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    Soldier in focus: Sfc. Pollard

    Soldier in focus: Sfc. Pollard

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Kelly Lecompte | Sgt. 1st Class John Pollard, of Fremont, N.C., helps a contractor fix electrical...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Kelly Lecompte 

    30th Armored Brigade Combat Team

    BAGHDAD — When Soldiers of Company B, 252nd Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, arrived at Joint Security Station Saydiyah, just south of Baghdad, in May 2009, they found conditions that were livable, but could use improvement.

    Sgt. 1st Class John Pollard, of Fremont, N.C., has been applying his civilian job skills to help make the deployment site feel a little more like a home for his fellow Soldiers of the Smithfield, N.C.- based company.

    Pollard, an infantryman in the National Guard, has worked for SE&M Constructors in Rocky Mount, N.C., for more than 20 years. He mostly does heating and air-conditioning work, but has practiced other trades with the company.

    "It's mostly a construction outfit," Pollard said. "But when work gets slack, the workers get applied to other fields; electrician work, plumbing work, mechanical work... and I do a little bit of all of it."

    Because of his background, he was assigned as the "mayor" of JSS Saydiyah. As mayor, Pollard is in charge of checking the site's facilities, organizing groups for daily cleanup and general maintenance around the station.

    "Everything I do here, I pretty much learned from my job in that construction outfit," Pollard said.

    He oversees improvement projects on the JSS with Iraqi contractors. He said he is currently working on upgrading some of the electrical networks.

    Pollard said one project recently completed was installing a 900-kilowatt generator.

    "The electrician needed to know the specifics of how we needed it done," Pollard said. "I gave him the specifics and told him exactly how to get everything done."

    The generator will provide a more stable and efficient power source than the older, smaller generators that had been running on the JSS and caused intermittent power outages.

    Pollard has completed a few smaller projects himself.

    "If it's something as simple as changing a trip breaker, I repair it myself," Pollard said. "If it's a simple fix and it can be fixed immediately, I take care of it."

    Pollard said people think of him as a handy-man, and will knock on his door day and night when something breaks.

    "He's more than a handy-man," said Company B 1st Sgt. Charlie Sanders, of Raeford, N.C. "I would call him the subject-matter expert of carpentry, water supply, electrical work and he's mechanically inclined; a jack of all trades, basically."

    Pollard has been in the North Carolina National Guard for 20 years.



    Date Taken: 07.06.2009
    Date Posted: 07.06.2009 03:14
    Story ID: 35998
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

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