|Forum topic by woodenwarrior||posted 11-01-2013 05:13 AM||805 views||0 times favorited||13 replies|
11-01-2013 05:13 AM
This may be a long post so if you don’t enjoy reading, now would be a good time to move along to another post…
Okay, here’s the deal (I say this a lot, you’ll get used it): So I dropped my wife off at the airport in Kansas City and decided that since I was here I should stop into the ONLY Woodcraft store within a million miles of where I’m stationed (okay, maybe not quite a million but its a lot). As I’m drooling in my “man-toy store” I met Gary Kepko, he is one of the employees of the Woodcraft store and also the commander of the local VFW. As I was still in uniform, he immediately hit me up for being in the military and that he would give me a 10% military discount…how can you NOT want to shop in a store like that? I digress… Anyhoo, as I was checking out with my new found goodies and Gary asked me if my address was correct and where was the last place I was deployed; I told him Afghanistan. I assumed he would be sending me the usual VFW literature…. I was wrong!!!
I received in the mail today a beautiful turned rifle cartridge pen with the campaign ribbon denoting service in Afghanistan as the motif. To say the least I was blown away by his thoughtfulness!!
Here’s what I am going to do:
As a First Sergeant of a tank company, part of what I enjoy doing is creating traditions that will carry on the legacy of my Soldiers and the company. Every six months, my company goes out for the better part of three weeks to conduct tank gunnery. At gunnery, my tank crews hone and refine their tank marksmanship skills through multiple tank gunnery tables culminating with a qualification table. After their qualification gunnery table I set up what we call the “Wolves Den” ( we are D Co 1-16 Infantry…the Wolfpack). At the Wolves Den we celebrate every crew that qualifies their tank crew on the first attempt (sounds easy…its not). We glorify their achievement with cake, punch and cigars that are shared with them by the Company and Battalion leadership. Most importantly, the crews must all make their mark in the log book.
The log book is a running journal of each crew’s triumph at gunnery. It is a living document that is passed on from First Sergeant and Commander to First Sergeant and Commander. It is a documentation of the precision, discipline and excellence that each qualifying crew of the company has displayed. In the log, each crew member writes his name, position, vehicle number and any remarks they choose to include. The log is bound in black leather and is clasped with straps and buckles from worn tanker boots. It has, up to this point, been missing one crucial item…a designated writing instrument with which my Soldiers can make their mark. This is where my gifted pen comes in.
The pen I received from Gary Kepko I believe would be the perfect log book pen. It signifies both the past and present and will remain relevant to the future of the Wolfpack. It will be the official and ONLY writing instrument for the log. I am proud to be able to add this gift to the traditions of my company and hope Gary understands that the craftsmanship he has created will become immortalized in the annals of Wolfpack history for many years to come.
I needed to share this with all of you because this is what keeps me doing what I do.
-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda