• July 26, 2016

‘Strike First’ Battalion unit ministry team opens resilience center

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 4:30 am

SOUTHWEST ASIA — During a long deployment, small comforts can help ease homesickness and boost morale. Capt. Timothy Baranoski, chaplain of 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, decided to create a resilience center to provide those comforts to help soldiers of the “Strike First” Battalion through their current deployment.

With help from kind-hearted citizens from across the United States, the resilience center, under the direction of Pfc. Derrick White, chaplain assistant, has grown beyond the original intent.

“What you see here today started as a crazy idea but with love and support and an extra helping of blessing, it has grown beyond what I could have ever imagined,” Baranoski said.

Last month the command team of 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade, Col. Michael Morrissey and Command Sgt. Maj. Gerardo Dominguez and the battalion command team, Lt. Col. Maurice Barnett and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Sanchez, stood with the unit ministry team to officially open the Command Sgt. Maj. James D. Blankenbecler Resilience Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony, marking the beginning of a great new facility and program for the soldiers.

The resilience center has a full stock of basic hygiene items for soldiers, a variety of snacks and other goods, and the occasional homemade cookies donated by family members across the United States.

While hygiene items and snacks are enough to boost morale, the resilience center also offers a library of DVDs and books for soldiers to enjoy in their downtime.

Perhaps the greatest feature of the resilience center is the “Reading Corner.” Soldiers have the opportunity to record themselves reading a book to their children and families and send a DVD along with a copy of the book back to their families at home.

The resiliency center was dedicated to Blankenbecler, who was assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, in 2003 during a deployment to Iraq.

He was in a convoy that was hit by a roadside bomb and rocket propelled grenade. Blankenbecler died of his injuries on Oct. 1, 2003.

“Command Sgt. Maj. Blankenbecler was a good man who cared about his soldiers; this is a great legacy to his name,” Dominguez said.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Day 1: On the ground in South Korea with Ironhorse soldiers
Posted: February 25, 2016

After 20 hours of travel, by plane and bus, I finally made it to Camp Casey, South Korea with the remainder of Fort Hood’s 1st Brigade Combat Team soldiers. For the next several days, I will be following the mission and daily lives of Ironhorse troopers as they begin a nine-month rotation in the land of the morning calm.

more »
Day 2 in South Korea: Snowflakes and readiness
Posted: February 25, 2016

Our second day in South Korea began early. But it was not as early as for some.

more »

Ft Hood Events

Military Videos