first_img× PRAYER PARTNERS — Prayer partners from 1B and 4B meet to make Halloween decorations for the halls of All Saints Catholic Academylast_img

UF law students called to fight in Iraq

first_img September 15, 2003 Deborah Cupples Regular News UF law students called to fight in Iraq UF law students called to fight in Iraq Special to the NewsSome University of Florida Levin College of Law students not only came back to school this fall, they returned to the United States and life as civilians after service in the Iraq War.Law students Taylor Pancake, Matt Brannen, Juan “J.C.” Tabio, Edward Lohrer, and Ryon Little were called to duty during the spring 2003 semester.“We are grateful to these students for their service to our country, and relieved and pleased they have returned safely,” said UF Law Dean Robert Jerry.U.S. Marine Reservist Lance Cpl. Taylor Pancake was two days into his second semester of law school in January when he was called to active duty. Unsure if he would make it back for his wedding — scheduled for May 25 — he and his fiancé, Misty, quickly organized a ceremony January 13. Pancake left for the Middle East the next day, leaving behind his new bride.“Honestly,” Pancake said. “I think being deployed was harder on my friends and family than it was on me. I was focused and busy, while they were worrying.”Pancake and his bride renewed their vows August 31 for friends and family who could not attend the January ceremony on such short notice, and will take a long-delayed honeymoon in the near future.Pancake’s unit was headquartered in northern Kuwait, and went to Iraq in convoys for weeks at a time.“I got to watch pieces of history unfold,” Pancake said. “It was a very interesting experience.”After six months overseas, Pancake returned to the U.S. in early July. He spent two weeks waiting for de-activation papers to go through, then went on terminal leave until August 15.“I thought I would need a decompression period and had planned to return to school in the spring,” Pancake said. “It turned out those few weeks were enough, so I signed up for fall classes. The law school faculty and staff were awesome at making my transition seamless. It’s good to be back.”U.S. Marine Capt. Matt Brannen, a second year student, was called to action March 24 — just weeks before law school finals — leaving behind his wife, Heather, and daughter, Delaney, who turned 2 while Matt was away.“My daughter had trouble sleeping and understanding why I was gone,” Brannen said. “My wife handled it well, and a lot of people called to check on her. I appreciate the people at school and my church for keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.”Brannen headed a 14-member expeditionary team attached to a special operations command headquartered in Qatar.“It was surreal,” Brannen said. “Being issued ammo and getting motivated to undertake our mission. I am proud to have had the honor of leading my team. They were prepared for any mission and worked together to prepare for the possible combat we were facing.”Through a twist of fate, his team did not go to Iraq.“We were loading a C-130 [military transport plane] when we were stopped and told that the Iraqi army we were going to face had surrendered,” Brannen recounted. “The thing I prayed about most was bringing the team back home, and here we are.”In May, Brannen’s team arrived in Delaware on a military cargo plane.“The pilot announced our descent, and everyone cheered,” he said.He spent his summer taking military courses, including Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico and Tactical Air Control Party School in California, before returning to Gainesville.“The best feeling in the world was being welcomed back by my daughter,” Brannen said. “And Student Affairs was awesome. They did everything to make sure I got back into school.”“My father was in the Navy during WWII, so I’m especially sensitive to our soldiers,” said Gail Sasnett, associate dean for students, professionalism, and community relations. “I’m very grateful for their willingness to serve our country. They make such sacrifices for all of us — delaying their education and ability to practice law, taking time away from their families — a very selfless thing.”For two families, the worries aren’t over. Brannen’s brother is in the Army and stationed in Baghdad, with an uncertain return date. And Cpl. Juan “J.C.” Tabio, a second-year student and member of Brannen’s reserve unit who was activated at the same time, has a younger brother who started boot camp the same week he was called to duty. The Tabios are a Marine family — his older brother also served in the ’80s.Tabio left behind fiancé Cindy Garcia, an elementary guidance counselor in Weston, when he left for the Middle East.“The Marine Corps does an impressive job of staying ready,” Tabio said. “Many Florida reservists were activated for this.”During deployment, Tabio had to quickly adapt to two cultures: Qatar and the Marine Corps.“It was interesting seeing how other people live,” he said. “As a reservist, I deal with the Corps once a month, but overseas I was a Marine 24-7.”Tabio was deployed with Brannen, and said, “At law school, we’re friends. But in the Marines, Capt. Brannen is my team leader, and we have to stay within the bounds of professionalism and Marine Corps etiquette.”Like Brannen, Tabio was impressed with the team’s sense of brotherhood.“An Army staff sergeant stationed near us wrote a letter to our whole unit, praising our cohesiveness and esprit de corps,” said Tabio, who returned to the law school this fall. “This was a once in a lifetime experience for most people. I’m glad that when the call came, I was there to respond.”Not all UF law students serving have returned. Florida National Guard Sgt. Edward Lohrer (2L) — who was deployed to Iraq — and U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Ryon Little (2L) — who was called to duty to monitor the Port of Miami — have been gone since last spring.Sadly, another friend of the college of law will never come home. Gainesville resident and Florida National Guardsman Jeffrey Wershow, 22, was shot and killed July 6 while providing security for U.S. officials visiting Baghdad University in Iraq. Wershow planned to one day attend law school at UF, as did his father, Jon Wershow, and stepmother, Pam Schneider, of the Gainesville firm Wershow & Schneider. In honor of this and in recognition of his service to the nation, the UF College of Law gave his family a certificate granting him “honorary admission.” According to military sources, he will be posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Deborah Cupples is a second-year law student at UF from Gainesville, and this story originally appeared in the August 25 edition of the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law newsletter FlaLaw.last_img read more

Anger, misdirected

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Anthony DemangoneI was sure he was going to like it.Whenever I go on a business trip, I try to bring Kate and Briggs back a gift that ties into the area. For Briggs, I had picked out a beautiful burnt-orange Texas Longhorns t-shirt. He always liked getting shirts from sports teams.But Briggs said he hated it. And he seemed to hate just about everything else about me after I returned from my trip. Let’s just say it was anything but a warm welcome.Being the parent of five-year-olds, I’m used to the roller-coaster of emotions. But something about him hating the shirt gnawed at me.I was hurt.Later that evening, after I finished reading him a story, he quietly asked me a question in a sad voice.Briggs: Daddy, when is your next work trip?Tardily-enlightened me: Not for a while, Briggs. You don’t like my work trips, do you?Briggs: No, I wish you never left again.Heart-broken me: Is that why you were mad at me?Briggs: Yeah.So we had a good talk.Briggs’ anger was justified, in a way. But it was misdirected. continue reading »last_img read more

Look into restaurant industry for sex-assault problems

first_imgRecent articles in The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Sacramento Bee as well as numerous magazines point out the high rate of harassment, gropings and assaults faced by female restaurant workers. Nearly 40 percent of sexual harassment complaints to the Federal EEOC come from females in the restaurant industry.My friend’s experience may have been unusual for Schenectady — but maybe not. It seems timely for Schenectady to do some preventative investigation into these kind of situations. I urge the county Legislature and the city council to look into the matter, and to empower or direct the Schenectady Human Rights Commission to hold hearings.Other cities are doing this, we can as well.Ed GuiderBallston LakeThe writer is a member of Schenectady Stand Up Guys.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI have been working the last 15 years to increase awareness about domestic and sexual violence, sexual harassment, sex trafficking and getting more men involved in the struggle to end these problems. Part of that effort has been as a community member on the Schenectady Domestic Violence Task Force and the Community Sexual Assault Response Team.I was approached by a young woman who had been assaulted at her restaurant job. Her police complaint wasn’t prosecuted by the DA due to an error on dates. As a response, some additional training has been developed to hopefully avoid similar problems in the future.The woman was also threatened by her assailant for going to the police. She and her roommate fled their apartment in Schenectady as it was in the same building as the restaurant and they felt very unsafe. After living in their car for several days, they found shelter in another city.last_img read more

Suspected COVID-19 patient in Semarang died of swine flu: Minister

first_imgA suspected COVID-19 patient who died in Semarang, Central Java, on Sunday tested positive for the H1N1 virus, which is a known cause for swine flu, according to Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto.“It was not COVID-19; we only found H1N1, which is a typical flu. It was verified twice through polymerase chain reaction [PCR] testing. [The patient] tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus both times,” he said in Jakarta on Thursday.“The medication for H1N1 is widely available. It’s called ometamisir; the Health Ministry has an entire supply of it.” Fathur Nur Kholis, a doctor from Kariadi Central General Hospital in Semarang where the COVID-19 suspect had been treated, said the patient had succumbed to bronchopneumonia, a disease that gradually damages the lungs.Read also: [UPDATED] Death of isolation patient ‘not COVID-19’, says Indonesian hospitalResponding to questions as to why the patient had exhibited symptoms resembling those of COVID-19, Terawan said the viruses were similar. Therefore, the patient’s body was treated in accordance with the established protocol to contain H1N1, he said.The suspect was wrapped in plastic before being cremated, which raised concerns over whether the death was indeed caused by COVID-19.Agoes Oerip Poerwoko, the hospital’s medical and treatment director, previously said the method of the patient’s burial was in accordance with coronavirus containment procedures.“Those in charge of the burial wore protective gear, including masks […] in accordance with the procedure. The path to the morgue was cordoned off. The body itself was wrapped in plastic to prevent visiting family members from being infected by the virus,” Agoes said on Wednesday.The COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus, came roughly 11 years after the global swine flu outbreak, which infected more than 390,000 people in Asia alone and took as many as 200,000 lives worldwide. (rfa)Topics :last_img read more

West Java launches mobile app for COVID-19 updates

first_imgAs of Saturday morning, 41 people have tested positive in West Java, with seven fatalities. The app also shows that 1,506 people are currently under general monitoring and 136 patients under surveillance.The app displays a link that connects to the province’s COVID-19 information and Coordination Center website.Besides displaying COVID-19 data in West Java, Ridwan said, the application was also connected to other open source-based websites that showed national and global data.”So, people will understand that this is not just an issue in West Java and Jakarta but a national and global issue. Hopefully, this will raise people’s vigilance,” he said. Users can also find emergency contact numbers and the referral hospitals tasked to handle COVID-19 cases. The app also provides various informative COVID-19 related videos.Ridwan explained that Pikobar was also linked to, a crowdfunding site to help procure health supplies. Health workers in hospitals, community health centers (Puskesmas) and the other clinics who need masks or personal protective equipment can directly apply for assistance.”There are 70,000 Puskesmas [in West Java]. They just need to [fill in] the form and we will submit it to the suppliers,” the governor said.The administration also welcomes criticism about the information services, which is collected through a survey feature in the app.Pikobar is also connected to Jabar Saber Hoax to help people check the validity of any COVID-19 information circulating on social media.Other features that are still under development include the use of artificial intelligence to describe COVID-19 symptoms and a question and answer section with a physician. (aly) Topics :center_img West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil launched a mobile application named Pikobar on Friday designed to publish information and updates related to the transmission of COVID-19  in Indonesia’s most populous province.”The purpose is for the residents to get accurate information,” Ridwan said on Friday.The app, which is currently available for Android-based smartphones only, shows the latest data of patients positive for COVID-19, as well as people under general monitoring and patients under surveillance. last_img read more