Sunday, March 9, 2008

Words from the CSM himself ...

Dateline: March 9, 2008

Camp Ramadi, al Anbar Province

By Command Sergeant Major Larry Johnson

Twenty days remain of the final tour of Iraq for me. It is with mixed feelings that I approach the end of my tenure here in al Anbar Province. I am glad to be heading home to family and friends, just as I will be leaving others who have become my family here. I can honestly say that I have met some of the greatest people that I have ever been associated with here, both as professionals and as individuals; COL Ken Rathje, Mr. Buster Tate, Mr. John Gerlaugh, and LTC Jay Descamps. More often than not, one of these individuals saved the day for the rest of us in some small way. God Bless Them All.

I’ll also be sad to lose contact with 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor, 3rd Infantry Division from Ft. Stewart, GA. 3/69 adopted the PRT when we hit the ground at FOB Blue Diamond and continued to support and care for our organization as if we were one of them. MAJ (Dr.) Roundtree, CPT (Chaplain) Kline, and the Scouts of Delta Company, 3/69 who provided for all of our security will remain in my mind and heart forever; as will many others. During our time together 3/69 lost 6 Soldiers killed in action and I’d like to offer a special prayer for those Soldiers and their families.

As I look back now, time seemed to tick by very quickly and it hardly seems possible that an entire year has passed. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported me throughout my tour. Your thoughtfulness and prayers certainly carried me through some dark times. Thank you.

My military future is still in question. I have not heard from a number 0f opportunities that I approached as a follow on assignment. If I do not catch something new, I will return to the 393rd Military Police Battalion CID (Criminal Investigation Division), 6th MP Group, Ft Lewis, WA.

Presently, my rank and pay grade are a real budget buster for many assignments that would be a good fit for me personally. I will be able to retire with 30 years of service after January 11, 2009. So we shall see what is in store for me soon.

Remember, “Your passion must exceed your fear”. I’ll drop a final line once I return stateside to tie up any loose ends.


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