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Face of Defense: Soldier Looks for ‘Buried Treasure’
Face of Defense ^
| Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt, USA
Posted on 03/08/2010 4:09:57 PM PST by SandRat
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, March 8, 2010 Its not uncommon to see Army Sgt. Benjamin Kirk Rudy walking around with an elaborate pirate-style coffee mug while spouting off some random pirate fact.
What many dont know about this quirky, charismatic paratrooper is that theres more to his pirate obsession than meets the eye. He uses the pirate character as a way to bond with his two children -- Logan, 6, and Taylor, 4, during deployments.
Army Sgt. Benjamin Rudy looks at a map that will help him find buried treasure at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, March 5, 2010. The mug and the map were sent to him as gifts from his young children, who believe hes on a pirate ship to find treasures for them. Rudy uses the pirate character to with his children during long periods of separation. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
They were so young that they didnt understand I was in the Army, so I would say that I was a pirate and that I was going on a pirate trip to go get treasure, explained the 29-year-old Columbia, S.C. native. They would get a kick out of that and tell me to hurry up and go get treasures.
Rudys current deployment as a joint operations center force protection noncommissioned officer with Combined Joint Task Force 82, the headquarters of Regional Command East, is his third treasure hunt.
The pirate explanation, Rudy said, helps his children mark the milestones of his 13-month deployment. The way they can understand time is for every month I have left, thats how many ships we have left to search, he explained.
Of course, his 6-year-old son knows his dad is a paratrooper, but the pirate theme makes going away easier.
When Rude Dog comes home from his treasure hunts, he always makes sure he has riches for his kids.
Last deployment, I brought back a handmade treasure chest filled with coins and goodies for them, said Rudy, who also built a pirate ship playground for his children in their backyard.
The great lengths Rudy takes to make sure his children are happy is something that runs in his family. His mother, Diana Humphrey, started the All American prayer group in Sanston, Va. The group bakes cookies and prays for soldiers and their families by name every day.
Rudys concern for his children is not something that stops with his own family. He makes sure those he works around also are taken care of and in good spirits.
He has a concern for people. Anyone he looks to and says, Thats my friend, he has a concern for, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Vernon E. Foster, personal security officer to Army Maj. Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force 82 and the 82nd Airborne Division. He will go out of his way for that person. He has an undying loyalty.
Foster said Rudy is great for helping to raise someones spirits when theyre in a foul mood or help them get over their mid-deployment slump.
Rudys great for when you need to laugh, he really is, Foster, a native of Pine Knot, Ky., said. Especially here, no matter how upbeat you are, theres going to be a time over the course of 12, 13 months when youre going to get down, and thats when someone needs to laugh
When you get into that particular spot in the deployment, hes really good to have around, because theres something about his personality that just makes you laugh. Hes going to make you feel a little better than what you were.
Hell help you start that uphill climb.
Rudy draws his comedy inspiration from Steven Colbert, host of TVs The Colbert Report.
Hes a true patriot. He loves America, and hes funny, said Rudy, who aspires to take over Colberts show one day. He inspires people like me and others to enjoy life.
If Rudy does succeed in taking over his comedic idols show, it wont be his first time in front of a camera. While stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., he was an extra in the major motion picture, We Were Soldiers.
Rudy said he hopes to pursue acting and comedy in the future, along with many other goals such as retiring from the Army, owning a business, and most importantly, passing his values on to his kids.
I want my kids to learn my love of people, to enjoy life and each other, he said. What my kids do know is that I love them, whether pirate or soldier.
(Army Staff Sgt. Susan Wilt serves in the Combined Joint Task Force 82 public affairs office.)
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; buried; frwn; treasure
posted on 03/08/2010 4:09:57 PM PST
To: Clive; girlangler; fanfan; DirtyHarryY2K; Tribune7; manic4organic; U S Army EOD; Chode; tillacum; ..
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posted on 03/08/2010 4:10:22 PM PST
(Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
The guy is a man in every sense of the word!
posted on 03/08/2010 4:17:33 PM PST
( Tagline lost -- anyone seen it?)
posted on 03/08/2010 4:42:26 PM PST
( "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Voltaire)
What a wonderful story. What a caring and creative father this man is. Gotta love it. I will say a prayer for his continued safety!
Very touching story.
posted on 03/08/2010 4:46:45 PM PST
THanks for posting SR!
WHen I saw the headline, I had vision f this guy wandering around the AO with a metal detector looking for buried loot of Saddam.
OTOH, with more prirates, we can get this global warming licked quickly.
posted on 03/08/2010 9:43:44 PM PST
(In case of attack, tune to 640 kilocycles or 1240 kilocycles on your AM dial.)
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