View Full Version : Assisting the Border Patrol...In Iraq - Marine's Mission In his own words

06-13-07, 07:29 AM
Assisting the Border Patrol...In Iraq - Marine's Mission In his own words
Posted By Blackfive

The following is an account by Marine Major Thomas Fahy about one of the many Border Transition Team encounters that take place throughout western Al Anbar province (Baghooz, Iraq):

Nestled along the Iraqi/Syrian border and the Euphrates River is Baghooz, a small village where a single dirt road and several herds of sheep represent the simple, yet peaceful life these farmers have known for decades. The most precious commodity this village has to offer the future of Iraq is its youth.

I was the team leader for Border Transition Team (BTT) 4235, from Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Logistics Group, and was sent here to train, mentor, and advise the Iraq Department of Border Enforcement (DBE) earlier this year.

When we first entered the town, the heavy thunder of HMMWVs was drowned out by the joyous screams of local boys and girls. As a steady flow of red, black, and dirty blonde haired children fill the streets, the smiles, waves, and calls of “mister, mister…football?” were all signs of a promising relationship between us and the people of the village.

In addition to advising the DBE, we felt it was important to maintain a positive relationship with the community. Thus, we unofficially adopted this small village of sheep herders and farmers. The entire team reached out to their friends and families back home extending the adoption of Baghooz back to the states.

Schools, churches, and individuals sent school supplies, hygiene products, and clothes for us to distribute. The smiles we saw when providing these kids with what some households in the United States take for granted hopefully left a lasting impression in their minds.

The most heart warming story of this newly formed relationship between the transition team and Baghooz was the medical treatment given to a boy with third degree burns on both feet.

During our second visit to the village, a 4-year-old boy was brought to the village schoolhouse by his 12-year-old brother who requested our help. Upon seeing the boy’s horribly burnt feet, we called our corpsman to the school. With the concern of a parent, and the confidence of a true professional, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dale “Doc” Wolkenhauer, a Clear Lake, Calif., native, carefully assessed the crying boy, who was held by his brother and his father. After receiving parental consent to provide medical care, the boy’s injuries were treated and “Doc” gave the boy’s father detailed instructions on how to properly care for the injuries, and told him the boy must go to the hospital.

Four days later, we visited Baghooz and “Doc” ensured the boy’s feet were cleaned, burn cream was applied, and fresh dressings were wrapped around his feet. As the boy was unable to walk, “Doc” Wolkenhauer obtained a rudimentary wheelchair from the Civil Affairs Group and delivered it to the boy’s father one week later. On that visit, according to “Doc,” the little boy’s feet were healing nicely, the infection was gone, and new skin was growing back.

That experience served to strengthen the bond between the people of Baghooz and the transition team and will remain in both the teams’ and the villagers’ minds for years to come.

My team is responsible for advising, mentoring, and training the Iraq Department of Border Enforcement (DBE) along the functional lines of a Marine Corps Company containing an administrative, intelligence, operations, and logistics and communications sections. Our goal is to get the DBE to a readiness level whereby they are capable of operating independent of coalition presence.


06-13-07, 09:41 AM
It would be nice if we were REALLY CONCERNED about border enforcement here in the good ole U. S. of A. Our ****head politicians are too busy figuring out how they can suck up to anyone in favor of allowing the ILLEGALS AMNESTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!