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SGOMA Remembers Spc. Robert Donevski – One Year later January 16, 2011

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SGOMA Remembers Spc. Robert Donevski – One Year later

Today the Saint George Orthodox Military Association, along with the parishioners of Holy Trinity Chapel remembered, during the Divine Liturgy at Fort Bliss, the one year anniversary marking the blessed repose of Specialist Robert Donevski, of Sun City, Arizona. Specialist Donevski was killed in the line of duty in Abad, Afghanistan on January 16th, 2010. Please keep Specialist Donevski and his family in your prayer this day. Memory Eternal! Вечна меморија!

Brief Bio:
Spc. Robert Donevski, 19, died Saturday, January 16th, 2010 from wounds he suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small-arms fire in Abad, in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan.

He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Robert joined the Army in July 2008 and was deployed to Afghanistan in June 2009 from Fort Carson, Colo. He is survived by his parents, Linda and Ganko, and brother, Chris. Robert died doing exactly that he wanted to do, his parents said. He wanted to be in the Army since he was 5 years old, they said, showing a picture of a young Robert saluting a flag as a boy. “He loved his country and wanted to protect it,” Linda said.

“He loved his friends,” Ganko, said. “And he loved the state of Arizona. He said it was the best state. He had been to Georgia, and Germany and came home and said this was the best place in the world.” “And he loved America, he loved his country,” he said.

Ganko, who was born in Bulgaria, told him that he had served in Vietnam, so Robert shouldn’t feel he needed to serve in the military, as well. Robert remained determined.

Robert was classified as an E-4 specialist, but recently tested to be promoted to sergeant. “He will be buried as a sergeant,” Linda said the Army told her. “And he will receive a Bronze Star for protecting his fellow soldiers in the fire fight.”

Robert’s body was returned to Arizona on military flights, escorted by members of his detachment. The Army honored Robert with several medals, including the Purple Heart.

The Funeral was held at St. George Orthodox Church in Phoenix, Arizona, and Robert was buried in the National Cemetery in Phoenix with full military honors.

Memory Eternal! Вечна меморија!

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SGOMA Remembers the 1st Anniversary of the Blessed Repose of PCF Serge Kropov, USMC December 20, 2010

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Private First Class Serge Kropov, USMC

Born: July 28, 1988 in Moscow, Russia
Killed in the line of duty: Dec. 20, 2009, in Bastion, Afghanistan
Interment: Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Cemetery, South Canaan, PA

Brief Bio:

Private First Class Serge Kropov, of Hawley, Pa., was killed Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Bastion, Afghanistan.

Born July 28, 1988, in Moscow, Russia, he was a son of Igor and Allison (Alevtina) Kropov.

He was a military career man who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in the military Tour of Iraq and the military Tour of Afghanistan. Kropov was assigned to a Marine aircraft group based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, which is near San Diego, California.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Sergey and Nina Kropov; and his maternal grandparents, Anna and Vladimir Patrusheva. Surviving, in addition to his parents, is his sister, Anna Kropov.

Funeral Services with full military honors were held at  the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, South Canaan, PA, with His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, officiating. Interment followed in the Monastery Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Monastery.

A Panikhida will be offered by the Saint George Orthodox Military Association on the 1st Anniversary – December 20, 2010

Memory Eternal!  Vichnaja Pamjat!

Nativity & Epiphany Services in Afghanistan December 4, 2010

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Attention Orthodox service members in Afghanistan, their loved ones, friends, and supporters!

Orthodox Chaplains, Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski and Fr. Christopher Moody will be provide Nativity and Epiphany services at various locations in Afghanistan.  Please pass the word, so that anyone in need of the Orthodox sacraments and desirous to observe these feasts, may make arrangements through their unit chaplains.  Orthodox personnel may request to be visited at their site, or request to travel to another site where these services will be offered.

Start asking your unit Chaplain about Orthodox services.  Fr. Jerome himself plans to go around twice, once for each of the Feasts, and on other days to make the Liturgy and Sacraments available, and just to have fellowship with fellow Orthodox service members.  He would be honored to provide services on days other than Sunday.

Father Jerome can be contacted anytime at the following:

C. J. CWIKLINSKI
CAPT, CHC, USN
I MEF/MARCENT Chaplain
(760) 725-9032/9821 (Office)
365-9032/9821 (DSN)
carl.cwiklinski@usmc.mil or carl.cwiklinski@usmc.smil.mil

Pentagon Pushes Veterans to Claim Stop-Loss Bonuses Before Deadline October 12, 2010

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ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE: U.S. soldiers stand guard as a medical helicopter arrives to evacuate a soldier who was seriously wounded when he stepped on an improvised mine in Kandahar province. (AP Photo)

From: FOXNEWS.com

Uncle Sam usually doesn’t have trouble finding folks to accept bonus checks.

But when it comes to giving $500 per month in retroactive pay to troops and veterans who were forced to stay in the military beyond their enlistment terms during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the U.S. government hasn’t gotten the participation it expected.

Service members, veterans and beneficiaries of service members whose service was involuntarily extended between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 30, 2009, under the controversial “stop-loss” program are eligible for the additional payout. The average benefit is $3,800.

One problem: Only 62,000 of the 145,000 entitled to receive the stop-loss payments from a pool of $534.4 million have collected, leaving 83,000 left to claim $300 million.

Those who voluntarily re-enlisted or extended their service and received a bonus are not eligible.

In June 2009, President Obama signed into law the emergency supplemental war funding that included the retroactive bonuses. Since then, Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and members of Congress have filmed public service announcements to get the word out.

The Pentagon has also reached out to beneficiaries through multiple direct mailings, the Veterans Affairs Department, social networks, more than 100 military and veteran groups and the media, Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez told FoxNews.com

Lainez said the direct mail is only having limited success because the letters are sent to the last known address for beneficiaries who may have relocated and some beneficiaries don’t open their mail.

Troops originally had until next week — Oct. 21 — to collect the money due to them, but several lawmakers pushed for an extension, and the deadline was pushed back to Dec. 3 as part of a continuing resolution approved by Congress last week.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., is now pushing to extend the deadline to Oct. 21, 2011.

“Last year, Congress helped fix an injustice by providing bonus payments to thousands of troops who were required to serve and sacrifice longer than their scheduled enlistment,” Lautenberg said in a written statement.

“But unless we make sure that as many service members as possible have been paid, the good intent will not be fully realized. An extension of the stop-loss claims deadline will give the Defense Department more time to reach out to the troops who served selflessly and remained in service long after they were scheduled to return home.”

The military, and mostly the Army, has relied on stop-loss since 2002 to keep soldiers in service in what critics called a de facto draft. The practice was aimed at continuity, Lainez said, because training new recruits to go into the battlefield while the U.S. was fighting two wars was both time-consuming and inefficient.

Of the 145,000 beneficiaries eligible for the back pay, 120,000 served in the Army. The Army plans to phase out stop-loss assignments by March 2011, Lainez said.

Lainez said the Defense Department won’t just mail out checks to eligible troops.

“Besides the fact that they have to apply, it wouldn’t be prudent to send $534 million in checks to last known addresses that are years old,” she said.

Lainez advised that beneficiaries apply online because the process moves much more quickly.

Individuals eligible for the bonus can visit http://www.defense.gov/stoploss for more information.

The Dangers of being a Military Chaplain September 2, 2010

Posted by stgeorgeoma in Armed Forces, Armed Services, Eastern Orthodox, Memorial, Military, Networking, News, Orthodox, Religion, Religious, SGOMA News, Uncategorized.
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Although the following story isn’t about an Orthodox Military Chaplain, it brings to the forefront what all Chaplains, including our Orthodox Military Chaplains, deal with while on deployment. Our Orthodox Military Chaplains do a lot of traveling when they are deployed or TDY in combat areas to find our Orthodox Troops in the various locations spread throughout the region. Our Chaplains spend endless hours in convoyes and flights to get to their destinations.

We will have one of our own Orthodox Chaplains, Father Jerome Cwiklinski, CPT, USN, going TDY to Qatar and Afghanistan during most of the month of September. He is traveling around to visit our Orthodox Troops, hold Divine Liturgies and ensure those wishing can receive the Holy Mysteries of the Orthodox Church. Please keep Father Jerome, our Orthodox Chaplains, and all the Chaplains in the Military in your prayers, for they unselfishly put themselves in harm’s way to minister to our Troops!

 

Army chaplain dies in Afghanistan bomb blast

Chaplain Dale Goetz

An Army chaplain who grew up in Hood River has become the 124th service member with strong ties to Oregon to die in combat.

Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Allen Goetz, 43, died Monday in a roadside bomb attack in Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan less than a month after he deployed. Four other soldiers also based at Fort Carson, Colo. also died.

According to published reports by the Army, the Hood River News and Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin, Goetz spent most of his childhood in Hood River and was a 1986 graduate of Horizon Christian School. He graduated from the Maranatha in Watertown, Wis. in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies.

Goetz completed his Master of Divinity degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis in 2000. He was pastor of a church in White, S.D., until beginning his work toward chaplaincy. Goetz joined the Army in 2000. He was a member of the Chaplain Corps.

According to reports, the Goetz family had been transferred to Colorado in January after serving three years in Okinawa, Japan. Goetz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Carson.

Goetz had also served 11 months in Iraq in 2004-2005.

 The News reported that the family was told by an Army casualty assistance officer that Goetz died after getting out of his vehicle to help soldiers in another Humvee hit by a first IED.

His mother, Hope Goetz, who lives in Elizabeth, Colo., was traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to meet her son’s body.

Goetz is survived by his wife, Christina, who also graduated from Maranatha in 1995, and children, Landon, 10, Caleb, 8, and Joel, 1 year. A funeral service will be held in Colorado Springs with burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Orthodox Chaplain set to visit our Troops September 1, 2010

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ATTENTION DEPLOYED ORTHODOX MILITARY PERSONNEL:

Father Jerome Cwiklinski will celebrate the Divine Liturgy for Eastern Orthodox Christian personnel in the following locations and dates:

  • Al Udeid AFB, Qatar – 8 Sep
  • Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan – 12 Sep
  • Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan – 14 Sep
  • Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan – 19 Sep

If you are in these locations or desire access to these services from other locations, contact your unit chaplain ASAP.

Father Jerome can be contacted anytime at the following:

C. J. CWIKLINSKI
CAPT, CHC, USN
I MEF/MARCENT Chaplain
(760) 725-9032/9821 (Office)
365-9032/9821 (DSN)
(760) 725-9870 (FAX)
carl.cwiklinski@usmc.mil
carl.cwiklinski@usmc.smil.mil

We Remember PFC Serge Kropov July 30, 2010

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We remember! On July 28th of this year SGOMA remembered one of our fallen Marines. July 28th is the birthday of PFC. Serge Kropov, USMC. Serge died in Afghanistan, in December 2009, while proudly serving his country. On this day members of SGOMA kept Serge in their prayers, as friends and family gathered around Serge’s grave at  St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan, PA, and held a Panachida for him.

Serge’s Mother has started a Facebook Memorial page for Serge. It is very touching and gives you a whole new feeling for the loss the Kropov family is feeling. This brings home the same loss that so many families around the United States feel who have lost a loved one serving our Country. You can view Serge’s Memorial Facebook page at:

 http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/?act=50599020#!/group.php?gid=217355966323&ref=ts

We here at SGOMA remember Serge every day, just as we do for all of our fallen Orthodox Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen.  Memory Eternal!

One of our own July 18, 2010

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One of the Saint George Orthodox Military Association’s Facebook members, Scott Hakim (center in photo), is a U.S. Marine currently serving in Afghanistan. Recently, Fr. David Alexander, a USN Chaplain, serving in Afghanistan, did a very moving podcast about Scott on Ancient Faith Radio (Finding Scott Hakim – In the Valley of the Shadow of Death). Fr. David found Scott injured and in the military hospital there in Afghanistan, after a serious roadside bombing attack.

According to Scott’s family, he is now healthy and doing fine and is back with his fellow Marines. His small Marine Company is stationed on the top of a mountain scouting over the three towns that surround the mountain. They are due to head back to the States on October 4th.

Until then, Scott told them he would like some goodies from the USA, such as: blue Gattor-aide powder, beef jerky, sour skittles, and pouches of chicken and tuna.

SGOMA will be sending Scott one of our Survival packages. If you would like to send some items to Scott and his fellow Marines you can contact SGOMA for Scott’s mailing address in Afghanistan, our email is:  StGeorgeOMA@gmail.com. I am also sure they would appreciate cards and letters of support from our Orthodox people and especially from children.

SGOMA is also accepting donations for our Orthodox Survival Package Program. If you would like to assist SGOMA in this project please contact us.

Please keep, Scott, his fellow Marines, and all of our Troops in harm’s way, in your daily prayers.

SGOMA sends out another “Survival Package” to an Orthodox Soldier June 5, 2010

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St. George Orthodox Military Association just sent out another “Survival Package” to one of our Orthodox Soldier deployed in Afghanistan.

The “Survival Package” is one of SGOMA’s outreach programs. It is a means to provide our deployed Orthodox Service men and women some Orthodox necessities as well as some comfort foods and items.

Every “Survival Package” is packed full into a USPS Priority Mail APO/Military box. The “Survival Package” includes some of the following items:

  • Orthodox New Testament & Psalms Book
  • Two (2) Orthodox icons
  • Orthodox music CD
  • Chotki (Prayer Rope) along with a description on how to pray the Jesus Prayer
  • SGOMA Brochure
  • Food items (Cookies, Crackers, Pop-tarts, beef-jerky, sunflower seeds, rice krispies treats, peanut bars, fruit bars, and liquorish)
  • Personal items (handi-wipes, batteries, dental floss, q-tips, hand sanitizer, and mouthwash)

The boxes are filled and any extra room in the box is topped off with additional food items, so that all the available space is used with items for our Troops.

Do you want to donate  a “Survival Package” to one of our Orthodox Troops, or send a “Survival Package” to a specific person? If so then mail your request to SGOMA and let them know. If sending it to a specific person SGOMA will need the:

Full name and rank of person

Duty/Unit info

APO address

An example of a complete address would be:

MAJ John Smith

96 CO/IFOR, 1st Batallion

APO AE  09333

The cost of the “Survival Package” is $45.00 USD. This includes all the contents of the box as well as the packaging and shipping costs.

Send your donation (check or money order made out to “SGOMA”) and complete address of person to ship to (if desired), to:

St. George Orthodox Military Assoc.

2521 N. Main Street, Unit 1, #198

Las Cruces, NM 88001

The “Survival Package” will be put together and shipped out within 72 hours of receiving the donation request.

If you have any questions you can email SGOMA at:  StGeorgeOMA@gmail.com