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07-22-04, 08:14 AM
III MEF shows character
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification #: 200472215951
Story by Lance Cpl. Joel Abshier

CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan — (July 16, 2004) -- The III Marine Expeditionary Force chaplain’s office hosted a cake cutting ceremony to kick off the III MEF Character Campaign here July 16.

The one-year campaign will focus on courage, generosity, commitment and nine other monthly character traits, each with corresponding discussion guides, posters and quotes from historical icons.

The newly implemented program will be used throughout work centers and other appropriate places, according to Navy Capt. William A. Reed, III MEF chaplain.

“As we all know, our character affects our words, choices, attitudes, goals and relationships,” Reed said. “Our character affects what we do, who we are and who we will become, not only individually but also as an organization.”

The units will give individual Marines and sailors a greater understanding of the characteristics through the discussion guides, explained Chief Petty Officer Peter R. Dyksterhouse, III MEF religious program specialist.

“The discussion guide is a list of approximately 10 questions that servicemembers are encouraged to answer for themselves,” said Dyksterhouse, who has been working on the project with Reed for the past two months. “The discussion guides will be sent to workstations via e-mail.”

Chaplains within III MEF will explain the focused character trait of the month to the servicemembers in their units to help them understand each trait’s nature, importance, relevance and benefit, Reed said.

“It is a good program that will teach servicemembers about commitment in the military,” said Lt. Ulysses L. Ubalde, 3rd Medical Battalion chaplain. Chaplains, like Ubalde, are eager to spread their guidance of the Character Campaign to III MEF units.

“The chaplains will discuss how the traits will affect servicemembers, not only in the military, but in life,” Reed said. “Having a life that is driven by principle, purpose and passion is what I want servicemembers to gain.”

New posters highlighting the trait of the month will be posted throughout III MEF workstations to encourage everyone to think about how that characteristic works in their life, Dyksterhouse explained.

“I tried to have the posters appeal to all groups by using images everyone can relate to,” said Dyksterhouse, who used elements from movies, books and other forms of media to create this month’s poster on loyalty.

A list of famous quotes from historical icons that relate to each month’s topic will also be sent with the discussion guides. One of those quotes was from President Abraham Lincoln, which says, “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support
of a cause we believe to be just.”

The degree of success within III MEF has a lot to do with the character of each Marine, sailor, soldier, civilian and family member, Reed explained.

“I hope this program hits home for a lot of servicemembers,” Reed said. “Nobody can develop into the person they can potentially be without strong character.”


CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan – Navy Capt. William A. Reed (left) holds the III Marine Expeditionary Force Character Campaign cake with Brig. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck during the campaign’s kickoff cake cutting ceremony here July 16. The Character Campaign is a tool that will be used throughout III MEF work centers and other appropriate places. The one-year campaign will focus on courage, generosity, commitment and nine other monthly character traits using discussion guides, posters and quotes from historical icons. Reed is the III MEF chaplain and Glueck is the deputy commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Joel Abshier



07-22-04, 08:15 AM
USNH Okinawa Combats Meningitis
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification #: 20047221573
Story by - USNH Public Affairs Officer Amanda Woodhead and Cpl. Jennifer L. Brown

CAMP LESTER, OKINAWA, Japan — (July 16, 2004) -- Several cases of meningitis occur throughout the year on Okinawa, according to health officials at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa.

Servicemembers and their families are continuously exposed to bacteria and viruses, which can cause any number of diseases. The warm weather and humidity here creates a comfortable bed for these unfriendly germs to grow, which can cause bacterial and viral meningitis.

“During the summer and fall, there are increased occurrences of meningitis, particularly viral cases, as it tends to be a disease more common in warm weather,” said Lt. Cmdr. Reed Pate, director of Community Health, USNH, Okinawa.

Meningitis is an infection of the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. If caused by a virus, the body is able to produce antibodies to fight the infection, and often hospitalization is not required. Bacteria cause the most serious cases and require intravenous antibiotics to treat the infection, and treatment includes close monitoring in the hospital.

The signs and symptoms of meningitis include high fever, headache, and stiff neck.

Newborns and infants may appear lethargic, irritable, or lose their appetite. A rash is also present in some cases but some symptoms of headache and neck stiffness may be absent or difficult to detect.

Although there is a low everyday threat of contracting meningitis, taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease are encouraged, according to the preventive medicine officials at the USNH, Okinawa.

“A viral illness is usually spread through contact with respiratory secretions (saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, etc.) and may also be found in stool,” Pate said, “That is why good hygiene and hand-washing are critical to preventing the spread of meningitis.”

Hand-washing will reduce the chances of becoming infected from many contagious illnesses, ranging from the common cold to meningitis. There are also vaccines available for certain forms of the bacterial meningitis. It is important to be aware of possible signs and symptoms of the disease and seek medical treatment immediately if meningitis is suspected.

The preventive medicine staff at the hospital track cases of meningitis, and currently there have been fourteen cases diagnosed. Staff physicians have determined that there is no general public health threat related to any of these cases.

Air Force Capt. Victoria Keegan, deputy chief, 18th Wing Public Affairs, was 23-years-old when meningitis struck her life. Although it was a fight, she made a full recovery from the disease.

“It was miserable,” Keegan said. “It was the worse sickness I have ever had in my entire life. I felt my heart beat pulsating throughout my entire body and had such a severe headache. I truly thought my head was going to explode. I went to the emergency room, and my temperature was over 102 degrees, and my pulse was something like 100. I had a spinal tap, and they determined that I did have viral meningitis. I received (intravenous) fluids, antibiotics and a three-day hospital stay. All I can remember now was how miserable the pain was and that I was very weak. I was emotionally drained, irritable and physically exhausted.”

Anyone at any age is potentially at risk for contracting meningitis. It remains a very serious disease, which can be fatal under certain circumstances, Pate added.

“It is important to know that the viral form, which is most common, is rarely fatal. Yet, the bacterial form in its worst manifestation can result in disability or death.” Pate said.

For further information, please contact your health care provider, U.S. Naval Hospital Preventive Medicine Department at 643-7808, or Kadena Public Health at 630-4520. Additional information is available at the Center for Disease Control website: www.cdc.gov.