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Pitching in, Beyond the Horizon - El Salvador Staff Sgt. Ian Shay

U.S. Army Spc. Dennis Crooker, right, Pvt. Alexander McKenna, center, Spc. Dennis Harmon, left, with the 136th Engineer Company (Vertical), Maine Army National Guard, work together installing a schoolhouse roof during Beyond the Horizon at Tamarindo, El Salvador, May 20, 2013. Beyond the Horizon is a Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-directed, U.S. Southern Command-sponsored joint and combined field training humanitarian exercise in which troops specializing in engineering, construction and health care provide much-needed services to communities in need while receiving valuable deployment training and building important relationships with partner nations. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ian Shay/Released)

TAMARINDO, El Salvador – With temperatures reaching more than 90 degrees in May, Joint Task Force Jaguar soldiers follow a strict work-rest schedule, which increases safety. Medics assigned to task force have learned teamwork helps get better results.

Spc. Paul Vargas, medic, 145th Multifunctional Medical Brigade, helps out the 136th Engineers whenever possible.

“I do it primarily to get close to the other soldiers,” said Vargas. “One way to build trust is being willing to pick up a hammer and do a job no else wants to do, plus you get to know the soldiers better and see how they work.”

The children have been the extra incentive for increased soldier camaraderie.

“When we drive down the road, all the kids come running out to wave. So you see who the school is going to be for and it really motivates you,” said Cadet Kristen Conley, 136th Engineer Company (vertical), Lewiston, Maine.

Soldiers like Spc. Alyssa Sablaon, medic, 144th Medical Detachment, San Diego, Calif., talks about her reasons for going above and beyond her duty requirements.

“Were not just here to sit around, were all in this as a team. So were doing our part to help out and build schools for these children,” said Sablaon. “I enjoy getting my hands dirty and I take a sense of pride in doing both parts.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Pitching in, by SSG Ian Shay, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:05.20.2013

Date Posted:05.28.2013 12:01

Location:TAMARINDO, SV

Hometown:LEWISTON, ME, US

Hometown:SAN DIEGO, CA, US

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  • A U.S. Army water purification engineer participating in a humanitarian mission in El Salvador has witnessed first-hand the effects that humanitarian missions can have on a country, including his own, and he is determined to share his experience with the world.
  • After months of preparation, Joint Task Force Jaguar arrived in El Salvador along with more than 75 other service members to finalize plans in-country for the comprehensive joint exercise, Beyond the Horizon El Salvador 2013.

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