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    Constructing a Miracle / Engineers Hammer Out New Chapel



    Courtesy Story

    DVIDS Hub       

    By Spc. Erin Robicheaux

    CAMP TIGERLAND, Baghdad -- Soldiers from Company B, 411th Engineer Battalion are making Iraq feel a little more like home for the 256th Tiger Brigade Combat Team. A new chapel for the brigade is the latest improvement slated for the unit.

    Lt. Col. Robert Baker, chaplain for the 256th Brigade Combat Team, is working hand-in-hand with the 411th to see that the project is completed on time. And he lets the engineers how much their work means the Tiger Brigade.

    "I go to the construction site everyday to talk to them and bring them goodies on behalf of the brigade to show our appreciation," he said.

    The 411th is a gumbo of different units all its own. It is made up of Soldiers from Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and all over the south Pacific. They've been busy.

    "Right now, we're scheduled to open the new Tigerland Chapel for the holidays with the first service being on Christmas Eve," Baker said. "It will hold a capacity of about two hundred people ... maybe a little more."

    Staff Sgt. Scott Strong of the 411th is overseeing the construction for his battalion. He said the project fell into their laps at the last minute, but that his team is well prepared to complete their mission by the deadline.

    "Our projects usually land in our laps within a week of when we're supposed to start them and we go out and assess the site to see what kind of materials we may need," he said.

    Strong said there are never any real set plans right away, but that once they receive the blueprints, things just start falling neatly into place for his team.

    In the nine months that the 411th has been in Iraq, they have been given seven projects ranging from the 1st Cavalry Division's Judge Advocate General office to some housing projects. They have even built a post exchange (PX) and a helipad.
    The 411th is responsible for sites inside of Camp Liberty.

    A major player in Strong's team of carpenters is Sgt. Angelique Yacapin, from Hawaii. As a civilian, she is working toward a career in carpentry as an apprentice under the Carpenter's Union in her area. Yacapin says that she has loved building things since she was a little girl.

    "My mom has a farm and as I was growing up, we used to build stuff all the time for her," she said. "We've built a lot of structures like greenhouses and chicken coops, and I really like doing this sort of work."

    Baker sang high praises of Yacapin. He said her hard work and the labor of her fellow Soldiers will make this a better place for the Soldiers of the 256th.

    "The 411th has some great folks and Sgt. Yacapin is one of their best, even according to her boss," he said. "The Soldiers of the 256 BCT need to make sure that they attend services in the new chapel once it's complete."

    Baker added that the new building will be brighter and seem a lot more cheery than the current tent that he is using for services.

    "The new structure will definitely be a chapel that the Tiger Brigade can be proud to worship in," he said.

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    Date Taken: 12.10.2004
    Date Posted: 12.10.2004 14:36
    Story ID: 727
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ

    Web Views: 143
    Downloads: 12