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    Local teacher writes history in Iraq



    Story by Sgt. 1st Class Don Dees 

    AFN Iraq

    BAGHDAD – A Dallas school teacher played a role in the final hours of a meaningful part of U.S. operations in Iraq.

    When American Forces Network-Iraq's Freedom Radio concluded its final live broadcast from Baghdad, April 23, Staff Sgt. Brad Ruffin, a teacher at Dallas Independent School District's T. C. Marsh Middle School, was there.

    After eight years of informing and entertaining troops deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom and more recently Operation New Dawn, the Freedom Radio service has been discontinued. According to the American Forces Radio and Television Service, Department of Defense operates radio and television networks to provide military information to service members and their families around the world. The site also says programming boosts morale by providing a “touch of home.”

    Ruffin, 42, has been in Iraq since December 2010 hosting a music show called “the Midday Getaway.” Ruffin weaves the military messages into the show by talking about the music he plays, pop culture, sports, entertainment and contemporary topics.

    Though he holds a degree in broadcasting, his time in Baghdad taught him a few things. “I learned so much from the broadcasters around me.” He said ensuring troops received the news and information required preparation and focus.

    Ruffin believes his service in Baghdad has made a difference.

    “It's a morale booster for the troops,” he said. “The thanks that we've received from people. From troops, from contractors, from everybody that's contacted's touching.”

    Just like his audience members, Ruffin has sacrificed to serve his country, and his fellow troops. When he left the states, his wife was pregnant. He was able to be home on leave for the birth of his baby girl.

    He also left his teaching job behind. He plans to return to the classroom after a short vacation at the end of his deployment.

    Military officials explain the live broadcasts ended as part of U.S. Forces-Iraq's mission to comply with the U.S. - Iraq security agreement requiring all U.S. forces to leave the country by Dec. 31. Troops remaining until then will still hear AFN radio, except it will originate from Germany.

    The final broadcast concluded with each announcer sharing final thoughts and playing the song most requested by listeners, Toby Keith's Courtesy of the Red White and Blue.



    Date Taken: 09.23.2011
    Date Posted: 09.26.2011 11:27
    Story ID: 77600
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

    Web Views: 42
    Downloads: 1