Monday, November 12, 2012

Not just in November

96th ASB NOV12 Solder of the Month
Specialist Bien-Aime
In 1986, I was 20 years old and serving with USAEUR 7th Army in Heidelberg, Germany. Ronald Regan was President and while his main geo-political focus was the Cold War with the USSR, things got hot with Operation El Dorado Canyon when the US bombed Tripoli in response to Libyan agents' terrorist bombing of the La Belle disco in West Berlin, Germany - killing three people and injuring around 230 people, including 79 American servicemen.

Meanwhile, much closer to the United States (just over 700 miles), dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier (known as "Baby Doc") was being forced from power and exiled with General Namphy taking over leadership of the
country under a provisional military government.

Around this time, a young 10 year old Haitian boy by the name of Emmanuel Bien-Aime, decided he wanted to someday be a Soldier so he could do good and help others.

In 2010, Bien-Aime, then living in Massachusetts, fulfilled his childhood aspirations by becoming a Soldier in the US Army.

Today, Specialist Bien-Aime is here in Bagram, serving on his first deployment while his wife and three children wait back in MA for his safe return.

SPC Bien-Aime has always given me the impression of being a good Soldier, but this month, he proved to be the very best Soldier in the 96th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB) when he outperformed at least 17 of his nominated peers to win the November Soldier of the Month Board.

A Soldier of the Month (SOM) Board does not really have a civilian equivalent, but think of it as an extremely intense job interview conducted by a panel of leaders who are doing their best to be very challenging and intimidating.

Suffice to say, SPC Bien-Aime was judged on his military appearance and bearing while being grilled by 96th ASB First Sergeants on topics such as Army Regulations, Military Programs, world affairs, and the history of the Battalion as well as the 101 Combat Aviation Brigade.

As the winner of the November 96th ASB SOM Board, SPC Bien-Aime distinguished himself above his peers and showed his potential as a future leader.

In the picture above, SPC Bien-Aime is showing a MP3 player donated in a Care Package by Veteran and former Army leader, Sergeant First Class (Retired) Terry Brillheart of Austin, Texas.

SFC Brillheart has generously sent me Care Packages with school items for the
Cat in the Hat Language Arts Center, treats and goodies I distribute to Soldiers, and items such as eReaders and MP3 players, which I give to very deserving Soldiers in recognition of their winning the 96th ASB monthly SOM Board.

SPC Bien-Aime told me he recognizes SFC Brillheart's as someone who "has been there" and appreciates his ongoing support of the military.

In this month of Veterans' Day, I echo SPC Bien-Aime's appreciation and offer my sincere gratitude for those who support deployed Soldiers with Care Packages, letters and cards - thank you for continuously keeping us in your hearts and minds, and not just in November.

@ Kara and Phil T. of Houston, TX for the Big Easy post cards, the beef jerky (which I kept for myself), the granola bars and treats that I shared with my co-workers.

@ Linda M of Tishomingo, OK for being a Soldier's Angel and sending mini PayDay bars (one of my favorites!), instant oatmeal for healthy breakfasts and maybe not so healthy chocolate puddings - I took to the gate guards who will be up all night in the cold.

@ Lois L. of Streetsboro, OH for the Care Package of snacks and treats which I shared with the Soldiers who work at the supply warehouse.

@ Jesse D and the Solera Residential Community in Beaumont, CA for the great box of apple sauce, crackers, nuts and writing materials; almost everything was distributed amongst very appreciative Soldiers - I kept the apple sauce for me.

@ Vivian M and Ms Soto's Class - Thank you for the letters and the "thumbs' up" picture of everyone in your Halloween costumes. Vivian - I put your "CORBIN" letter on my wall

No comments:

Post a Comment