Calling all Norwich alumni, students and friends serving in Iraq. Whether you have been here for 1 week or are finishing your tour, you are invited to meet up with other alumni. Come to enjoy a meal, share your NU stories and catch up on news from the Hill.
Previously, we gathered monthly on the 3rd Saturday of each month. As troops are leaving the country we are scaling back to a more informal schedule. Be sure to check back here for event announcements as we keep this page updated with news and announcements as they are available.
For more details contact Capt Dennis Goulet '02.
On the evening of Saturday, August 28th we enjoyed a splendid meal cooked by the Louisiana National Guardsmen, several of whom are professional chefs who work in historical downtown New Orleans. Four of us gathered at the Joint Visitors Bureau (JVB) Hotel here at Camp Victory in Baghdad. This is the hotel distinguished visitors stay at when they pass on through. They've had guests anywhere from the Vice President of the United States, to James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), to the Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders. The cooks did a great job and always try to create a meal to suite the guests, hence a lot maple was included!
Gathering for the dinner were Captain Dennis Goulet, US Army, NU Class 2002; Major Alison "Babs" Kamataris, US Air Force, NU Class 1998; Major Julie Craig, US Army,
NU Class 1998; and Colonel David Jeffalone, US Army, NU Class 1986. We had a great evening and, despite our small numbers, we really want to continue the tradition!
August 2009 Social
NU Club of Iraq at our April 2009 gathering
|Here is a picture from my End of Tour Award ceremony last night. I was awarded the Bronze Star. This is my second Bronze Star for Operation Iraqi Freedom. I received my other Bronze Star Medal in January 2004. BG Cardon presented my award. He is the 3ID Deputy Commanding General for Support, and he is a very smart, personable BG. I'll be back in the States in a couple of days. Take care... |
LTC Mike Hurst
As the Holiday Season and New Year upon us, our Norwich family here in Iraq, Kuwait serving in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM supporting our great Nation in time of war has so very much to be thankful. We take pause to remember those Soldiers with ties to Norwich who fell in combat operations fighting alongside their brothers-in-arms this year; SGT Adam Kennedy ‘04 and CPT Anthony Palermo ’02 were both lost during operations in Iraq, but will be long remembered by classmates and comrades in arms alike. To the men and women now serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, Philippines, and throughout the world we wish you all a prosperous and most importantly a safe year followed by a happy reunion with family, friends, and classmates.
A bit of an update on our time here in Iraq. A year ago Iraq was a nation immersed in a cycle of terror and sectarian killings. As the violence continued to build, a shift in strategy was vital to protect the Iraqi people from extremist influences threatening to tear the country apart. Additional forces entered the country, allowing for a surge in simultaneous and sustained offensive operations, in partnership with the Iraqi security forces.
Our ability to put pressure on al Qaeda and other extremists and deny them safe havens and sanctuaries increased significantly. This was done with the goal of protecting the population and in concert with political and economic initiatives to buy time and space for the government of Iraq. Now some months later we have achieved some positive momentum and this has set the conditions for political accommodation, economic development and we are beginning to see some signs of normalcy returning to the Iraqi people.
Due to our operations, we have been able to eliminate key safe havens, liberate portions of the population and hamper the enemy's ability to conduct coordinated attacks. We have experienced a consistent and steady trend of increased security over the last five months.
Attack levels are back before their levels since the first Samarra Mosque bombing in February 2006 -- an event that ignited a wave of sectarian violence. For this same week last year, Al Anbar province experiences 303 attacks. That number has been reduced to less than 30 this past week. Within Baghdad, the weekly reduction from October 2006 to October 2007 was down from 143 attacks in 2006 to under 100 attacks in 2007. Although we are encouraged by these positive trends, we will continue to work to reduce them even further.
We have much to be thankful for, in this season of joy, remembrance and giving, I ask you to remember Norwich grads and those with Norwich ties who are defending our freedom around the world and at home and to pause and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Submitted by LTC Dennis Downey ‘81
NU Club of Iraq Club Officer
Greetings from Baghdad.
Once again its time to check in with all my Norwich family forward.
Lots of things to report this time around, Tammy Grasso will be heading home around 10 Nov, her tour is just ending; Paul Fugere just was offered an aviation command, he is ready to go command as soon as he departs here. Two new members have arrived MAJ Dave Lanciano was discovered in Kuwait and LTC Doug Paley is back for his third go-around here in Iraq.....Doug is dealing with the civil military side of the fight and reports that this, his third tour, will be his last tour over
here....Brian Hathaway is moving from Baghdad North....the engineers are always in demand.
The Norwich women's ice hockey team requested that we identify any Norwich women who are serving over here or who have served over here; we passed Tammy's name and if any of you know of other gals
that served in theater over here, please let us know.
Pass me any photos, stories, or tid-bits of interest.
Thanks so much.
LTC Dennis Downey
Great article about LTC Mike Hurst in the Dog Face Daily:
3rd Inf. Div. command historian commits to Army 10-Miler
CPT Tracy Coffin, USA ’93 relinquished command of the 601st Medical Company, which she commanded for over two years including a year in Iraq. She writes, “It was hard to leave them, but we typically only get to command for 18-24 months...time for someone else to take over. It was the best 24 months of my 13 years in the Army...I sure will miss them. I hope all is well...I am heading to San Antonio, TX for my next position starting in April.” While at Norwich, Tracy was a civilian student, a PE major and member of the Women’s Basketball Team that was recently inducted into the Norwich Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation, Tracy enlisted in the Army and became an officer.