Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Turning an Eyesore into a Cash Cow

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Turning an Eyesore into a Cash Cow

Article excerpt

Mention the word "detail" to a Soldier and he may cringe at the thought of having to take on some disgusting job that no one else wants to do. But not all details need to be laborious. Often, they can result in a lot of good. just ask Sfc. Gordon Pry and Spec. David Hicks, psychological operations specialists with the 346th Psychological Operations Company, an Army Reserve unit from Columbus, Ohio.

Recently, Pry and Hicks were assigned to supervise local Iraqis as they removed 500-pound rolls of high-grade paper found in a warehouse that the V Corps motor pool wanted relocated to Camp Victory near Baghdad International Airport. During their assignment, Pry and Hicks began their days having breakfast with Iraqi locals, sharing food brought in by the Iraqis to the work location in a U.S. compound.

After breakfast, the Iraqi locals would use two small forklifts to load the rolls of paper onto several flatbed tractor-trailers for transport. Eventually, the paper would be sold under contract by Iraqis, who would then return a percentage of the sales amount to the 346th. That money would be used by the 346th to establish new businesses, and to provide supplies to and fund restoration costs for local schools.

"Even though the Saddam Hussein regime had confiscated the paper, it actually belongs to the Iraqi people. So, we're just giving it back to its rightful owners," said Pry, who noted that the removal of the paper also was providing temporary employment for several members of the local population. …

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