Soldiers stationed at Camp Speicher n...

Soldiers stationed at Camp Speicher not allowed to call or email home

Posted in the Tikrit, Iraq Forum

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Angela White

AOL

#1 Jan 10, 2008
Hey everyone. My cousin is stationed at Speicher in Iraq. We had heard from him pretty regular over the past several months. Then today I received this email from him.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

A few days ago, a staff sergeant in our platoon was wounded in combat by a grenade attack in downtown Tikirit, Iraq. Usually what happens when this happens as you know a high ranking official of that battle group calls the family of the soldier and tell the family about there soldier. Well, this time someone was a step ahead of our battalion commander LTC. Ryan and called the family. As a result, our battalion commander LTC. Ryan has typed a memorandum saying that the members of the QRF element are not permitted to use the internet or the phone until further notice, because he thinks the phone call came from someone in our squad. Can you please tell the family members of 101st HHC STB that the MPs are okay, and we love them very much. To whoever reads this please share our story with your local congressman, or media outlets.

Sincerely,
An American Soldier

I was shocked to see how our soldiers, our military fighting force is being treated over this. There is no way that they should be denied the right to call home and talk to their wives, parents, kids and families! They are serving us most honorably, risking their lives in this war, and these boys are being punished for something that no one knows who did it.

I would like to know who I need to speak with to get this policy reversed. Our soldiers over there need to call home and be able to email us back here. This is an unfair rule that just goes to show us that even their own supervisors do not support our troops!

I have emailed every person in power in my own state of Ohio. I would appreciate anyone who did the same in their state.

I am sorry if anyone else from their unit is on here. This is all the info that I have for right now.
PFC Chavez

Sterling, VA

#2 Jan 17, 2008
well, i too am stationed here at COB Speicher in Tikrit. Unfortuntely i was there when the wounded soldier was treated, as a matter of fact, it was my squad that provided first aid to the injured staff sergeant. I speak from personal experience, so i know the army's regulations on these type of situations. Whenever a soldier is severely wounded, that company usually isn't allowed to contact anyone w/i a day, two MAX, due to the fact that the Army doesnt want the family of the injured soldier to hear about the news in an unprofessional way. That is the reason for the no phone or email policy. Trust me, it may seem harsh, but it happened to my company when my TC was shot back in Oct.
MamaMonkey

Fresno, CA

#3 Jan 18, 2008
My son, Randy Brock, is also in Tikrit, and I think it is a disgrace to forbid him from contacting his loved ones. There must be a better way to handle this. We family members are barely hanging on as it is, and to deny communication with our loved ones over there is cruel. Remember, EVERYONE is suffering over this war.
DMC

Kaneohe, HI

#4 Jan 18, 2008
This is normal procedure as far as I understand. They did the same thing in our son's unit when he was in Ramadi in 2006. If someone was injured or killed, no messages went out until the family was notified. Our son was injured by an IED and I would have been very upset if I would have heard about that by "accident" and not thru the proper channels.
When my husband was in the 1st Gulf War it took over a month before I got a letter from him and the soldiers couldn't make phone calls until they were back in Kuwait, so it was 4 months before I got to talk to him.
Families are very lucky today that their soldier gets to call and email more often, plus letters and packages get there a lot faster now than they did back then.
Lori

Zanesville, OH

#5 Jan 20, 2008
Has anyone heard from those at COB Speicher since PFC Chavez wrote on the 17th? I have a friend there and have not heard from him since the 8th. What about the ban on calling and emailing? Thanks.

Since: Dec 07

Van Nuys, CA

#6 Jan 22, 2008
Please do not forget that our sons and daughters are fighting a war, IN A WAR ZONE. Inherently, there are major sacrifices that must be made. Including not calling home wherever you want. This IS normal policy when a soldier is injured or killed. ALL the soldiers know this and they have to learn to deal with such a small sacrifice. It is protocol for OIF.

Keep in mind that there was a soldier severely injured and Command was not given the opportunity to do their job and tell the family directly. How deplorable and shocking for his family to find out through 'the grapevine'. Out of respect to the injured soldier and his family, they deserved a call from Command first.

You need to think of someone besides yourself. So you might not talk to your soldier this week or next, just be grateful when he is able to make a call and then thank God that he wasn't the one in the blast and that he still has all his body parts and doesn't have Traumatic Brain Injury.

Instead of complaining, count your blessings and when your son or daughter does call, tell them you love them and don't lay a guilt trip on them for not calling last week, or for a war situation they cannot control. There are thousands of other soldiers that must be taken care of too. And one of them might save your soldier's life some day. Give them the respect they deserve.
Lori

Columbus, OH

#7 Jan 23, 2008
I'm looking for factual information. Is the ban on communication still in place?
proud wife

Fontana, CA

#8 Jan 23, 2008
Joylie wrote:
Please do not forget that our sons and daughters are fighting a war, IN A WAR ZONE. Inherently, there are major sacrifices that must be made. Including not calling home wherever you want. This IS normal policy when a soldier is injured or killed. ALL the soldiers know this and they have to learn to deal with such a small sacrifice. It is protocol for OIF.
Keep in mind that there was a soldier severely injured and Command was not given the opportunity to do their job and tell the family directly. How deplorable and shocking for his family to find out through 'the grapevine'. Out of respect to the injured soldier and his family, they deserved a call from Command first.
You need to think of someone besides yourself. So you might not talk to your soldier this week or next, just be grateful when he is able to make a call and then thank God that he wasn't the one in the blast and that he still has all his body parts and doesn't have Traumatic Brain Injury.
Instead of complaining, count your blessings and when your son or daughter does call, tell them you love them and don't lay a guilt trip on them for not calling last week, or for a war situation they cannot control. There are thousands of other soldiers that must be taken care of too. And one of them might save your soldier's life some day. Give them the respect they deserve.
Very well said.
soldiers wife

Russellville, AR

#9 Jan 23, 2008
Angela White wrote:
Hey everyone. My cousin is stationed at Speicher in Iraq. We had heard from him pretty regular over the past several months. Then today I received this email from him.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
A few days ago, a staff sergeant in our platoon was wounded in combat by a grenade attack in downtown Tikirit, Iraq. Usually what happens when this happens as you know a high ranking official of that battle group calls the family of the soldier and tell the family about there soldier. Well, this time someone was a step ahead of our battalion commander LTC. Ryan and called the family. As a result, our battalion commander LTC. Ryan has typed a memorandum saying that the members of the QRF element are not permitted to use the internet or the phone until further notice, because he thinks the phone call came from someone in our squad. Can you please tell the family members of 101st HHC STB that the MPs are okay, and we love them very much. To whoever reads this please share our story with your local congressman, or media outlets.
Sincerely,
An American Soldier
I was shocked to see how our soldiers, our military fighting force is being treated over this. There is no way that they should be denied the right to call home and talk to their wives, parents, kids and families! They are serving us most honorably, risking their lives in this war, and these boys are being punished for something that no one knows who did it.
I would like to know who I need to speak with to get this policy reversed. Our soldiers over there need to call home and be able to email us back here. This is an unfair rule that just goes to show us that even their own supervisors do not support our troops!
I have emailed every person in power in my own state of Ohio. I would appreciate anyone who did the same in their state.
I am sorry if anyone else from their unit is on here. This is all the info that I have for right now.
My husband is in The Army and @ currently deployed @ FOB Speicher. All of the Branches of the militar have this rule, they are to wait until the military contacts the family member. My ex-husband was stationed on the USS Cole when they got bombed and let me tell you the stories that came out of the sailors in Yemen, that were so unbelievable. So this is why they have this rule. If you have never been in this situation you should not be complaining. Now because of someone who did not follow the rules ( which are also put there for our military members safety) We cannot hear from our loved ones, So no I will not call my congressman and complain. And I hope that the person that called will get in a lot of
trouble.
Roger in Tikrit

Apo, AE

#10 Mar 23, 2008
Angela...I know this sounds harsh to you, but if your friend in Iraq was hurt or killed, how would you want to be notified? Do you want to hear it on TV or from someone who is not authorized to notify you (who may get the information completely wrong) or from the officials who will treat you with dignity and properly inform you. In fact, it is pretty common to "blackout" the phones and internet access until all next of kin have been notified. Your friend is not enduring an "undue hardship" as he would have you believe. This policy protects you from hearing rumors also. Rumors sometimes get the names wrong. For instance if 5 people are injured and 1 killed in attack on our troops, would you want to hear that your friend had been killed if he was actually only injured. You must admit, that would be quite and unnecessary shock to you. Hope the eases your mind a little.
Angela White wrote:
Hey everyone. My cousin is stationed at Speicher in Iraq. We had heard from him pretty regular over the past several months. Then today I received this email from him.
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
A few days ago, a staff sergeant in our platoon was wounded in combat by a grenade attack in downtown Tikirit, Iraq. Usually what happens when this happens as you know a high ranking official of that battle group calls the family of the soldier and tell the family about there soldier. Well, this time someone was a step ahead of our battalion commander LTC. Ryan and called the family. As a result, our battalion commander LTC. Ryan has typed a memorandum saying that the members of the QRF element are not permitted to use the internet or the phone until further notice, because he thinks the phone call came from someone in our squad. Can you please tell the family members of 101st HHC STB that the MPs are okay, and we love them very much. To whoever reads this please share our story with your local congressman, or media outlets.
Sincerely,
An American Soldier
I was shocked to see how our soldiers, our military fighting force is being treated over this. There is no way that they should be denied the right to call home and talk to their wives, parents, kids and families! They are serving us most honorably, risking their lives in this war, and these boys are being punished for something that no one knows who did it.
I would like to know who I need to speak with to get this policy reversed. Our soldiers over there need to call home and be able to email us back here. This is an unfair rule that just goes to show us that even their own supervisors do not support our troops!
I have emailed every person in power in my own state of Ohio. I would appreciate anyone who did the same in their state.
I am sorry if anyone else from their unit is on here. This is all the info that I have for right now.
Roger in Tikrit

Apo, AE

#11 Mar 23, 2008
MammaMonkey, How often did your son call you when he was in the States? If he can't contact you for a couple of days so the Military has a chance to properly notify next of kin of a trajedy, is that really so bad? The families of injured and deceased servicement have earned and deserve the right to be treated with respect and receive proper official notification. To say he is denied communication is somewhat of an overstated generalization. Most soldiers have access to MWR facilites where they can call home pretty often or some even may have access to a DSN line where they can call home for free at times. I've been here for almost a year now and have been able to call my wife pretty much any time I want except for about 3 times I can think of when there was a "blackout" of internet and phones...not a big price to pay to ensure all (and possibly YOU) can be properly notified with dignity.
MamaMonkey wrote:
My son, Randy Brock, is also in Tikrit, and I think it is a disgrace to forbid him from contacting his loved ones. There must be a better way to handle this. We family members are barely hanging on as it is, and to deny communication with our loved ones over there is cruel. Remember, EVERYONE is suffering over this war.
wilson

United States

#12 Mar 24, 2008
Hey Roger,
Good to hear from someone in the trenches. Please post whenever the opportunity presents itself. It is much appreciated.

Thanks for what you do!
MamaMonkey

Fresno, CA

#13 Mar 25, 2008
Roger, Point made
Proud mother

Altoona, PA

#14 Mar 28, 2008
My son is also stationed at FOB Speicher & I'm so glad to hear from him whenever possible. We must all understand that these guys are not on vacation but are fighting a war!! Let's be glad we can talk to them as often as we do.
Army Mom

United States

#15 Apr 15, 2008
This is my son's second deployment, and he is at Cob Speicher. This is exactly how it happens. We have had times where we didn't hear from him because of injuries in their unit, or other situations. This is out of consideration for the family who still has to be contacted about their loved one. We understand this and can't see it any other way. It comes with the territory people, get used to it.
spouse to deploy

Germany

#16 Apr 16, 2008
What are the recreational facilities like at Speicher? I have been told that the meals are fabulous...that laundry is picked up and taken care of...that the px is excellent...but what about recreational facilities?
Also...how are the soldiers housed? Do they have single rooms? Does it depend on rank? Are males and females in the same building? If so, has that been a problem? What should we send in care packages?
The love of my life

Philadelphia, PA

#17 Apr 18, 2008
I am really glad I found this website. I feel as though this is the closest thing I have to others understanding what I am going through. I worry all day long. I email him everyday sometimes 2 or 3 times. I know he doesn't have the time to read them or respond to them but it makes me feel better to do it. I always want him to know that I am so proud of him and that when he gets home we can start our life together again. Even though at this time I am the least of his concerns and I know I should be. I just miss him so much and worry every moment of the day that it helps to know that you are all out there.

Since: Apr 08

Chillicothe, OH

#18 Apr 20, 2008
I am also glad for this website. Before my son went to Camp Speicher I spoke to him quite a bit at the other FOB's. Now I talk to him once in awhile and that is fine with me. I know he is in God's hand and I have concerns for his safety but I can't worry if I don't hear from him. When I do hear from him, it is like a blessing from God. Care packs I send my son are: tuna packs, pretzels, peanut butter and breakfast bars. As far as the recreational facilities, all I know is that my son plays basketball alot. God Bless all our loved ones.
Civilian over here

Sterling, VA

#19 Apr 22, 2008
please everyone it is COB speicher, not FOB Speicher. I am here right now, and that is normal to block communications when something happens. But please believe me when i say this place is very safe. . Its like garrison back in the states, so dont worry about your family.Thank you
Roger in Tikrit

Apo, AE

#20 Apr 22, 2008
Spouse to Deploy, There are at least 3 large MWR facilities and 3 well-equipped Gyms, 2 Very large dining facilities and a 3rd that's also pretty large. In the MWR' the options vary, but most have phones you can sign-in and use, computers you can sign-in and use (no downloading, so if this is the only computer access your spouse has don't send attachments, because he can't download them anyway). There are pool tables, musical instruments to play TV's to watch, videos you can check out for free, yoga classes, exercise classes, etc.

Yes the meals are great (probably too good)which has led to many pounds being added to some people over here. You could actually compare it to a very well-stocked cafateria type restaurant. There are two main lines, 2 short order lines, 2 salad bars, hot sandwich bar, cold sandwich bar, desert bar, ice cream bar (Baskin Robbins). If you had told me about these "DFACs" before I came over I probably wouldn't have believed you. In the coolers in the DFAC they have all types of sodas (Pepsi, Coke, Root Beer Sprite, etc), all types of juice boxes, gator aid, water. Fountain drinks coffee, all the usual.
You drop your laundry off at a small facility and pick it up three days later all folded up in your laundry bag. It is taken to the main laundry and brought back in a van.
PX is good, but not like what you see in Germany and the U.S.
Housing is actually better than I expected, but not as good as I'd like. Imagine a mobile home with 4 seperate rooms, each with an outside door. In each room there are usually two soldiers. The usual items single bed, wall locker for each person.
Males and females can be in "adjacent" Chu's (Containerized Housing Unit is what I think it means), but there are no hallways, etc connecting them. All doors lead to the outside. As in any location where there are males and females there is the potential for problems, but then, if they'll do it here, they'll do it back home too, so if you trust your spouse (and your spouse deserves that trust) it shouldn't be a problem. The do have un-announced chu inspections (sometimes in the middle of the night) to try to prevent problems.
As far as care packages go, I only ask my wife to send me items I request. She still sends other things, but she loves me! Since the deserts are so good in the DFAC, including really good cakes, pies, cookies etc. and the PX is stocked with snacks also, I would ask him to let you know what he wants that he can't get here.
Sorry to be so long-winded, but you asked a lot of questions!:-)

Showers and Latrines are also in a small "mobile-home-like" building. You walk outside up to a couple hundred yards at most to get to the latrines and showers.
spouse to deploy wrote:
What are the recreational facilities like at Speicher? I have been told that the meals are fabulous...that laundry is picked up and taken care of...that the px is excellent...but what about recreational facilities?
Also...how are the soldiers housed? Do they have single rooms? Does it depend on rank? Are males and females in the same building? If so, has that been a problem? What should we send in care packages?

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