Spc. Grant Okubo
4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division – Baghdad
FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH, Iraq— Colleagues, friends and Soldiers gathered in the chapel, Feb. 25, to honor a Kellogg Brown and Root Inc. employee who died during a terrorist rocket attack on the base, Feb. 19.
Joseph "Skip" Shullick, a 42-year-old private contractor for KBR from Lorain, Ohio, worked in Iraq as a carpenter for more than a year. Before signing with KBR, Shullick worked as a successful general contractor as owner of Shullick Builders. Shullick also enjoyed working on his Harley Davidson motorcycles, boats and classic cars, according to a biography in the memorial service program.
Shullick's tragic death is a harsh reminder that brave civilian contractors who provide logistical support to our men and women in uniform are also risking their lives and paying the ultimate price in Iraq. Coworkers who knew Shullick described the kind of man he was and the reasons he had for working as a contractor in Iraq.
"Here's a thing that (everyone) should know and notice about Joe; that although he built a successful business as a carpenter in the safety of America, he freely chose to use his talent in a land at war," said New Orleans native Chaplain (Capt.) Alexander Loya, senior chaplain here serving with 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division - Baghdad. "It was not about the money for Joe. He repeatedly stated that what he wanted was to make a difference. What he wanted was to help the American Soldiers in harm's way. What he wanted was to do his part to help our great nation in a time of war in this global war on terrorism."
People find various ways to support their troops. Some citizens' support is written in letters from home and others through just wishing our troops well, but Shullick took a more active approach to supporting the troops, stated Loya.
"Joe took it a step further. He packed his bags; he packed his hammer, saw and nails; and he, a civilian who never was in the military, cast his lot beside the American Soldier," explained Loya, comparing Shullick to the men portrayed in Mel Gibson's movie, "The Patriot."
They were "rough men who loved their country," continued Loya. "Men who, though were not in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, served the cause of liberty besides the Continental Soldiers in the Patriot militia."
"Joe Shullick was an American Patriot, and, as an American Patriot, he will be honored and remembered," declared Loya.
Shullick is survived by his mother, Ruth, father, Raymond, and brother, Ray.
This work, KBR honors 'American Patriot', by SPC Grant Okubo, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.