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Truly a Wall of Fame

November 2004 IBEW Journal

There are now more than 1,000 baseballs on a memorial wall alongside a community baseball field in Whitman, Massachusetts, with each ball bearing the name of one of the U.S. troops killed in Iraq. Its the work of Chris Johnson, a member of Local 103 in Boston.

"Its a great way to show how men of the trades not serving in the war are so thankful for all that is being done for our freedom," says Brother Johnsons wife Janene Johnson. "I am so very proud of his work and would like everyone to get a chance to see this great tribute."

Each baseball carries the
name, rank and date of death of one of those killed in Iraq.

How to Improve a Tent

Brother Harmon in Kuwait in October 2003

Mark Harmon of Local 125, Portland, Oregon, lived his entire tour of duty in Kuwait in a tent, but "a tent with air conditioning," he says. Brother Harmon was a reservist called up in June 2003 for duty with Naval Coastal Warfare Group One and assigned to the seaward defense of Al Shuaiba Harbor, through which all military and private goods are shipped to Iraq. His assignment included vehicle maintenance, convoy duties, convoy securityand air conditioner service.

Hes home now, reunited with his wife Shawna and three children and contemplating retirement from the Navy Reserve after 19 years of service.

Teaching Afghans To Wire

If youre an electrician in Afghanistan, youre in demand. For Shaun Smith of Local 231, Sioux City, Iowa, that also means "he has had to teach Afghan people how to wire," says his wife Kari Smith. "Local 231 has a flag on display that has flown high over Afghanistan. We are proud of him! Shaun has also received several medals, awards and pins."

She says Shaun is a Seabee (Construction Brigade) in Battalion 3, stationed at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. IBEW Local 702, West Frankfort, Illinois, is another site proudly displaying a flag that flew over Bagram.

Holly, Ship My Tools to Iraq

Sgt. Chip Cormier

"Im so proud of what Im doing over here, Ive put an IBEW sticker on my weapon magazine," says Army National Guard Sgt. Chip Cormier of Local 193, Springfield, Illinois. This time, on his second tour of duty in Iraq, he had his wife, Holly, ship his tools to him, Chip says, "not a cheap feat on her behalf, but Im glad she did as I am doing a tremendous amount of wiring."

"My main job is basically being a general foreman and trying to teach the Iraqi contractors I work with about grounding, proper sizing of conductors to loads and good wiring practices," he reports. And its moving right along, with Holly buying some Klein tools for my two main helpers, "They are not used to high quality tools and they were ecstatic that we had gone to the trouble."