Base awarded for lifesaving work in Iraq - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Base awarded for lifesaving work in Iraq

March 26, 2004

Albany- This is lifesaving steel.

Marine Base workers spent more than a month making these armor kits. They attach to trucks and Humvees in Iraq to keep Marines safe. The job was done right and it was done fast.

"But when peoples lives really are on the line for that, you do what you can when you can to try to make sure that they're safe," said Larry Benson, a welder at the base.

Secretary of the Navy Gordon England thanked those workers today and awarded the base for the job. But will that work be remembered when the pentagon decides what bases will close next year?

"I mean, I don't know how the outcome's going to come out," England said. "But we have a whole year of analysis to do. But look, these folks do an essential job for America and they're doing a great job and that's what we need to have."

So base employees will keep working for now. And South Georgia leaders will be campaigning for the base to stay open.

"What we know has happened in Iraq because of the men and women right here at the Marine Corps Base in Albany certainly is going to be to our advantage from the stand point of keeping this base off the list," Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R) Georgia.

The fact is Albany's base is small and the work could be done somewhere else. But it wouldn't be done by these capable hands.

"The people here feel confident that the work we do is top notch," Benson said. "We can only do the best that we can do and then leave it in the hands of the people making the decision."

Knowing their work saved lives will stay with these base employees forever. And eventually they'll know if their work saved the life of this base.

posted at 9:28 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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