Relatives meet in Iraq 1.21.09

Written by David Green.

Two members of the Bach family are only about 50 miles apart, but that can be a long distance in Iraq. They got together for a brief reunion over the summer.

1Lt Clark Neal, the son of the former Mary Bach, is in the Active Army Reserve as a combat engineer.  He went with his unit, the 926th Engineering Brigade, from Montgomery, Ala., to Iraq in April 2008.

Clark serves as aide-de-camp to the unit commander, Brigadier General Jeffrey Talley, at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.

Clark’s unit is engaged in rebuilding Sadr City with repairs to schools, medical clinics, sewage treatment facilities, etc.

Gena Sproul, daughter of Jerry and Lucy Bach of Morenci, is a Chief Yeoman with the Navy Seabees (Reserve). Her Pennsylvania unit was sent to Balad in June 2008.

Last summer Clark accompanied Gen. Talley on a helicopter ride to Balad for a ceremony and Gena was in charge of the welcoming committee. The aunt and nephew were able to spend a few hours together before the general headed back to Baghdad.

Clark’s mother, Mary, said both soldiers keep in touch with family members fairly regularly. Gena is able to telephone for free, although there is a time limit.  Clark uses a phone card.

“Reception is pretty good with a lag time of only a few seconds,” Mary said.  “The time difference for e-mail is roughly seven hours, so when it is 3:00 p.m. EST they are (hopefully) in bed.”

She said that 12 to 16 hour days are typical for support staff and they are required to wear their weapon and carry a lot of the gear that those “outside the fence” are required to carry.

  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017