Although the war with Iraq is over, U.S. and allied troops remain in the war-torn country and neighboring regions to rebuild and provide humanitarian relief. Among those aiding these efforts are men and women like Sgt. 1st Class Mark McIntire of the U.S. Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station in Bahrain, a country in the Persian Gulf east of Saudi Arabia.
The command provides shore, fleet and joint strategic and tactical services to many commands and prescribed Department of Defense customers throughout the Southwest Asia area of responsibility, and others as directed.
McIntire, the husband of Janet McIntire of Martinez, is a command-training officer. His job requires him to perform duties as a satellite communications liaison officer.
The 1978 graduate of Col. Zadok Magruder High School in Rockville, Md., commented on the contributions he has made toward his unit's mission and the challenges they've overcome during the war on terrorism.
"The biggest contribution I made to the unit was the benefit of having 19 years satellite experience," McIntire said. "I helped change their prospective communication with field units they support. The biggest challenge the unit faced was keeping up with the increased pace of operations supporting troops in both Afghanistan and Iraq."
McIntire said during the war on terrorism and with Iraq, his unit faced life-threatening challenges they would not have at regular training.
"My normal duty is at the Army's Satellite Communications School at Fort Gordon, Ga." McIntire said. "The troops we support here stake their lives in part in the communications services we provide."
His Middle East assignment serves as a temporary home away from home, which gives McIntire a chance to reflect on what he misses and looks forward to when he returns. "The first thing I'm going to do when I get home is take some time off to spend with my children," he said.
McIntire and his shipmates have endured many sacrifices and have found good in their unfamiliar surroundings. "I like meeting new people and experiencing other cultures," McIntire said. "This is my second Middle Eastern country I've been stationed at. Living in foreign countries broadens personal experiences and helps reinforce appreciation of what we enjoy as Americans."
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