the State Capitol and participated in an afternoon session at the MOFB Center. Youth Leadership Day is sponsored by the MOFB Promotion and Education Program.

To start off the day, students were bused to the Capitol where they visited with legislators to learn about the progress on bills that affect agriculture and rural Missourians. Although the House was not in session, students were able to meet with some state representatives and tour the building. The Senate, however, was in session and several groups were introduced on the Senate floor. Many students met with their senators in their offices and side chambers.

After lunch at the MOFB Center, the group was welcomed by Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst. Farm Bureau Ambassadors Jacqueline Janorschke, St. Joseph, and Charlie Ebbesmeyer, Armstrong, talked about their experiences in the ambassador program.

The featured speaker was Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who talked about the importance of elections. “Our government is designed to be a government by the people for the people,” he said. “Every election matters. An election turnout of 10 or 11 percent is horrible. We need you. We need your voice.”

Ashcroft told students increasing voter participation begins with awareness that elections are important. “A larger percentage of our population says ‘It doesn’t matter’ and don’t vote. It does matter.” But he reminded them not to rely completely on mass and social media, but to be active as individuals. “Shake hands with those running for office, learn about them. We need you to be consequential, to be active. Not because someone tells you to do something, but because you want to do it and make things better.”

Students attending from Scotland County included Khloe Hamlin, Nova Cline, Abby Blessing, Jared Dunn, Katelyn Talbert, Hunter Frederick. They were  accompanied by Vocational Agriculture Teacher Waltedda Blessing.

Jauflione Chapter NSDAR Finalizes World War I Project Plans at April Meeting

The Ladies of the Jauflione Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution met in regular session April 6, 2018 at the Presbyterian Church Hospitality Room.

Regent June Kice called the meeting to order in ritualistic form. The roll call “A Hobby I Have” was answered by 13 members. Those attending were: Terry Arnold, Oleva Chance, Marlene Cowell, Verlee Dauma, Rhonda Davis, Ann Jutte, Debra Kauk, June Kice, Georganna Madsen, Mary Morgan, Joann Rood, Reta Stott, and Treva Wittstock.

Scripture and Prayer were given by Regent Kice.

Opening Ritual was led by Regent Kice. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, American’s Creed, Preamble to the Constitution, Pledge of Allegiance to the State of Missouri and the National Anthem was said by all members.

The President General’s Message and National Defense was read by Rhonda Davis.

The National Defense message was on Stacey Pearsall’s Veterans Portrait Project at Smithsonian. Stacey served in the United States Air Force as a combat photographer with the 1st Combat Camera Squadron based in Charleston, South Carolina. She traveled all over the world documenting the Air Force mission thru her camera. After her retirement in 2010 Stacey began another mission. She was moved to document, through her photos, veterans of wars past. Stacey was quoted saying, “This has been healing and cathartic for me.” It has been equally healing and cathartic for veterans. Pearsall’s work illustrating the war zone is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Indian Minute was given by Regent Kice. She read a poem by Luther Standing Bear of the Rosebud Sioux. Constitution Minute was red by Verlee Dauma. Minutes of the March meeting were read by Recording Secretary, Rhonda Davis. Treasurer’s report, prepared by Treasurer Kathy Kiddoo, was given by Regent Kice.

Unfinished business: Jauflione Chapter World War 1 project has been approved. Jauflione Chapter NSDAR will be planting flowers around the World War 1 Barnett Statue. Reta Stott reported that the Jauflione Chapter NSDAR cook book has been sent to the publisher.

New Business: Just a reminder that the May meeting will be an evening meeting starting at 5:00 p.m. There will be a silent auction during this meeting to help fund the President General’s project. Kathy Kiddoo will be setting up the auction. Please remember to bring an item or items for this auction. We will finalize plans for our visit to the Scotland County Care Center to visit the veterans who are there.

The program for this meeting was given by George Koontz. George gave a very interesting talk on the Rotary Club Polio Program. Rotary clubs throughout the country have been helping with the fight to defeat polio since 1985. Thank You George for a very informative program.

Meeting Adjourned.

Delicious refreshments were served by Terry Arnold and Nelda Billups.

Social hour was enjoyed by all.

BABY LOGSDON

Jordan and Savannah Logsdon of Canton are the parents of a daughter, Norah Jewel Logsdon, born April 18, 2018 at 2:35 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Norah weighed 6 lbs 4.4 oz and was 17.5 inches long. She is welcomed home by a sister, Adalynn. Grandparents are Lynn and Kelly Logsdon of Kahoka and Kelly Wilson of Canton. Great-grandparents are Danny and Charlotte Desvaux of Canton; Rodney and Marian Dopheide of Sacramento, CA; Anna Logsdon of St. Patrick; Jewel Ash of Wyaconda; and Loretta Powers of LaGrange. Great-great-grandparents are Albert and Darlene Emerick of Quincy, IL.

BABY McAFEE

Liberty McAfee of Kahoka and Scott Liberty of Kahoka are the parents of a son, Tristan Paul McAfee, April 12, 2018 at 5:41 p.m. at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis. Tristan weighed 8 lbs 2.2. oz and was 21.5 inches long. Siblings are Terrigan, Brylee and Kyra. Grandparents are Shawn and Roberta McAfee of Kahoka, and Virgil and Debbie Cline of Kahoka.

Rutledge Renegades

Ruby Red Hats of Rutledge held their monthly meeting at Zimmerman’s Food Court.  Joann Rood and Marilyn Dunn are in charge of the May meeting.

Rutledge Fire Department held their Bar-B-Q Chicken on Saturday.  It was well attended.

Steve and Charlene Montgomery went to Kirksville.

Neta Phillips went to Kirksville.

Reva Hustead and LaCrisha Wagy went to Palmyra and Hannibal.

Don Tague and Sherrill Clatt have seen about 50 pelicans on a pond in the Gorin area.

Larry Hubbard (April 14) celebrated his birthday at Zimmerman’s Food Court on Saturday, April 21st.  Those attending were Deanna Hubbard, Larry Tague, Neta Phillips, Don Tague, Tim Morris, Charlene Montgomery, Bob and Dorothy Hunolt, Mike and Pam Blaine, Martin Guinn, Reva Hustead, Emmett and Maxine Phillips, Ronnie and Bonnie Young, and Oren Erickson.

Others in this week were Dale Tague, Ruth Ludwick, Mark Mazziotti and Cole and Sparky Crawford, Tamara Tague, Duane and Jerri McDonald, Holly McDonald, Mia Westaway, Don Chancellor, Bill and Ellen Sue Morice, Elza Hustead, Gary and Brenda Gooch, Wanda Peterson, Jerry and Judy Shultz, Ralph Von Holt, Kevin Blaine, Ann Bourn, and Ed Thoenen from Linn, MO.

Gorin Alumni Committee Makes Plans for 2018 Alumni Banquet

The Gorin Alumni Committee met on Thursday, April 19th at the home of President Billy Davis to get the plans started for the 2018 Alumni Banquet.  The Banquet will be held on Saturday evening, October 13th with plans at this time to have it in the old Gorin High School gym if possible.

This year, our 50 year class of 1968 will be honored as well as the 60 year class of 1958 and the 70 year class of 1948.  Anyone with things from these years, are encouraged to bring them.

Rhonda Davis served a lovely snack of cakes and drinks which were greatly appreciated by everyone.

Those present were President, Billy Davis; Vice-President, Connie Ward; Secretary, Mary Lou Kraus; Treasurer, Leon Buford; Sherry McMillen, Hazel Buford, and Elaine Forrester.  Another meeting will be announced at a later date.

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