Sergeant presents church with gift
LOWRY CITY – While on leave from duty in Iraq, SSgt. Jake Long presented the First Baptist Church here with a beautiful wood display case containing a U.S. flag flown on a combat mission and a letter of appreciation to the church from Missouri’s 149th Aviation Regiment.
The church was recognized for its outstanding support of American troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The church has been providing prayer ministry to troops and their families, sending military mailings of Christian literature and needed supplies, and also distributing treats for the troops for more than two years. The church has regularly supplied cases of Bibles for the regiment at the Armory as well as when they deployed.
In presenting the award to the church, Long thanked the church for meeting one particular need. He explained that upon their arrival at Balad Airbase in northern Iraq (approximately 68 kilometers north of Baghdad), they had no electricity in their barracks. The church was contacted by email and a large supply of battery-operated alarm clocks was received at the base within days.
Long stated that these alarm clocks helped to improve the operational readiness of the 149th Aviation Regiment. He also described the combat mission over Baghdad on Dec. 18 by one of the 149th’s AH-64A Apache helicopters. That particular machine is the Army’s primary attack helicopter armed with a 30mm M230 chain gun which is slaved to the gunner’s helmet-mounted gunsight.
Long was home on special leave as he and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of Colt Renton Long, who was born Jan. 14 at Golden Valley Hospital in Clinton.