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Cpl. Welton on Fire Courtesy Photo

Cpl. Welton poses with Azadi Fire Department in Kirkuk, Iraq.

By 1st Lt. Tony McClanahan

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq --— Cpl. Phillip Welton is a Soldier from Seoro-Woolley, Wash., currently assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment. He is currently working towards his Bachelor's Degree in Fire Science in hopes to be a career fireman soon after his completion of enlistment in the U.S. Army.

I don't recall one pivotal moment that decidedly moved me to pursue a career in fire fighting, said Welton.

Instead Welton attributes his dream to the people in his life that have influenced him. His wife's side of the family is very rooted in the life of fire fighting.

"I've admired the brotherhood associated within the fire department," Welton said. And I do my best work under the most stressful situations.

Welton is on his second tour to Iraq, after serving his first in Operation Iraqi Freedom V. Recently he just competed and won the Non-Commissioned Officer of the Month Board within the battalion.

Welton said his long time aspiration in the Army is to make sergeant before he leaves the service.

Right now, Welton serves as a machine gunner for his platoon leader in an Infantry Platoon, and is also a senior team leader.

According to 1-30th Bravo company command, Jan. 23, Welton had the opportunity to lead an interview and assessment of an Iraqi fire department in Kirkuk, Iraq. His platoon leader knew of his affinity for that public service, so he let Welton lead the face to face discussion between an Iraqi fire station and US forces. Welton was impressed with the quality of the Azadi station and contrasted it with those he was familiar with in the United States. Welton told the major on shift, "Your setup here is very similar to the volunteer fire departments I've seen in the US." He discovered that the station even came equipped with its very own security force which departed with the trucks when dispatched. It only seemed appropriate since the city still falls prey to acts of violence from time to time said Welton. The men at the station were highly intrigued with his description of fire stations in the states.

Welton is married and is excited to return to his wife, Laura Lee Welton, and start a new path as a fire fighter back home.

Until then, Welton says he will continue to study everyday for his upcoming promotion board amongst his other daily duties as a team leader and machine gunner.

According to 1-30th Bravo company command, as an Iraqi combat veteran in an Infantry Company he makes an impact on those around him every day. Rising to the occasion is no stranger to him, just a part of his regular life.

"I've been lucky to see a different world in Iraq, and it's made me want to go into the direction of helping. I have served my country and now I want to serve my community," Welton said.

Needless to say, his next career will be as selfless as his last and he is more than prepared for his next big challenge.


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Cpl. Welton poses with Azadi Fire Department in Kirkuk,...


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Corporal Welton on fire, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.16.2010

Date Posted:03.16.2010 01:30

Location:KIRKUK, IQGlobe

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