U.S. Army Central

Links

Publications

 Campaign Support Plan

           

 2017 Planner
 

                   

 Army Social Media Handbook
 

                   

News Releases

US Army Central Family Members learn about the Middle East

By Leticia Hopkins | U.S. Army Central | March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017 -- The Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Central Family Readiness Group recently held a quarterly meeting here at Patton Hall to provide Family Members with an opportunity to learn about the Middle East.

The meeting, which focused on giving an overview of the Middle East and its culture since it is part of USARCENT’s area of operations, included perspectives from a few of USARCENT’s Soldiers’ spouses.

Susan Duffy, HHBN family readiness support assistant, said the evening was an opportunity for spouses and Family Members to catch a glimpse of, as well as, gain a better understanding of the culture because most of them are unable to go to the Middle East and experience it themselves.

The evening began with a greeting from Maj. Dominick De Fede, HHBN executive officer, on behalf of Lt. Col. Lindsay Riley Matthews, HHBN commander, who is currently in Kuwait. Attendees then had the option to sample a few Middle Eastern dishes, which included: biryani, baklava, chicken and lamb kebabs, flatbread, hummus, and tzatziki served with either sweet Turkish coffee or tea. Mementos and pictures depicting various sites were also on display for Family Members to look at prior to “touring” the Middle East via pictures in a slide show.

Three USARCENT spouses followed the “tour” by sharing their first-hand knowledge of traveling to and or living in the Middle East. Since accompanied Middle Eastern assignments are not currently the norm, these spouses are among the few who were given that opportunity.

Lorelei Garrett, spouse of Lt. Gen. Michael X. Garrett, USARCENT commanding general, spoke about what she observed while traveling to Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar with her husband in October. The purpose of the visit was to explore the possibility of having more accompanied command-sponsored tours in Kuwait. She gave an overview of what she observed, mainly in relation to the housing, schools, and satisfaction felt by spouses and families currently living in each area. 

“All (of) the spouses that I did encounter have enjoyed their time there,” said Garrett. “They didn’t say that there weren’t challenges, but none of them said ‘I wish I didn’t come.”

Sentiments that the other two speakers echoed when they spoke to the group. Judy Merrill, spouse of Col. Aaron Merrill, USARCENT international military affairs chief, spoke about the five years she spent living in Egypt and Jordan with her husband and children. While she was able to travel and meet people, some of the challenges she faced were initially making friends and some of the attention she felt received as an American living abroad.

“When we got back it was like letting out that big sigh of relief,” said Merrill. “You don’t realize you’re kind of holding your breath the whole time you’re living there—just because of the attention.”

Merrill added that although there were things that made living in the Middle East worthwhile, she felt as Americans living in the Middle East, they had a greater responsibility since they represent America.  

As for Rowaida Nasr, spouse of Lt. Col. Walid Nasr, USARCENT security corporation division Central Gulf and Greater Levant branch chief, she told the group that she initially experienced culture shock after moving to the Middle East and took a little while to adjust. But now after the experience, she would gladly accept another accompanied tour to the Middle East. 

After spending a month in Egypt with her husband, Nasr said she returned to her home in Florida, but her family encouraged her to go back and be with her husband.

“Being born and raised in the states, even though I have a Lebanese/Middle Eastern background, when I first went to Egypt, it was actually a culture shock,” said Nasr, an Orlando native who spent two and half years in Egypt and three years in Kuwait with her husband. 

She said the biggest change she had to adapt to was actually the driving style used by the Egyptians since she already spoke the Arabic language. Finding a job with the embassy, making friends, doing a lot of sight-seeing, immersing herself in the country’s culture and talking to local residents helped Nasr to adapt and enjoy the time she spent in the Middle East. 

“Enjoy your time there,” added Nasr in reference to Family Members who may have the opportunity to accompany Soldiers on Middle Eastern tours in the future. “Get out and do things. Get out there and talk to the locals … They actually enjoy Americans or foreigners coming in because they get to show them what their culture is all about.”

The FRG holds quarterly meetings to educate and empower Soldiers’ Family Members. It is also an opportunity for military families to meet other military families or simply get together and socialize with each other. 

“Happy family, happy Soldier,” said Duffy when discussing how keeping Family Members informed and educated impacts the USARCENT mission.

Duffy added that when a Soldier’s family is happy and understands what the Soldier is going through then it helps the Soldier to worry less about family life and concentrate more on the mission.

For more information about FRG volunteer opportunities, programs or events, call (803) 885-8009 or (803) 885-8039. You can also go to www.facebook.com/pattonsownfrg.


Social Media

Facebook Twitter
Patton’s Own: The U.S. Army Reserve Celebrates its 109th Birthday!! For additional pictures look us up on flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/usarmycentral. Album is called 109th Army Reserve Birthday. Third, Always First!!! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command
Patton's Own: The Arkansas National Guard's 77th Combat Aviation Brigade transfers authority to Maryland National Guard's 29th Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Buehting , Kuwait on Sunday, April 23rd. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command
Patton's Own: Through the blood, sweat and tears, “Desert Medics” have held down the medical care of Servicemembers for the past 25 years, within the Middle East. From the mountains of Afghanistan to the pyramids of Egypt the 3rd Medical Command has a flourishing partnership with U.S. Army Central, as the forward command element remains committed to ensuring Soldiers receive the best healthcare possible on the battlefield. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Army Reserve U.S. Central Command
Patton's Own: The U.S. Army Reserve celebrated its birthday over the weekend. These Citizen Soldiers play a critical role in supporting operations across the U.S. Army Central's area of operations. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Doll, Commanding General U.S.Army Reserve Sustainment Command, explains more on the importance of the reserves.
Patton's Own: Coming up on Facebook Live at 2:00 am EST, the Arkansas National Guard's 77th Combat Aviation Brigade will transfer authority to the Maryland National Guard's 29th Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command Arkansas National Guard Maryland National Guard 77th Combat Aviation Brigade
Patton's Own: Coming up on Facebook Live at 2:00 am EST, the Arkansas National Guard's 77th Combat Aviation Brigade will transfer authority to the Maryland National Guard's 29th Combat Aviation Brigade at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command Arkansas National Guard 77th Combat Aviation Brigade Maryland National Guard
Patton's Own: Military working dog handlers of the 226th Military Police Detachment take us through their day to day. This non-narrative features multiple dogs doing what they do best. -Produced by Army Sgt. David Graves. Third, Always First! U.S. Central Command U.S. Army
Patton's Own: The USARCENT Family Readiness Group held a Pie Wars fundraiser with Pie in the Face, Musical Pie Pass and shaving cream beard relay games at Lucky Park. Third, Always First! HQ / U.S. Army Central FRG
Patton’s Own: Bikes over Baghdad show off at Camp Arifjan. Third, Always First! U.S.Army U.S. Central Command Bikes Over Baghdad
Patton's Own: The Desert Vision newscast highlights the sights and sounds of things in the U.S. Army Central area of operations. SSG Daniel Sullivan and SGT Kimberly Browne host. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command
U.S. Army Central is an organization with a vital mission to our nation. This Command Video shows you who we are and what we do to safeguard America's interests. Patton's Own, Third Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Army Central
Riyadh (AFP) - The United States wants to see a strong Saudi Arabia, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said during talks Wednesday aimed at reinvigorating the Riyadh-Washington alliance. Mattis, meeting the most powerful figures in the Saudi capital, also hinted that President Donald Trump could visit the kingdom, a longtime US ally which has welcomed Washington's firmer line against common adversary Iran.
Patton's Own: U.S. Army Central Servicemembers take part in first Air Assault course in Kuwait. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command Army Times 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)
Patton's Own: Personnel from throughout U.S. Army Central’s area of operations traveled to Camp Arifjan’s Zone 1 Fitness Center to participate in the Camp’s inaugural Boston Marathon Shadow Run, April 17. The shadow run gave deployed personnel the opportunity to run in the well-known marathon, where it shadowed the 121st Boston Marathon. And more than 300 people registered and participated. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command Boston Athletic Association Boston Marathon
Patton's Own: Soldiers of the 176th Engineer Brigade (Texas Army National Guard) transferred authority to the incoming 420th Engineer Brigade during a Transfer of Authority Ceremony, April 14, 2017, Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command Texas Army National Guard
Patton's Own: Check out the Spring 2017 edition of the Desert Voice here - https://www.dvidshub.net/publication/issues/33310 Third, Always First! U.S. Army U.S. Central Command
Patton’s Own: The U.S. Army Reserve Celebrates its 109th Birthday!! For additional pictures look us up on flickr... https://t.co/Pp9c0indPO
Patton's Own: The Arkansas National Guard's 77th Combat Aviation Brigade transfers authority to Maryland National... https://t.co/n8VztLG2BL
RT @POTUS: Happy 109th Birthday, @USArmyReserve. Thank you for your service! -DJT https://t.co/yirZwO2j2x
Patton's Own: Through the blood, sweat and tears, “Desert Medics” have held down the medical care of... https://t.co/0cq9UZgWFD
Patton's Own: The U.S. Army Reserve celebrated its birthday over the weekend. These Citizen Soldiers play a... https://t.co/cY24bkRfYG
Transfer of Authority Ceremony - 29th CAB https://t.co/XUd6zcdOnZ
Patton's Own: Coming up on Facebook Live at 2:00 am EST, the Arkansas National Guard's 77th Combat Aviation... https://t.co/EtS5r2I7pF
At Mosul waterfalls, Iraqis savor small joys of post-Islamic State life https://t.co/7XYNnydVB1
Patton's Own: Military working dog handlers of the 226th Military Police Detachment take us through their day to... https://t.co/OuWcizm213
Together, we can end sexual assault #SAAPM
Patton's Own: The Desert Vision newscast highlights the sights and sounds of things in the U.S. Army Central... https://t.co/r7uImiWbJ9
U.S. Army Central is an organization with a vital mission to our nation. This Command Video shows you who we are... https://t.co/O3zvUvCTPQ
U.S. Army Central is an organization with a vital mission to our nation. This command video shows you who we are... https://t.co/pweAqsNvI2
Riyadh (AFP) - The United States wants to see a strong Saudi Arabia, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said during... https://t.co/WZkt6JCz1S
Patton's Own: U.S. Army Central Servicemembers take part in first Air Assault course in Kuwait. Third, Always... https://t.co/EdRXkBm8ez
You have the power to prevent sexual assault by intervening when you notice unhealthy behaviors. YOU can be an active #bystander! #SAAPM
Patton's Own: Personnel from throughout U.S. Army Central’s area of operations traveled to Camp Arifjan’s Zone 1... https://t.co/WMhfHBegHt
Facebook
229,587
Like Us
Twitter
2,855
Follow Us

Help & Support

Resources

Legal

Accessibility
FOIA                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               USARCENT FOIA Reading Room
No FEAR Act