Updated 18-Sep: Welcome to the Schriefer Blog, my name is Tavis Schriefer. Recently, my wife Jill and I raised money to supply driFIRE shirts to every soldier in Apache Company of the 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were successful in raising over $6500 and we would like to thank everyone for all their support to make this happen.
Please read our entire message here...

Friday, June 29, 2007

A Moment of Silence

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers and families of the 25th Infantry. Please take a moment of silence for SGT Trista Moretti.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sgt. Trista L. Moretti, 27, of South Plainfield, N.J., died June 25 in Nasir Lafitah, Iraq, when her unit was attacked by insurgents using indirect fire. She was assigned to the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Fort Richardson, Alaska.


SGT Trista Moretti died in Iraq on June 25th, 2007, from an indirect rocket (mortar, rocket, etc) attack in the vicinity of the village of Nasir Laftah southeast of Iskandariyah in Babil Province. "I got a horrible phone call early this morning from someone I used to work with. A friend of mine, who was stationed in Iraq, was killed yesterday in her sleep when her trailer was hit.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Interview on CNN with another Fort Richardson Soldier

Spc. Townsend describes the incident when their Humvee hit an IED in Baghdad. I'm not sure when this occured, but it is a recent story on CNN. I don't know what unit he is with, only that he is from Fort Richardson and he appears to have a 25th Infantry patch on his arm.

click to play

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Spoke with Jonathan

Yesterday I spoke with Jonathan. He is enjoying the family life and the Army life too. Jon is moving to a "line company", meaning he will be back in a unit for the Combat Engineering job he's been trained for. He is going to be a squad leader, so guess its time to dish out some to others ;)

Jon goes in today for oral surgery on all four of his wisdom teeth - I guess life won't be that great afterall, at least the next couple of days.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Geronimo Newsletter Now Available

Today we recieved the June issue of the Geronimo Newsletter. This is the monthly newsletter for the 1-501st PIR. I will not be posting it on the blog. If you would like a copy, email me and I will send it to you. (tavis.schriefer@gmail.com)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Article: In Iraq, it's a honeymoon with differences

Stephen and Tiffany Brock, who met at Fort Richardson, are spending their honeymoon year of marriage on the U.S. Army's dime.

"An all-expenses paid honeymoon to the Middle East," jokes Stephen, a private first class with Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery at Forward Operating Base Iskan south of Baghdad.

Stephen and Tiffany -- who is also a private first class -- were married in September before shipping out to Iraq. Because of available housing and support from their commanders, they are living and serving together at war.

Full Article

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spoke with Nick

Spoke with Nick for a while yesterday morning. He is doing alright. Says its been very active around there. He has a new weapon to add to his inventory now - a Javeline. I recall he trained with this before he deployed - so now has a chance to use it. In case you haven't seen it before, see the video below.

Nick will be doing some training in the near future, then back again to the normal schedule.

Here are some items Nick could use:

- "D" batteries for his fan
- Sunflower seeds (He likes the Planters bags that zip closed). He goes through pretty fast.
- Kool-Aid or Chrystal Light packets (the single serving type that you can add to a bottl of water). He said that with no refrig, the water is pretty hot and this makes it easier to drink.

I found a soft-sided electric cooler on the web (link) that might make things a little easier for the guys when they are at Jurf. Its portable so they can fold it down and pack it in the Humvee and wouldn't require ice (which they don't have out there). The downside is its $60 each and just one may not be enough.

All for now... Tavis

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nick - Target Practice

Here is a quick video from last January.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flag Day -- June 14, 2007

The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.

Octavian - Quick Video

Here's a quick video from Jon of his son, Octavian.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Article: Warring factions see common enemy in U.S. troops

Once quiet area of Mussayid, Iraq, heats up as insurgents flee ‘surge’ in Baghdad
By Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, June 12, 2007

MUSSAYID, Iraq — Word went out among soldiers patrolling this small city just east of the Euphrates River they had lost the one soldier they thought they’d never lose.

Sgt. Bruce E. Horner, 43, was the one who always said hello, who always made time for fellowship, the one — along with his wife, Erin — who hosted cookouts for his unit, the 127th Military Police Company out of Baumholder, Germany.

Horner was a victim of an upsurge of violence in Mussayid, a small Shiite city that lies at a crossroads of sectarian violence, militia soldiers and coalition forces south of Baghdad. He was shot by small-arms fire while on a mission to find three Fort Drum-based soldiers who went missing in early May after an early-morning ambush south of Baghdad.

The military police unit works alongside the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, and when the regiment first arrived in the area last fall, the mood was quiet...

Full article

Monday, June 11, 2007

Article: Operation Brutus nabs six

Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and Iraqi army soldiers wait to load onto a UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Monday at a landing zone on Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah, Iraq. The paratroopers and IA are part of Operation Brutus an air assault mission targeted for the area of Jurf as Sakhr, Iraq.
Full Article

Article from Stars and Stripes

Problems stacked against Iraqi power plant
Soldiers conduct security and share compound with crippled electric works

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq — The struggle for power throughout Iraq motivates militias and crowds morgues. But as this U.S. military-controlled base on the Euphrates River south of Baghdad has found, the struggle for power can create a tiny oasis. The Musayyib Power Plant sits in the midst of the home of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment at Iskandariyah...
Full article

Pictures of Jon at the Explosives Demo Range

Here's a few pics of Jon when he was out at the demo range recently. (Fort Carson, CO)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Short List from Nick

The last time I spoke with Nick, He gave me a list of items that he and his buddies could really use - in case someone is interested in sending any stuff.

  • Sunflower seeds (regular salted version, not hulled)
  • Fans (This kind works great, because it is rechargeable and battery / AC powered. At Wal-Mart stores, theres a smaller version that works even better.)
  • Super Soakers and water balloons.

He said that they enjoyed an escape from the norm by getting into a water gun / balloon fight with other soldiers on the FOB. In 110+ temperatures, this can really help out. He said that the Super Soakers that take ice are great and they do have access to ice.