13th SC(E) dunks one for charity

Story and photos by Spc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — The Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), sponsored a 3-on-3 coed basketball charity tournament at the East Gym at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to kick off the unit’s Combined Federal Campaign fundraising efforts.

The event raised $910 and had 10 participating teams, said 1st Lt. Brittany K. Haynes, the officer in charge of reception, replacement, return to duty, rest and recuperation, and redeployment/casualty operations in the finance/human resources operations cell for the 13th SC(E), and the 13th SC(E) CFC representative who organized the event.

The winning team for the evening was the Buckets, which was made up of three noncommissioned officers from the 80th Ordnance Battalion.

The real focus of the night, however, was not basketball, but getting out the word about the CFC drive, said Haynes, a Baton Rouge, La., native.

“It was all about awareness and promoting the campaign itself; making sure everyone knows exactly what the CFC is, what it represents and how their contributions are being used,” said Haynes.

Soldiers may donate to any of the more than 2,000 charities that the CFC represents, or they may donate without specifying a charity, she said.

Any unappropriated funds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Fund, a charity that helps personnel who have been injured on the battlefield and have difficulties when they get home, said Haynes.

Maj. Linda A. Bass, the human resources plans and operations officer for the 13th ESC, shared her personal experience with one of the programs sponsored by the CFC.

“I lost my brother in combat, up in Mosul,” said Bass, a Bessemer, Ala., native. “He was struck by an (improvised explosive device).”

Bass said she was her brother’s official escort home. She had her father settle all of his affairs and about a month after the event, she realized she was not handling the loss of her brother in a healthy manner.

“I had no outlet whatsoever for my grief,” said Bass. “My family was falling apart, my daughter was out of control; it was unbelievable.”

She said she found her outlet within the survivors counseling program offered through the tragedy assistance program for survivors. The program gave her a chance to talk to someone else going through a similar situation and grieving process, she said.

Bass said, “Without all of us giving, these organizations could not help people, like me, who need it most.”


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First Sgt. Kyle W. Westergard, with the 847th Human Resources Company and a Barrett, Minn., native, drives down the court during the 3-on-3 coed basketball charity tournament in support of the Combined Federal Campaign Oct. 4 at the East Gym at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

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Service members jump for the ball at the 3-on-3 coed basketball charity tournament Oct. 4 in support of the Combined Federal Campaign at the East Gym at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.