News: The Camp Marmal PX opens to large crowds, eager Soldiers
Story by Sgt. Richard Wrigley
CAMP MARMAL, Afghanistan -- The new post exchange opened here to eager applause, April 9.
For many the wait for the PX to open has been a long one, as previous to this, soldiers had to use a PX ran out of a small cramped trailer.
“We’ve been here for almost a year now,” said Staff Sgt. Adrian Coffelt, “and we’ve heard talk of this new PX opening almost as long.”
Yet when asked if the wait was worth it, Coffelt, a native of Dallas, Ore., and a property book non-commissioned officer for the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division said, “Definitely! I was surprised at just how much stuff they had … but as long as they keep my Red Bull stocked I’ll be happy.”
However, it was quite a challenge to get the new PX up and running. There were many logistical bumps in the road that had to be surpassed in order to make it happen.
“It’s the nature of Regional Command North, and Camp Marmal. With the Hindu Kush right there, and the Pakistani border closed to us, it was a long and challenging process to get all the supplies together to make this happen,” said Col. John Novalis II, a native of Williamsport, Pa., and the brigade commander of the 1st ACB.
However due to the hard work of everyone involved, diligence and a strong team spirit, the project was complete and the PX opened.
“If it wasn’t for the soldiers of the 1st ACB who helped build this, I don’t think we would have ever got this place finished,” said Cecilia Edwards the store manager.
“Of course none of this at all would be possible without the hard work of my [Army and Air Force Exchange Service] staff,” she added.
However the real story today was not just another PX opening, but it was the commitment to the soldiers and to improving their living conditions.
“Bottom line, it’s all about the soldier, we do this for the soldier,” said Novalis.
“Actually, the 1st ACB is leaving Afghanistan pretty soon, so it’s not just nice to do something for the soldiers here, but to make conditions better for the incoming soldiers who will be replacing us as well,” he added.