TDHS grad does duty in Afghanistan

Thomas Dale High School graduate, now U.S. Army PFC, Kyle Kovalenko is currently in Herat, Afghanistan in the Western Province, doing his duty, out of Camp Stone.  PFC Kovalenko works  patrolling, either mounted (in a Humvee or truck) or unmounted (on foot) “clearing current threats from the local Taliban, camped out in the mountains,” said Kovalenko in a email received by the Village News on Monday.

In the military since 2009, Kovalenko was sent to Afghanistan in November of last year. He’s extremely interested in letting his family and friends know how he’s doing, he says.  He has sent pictures as a part of his birthday gift to his family. His birthday was Monday, Feb. 21.

Kovalenko is the son of Karen Kovalenko. He has two sisters: Jessica and Stephine. After high school, he said, where his “only sport and passion was wrestling,” Kovalenko attended basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia for a total of 15 weeks where he was platoon guide for his company, 3-47 Charlie Company. Now in the Special Troops Battalion, Fourth Infantry Division, or 1st B-4th ID for short, he will be deployed in Afghanistan until around November of this year.

Kovalenko said, “24-hour guard duty is conducted daily and a roster is put out every month so you know when your day is going to be super boring. We work hand-in-hand with the local Afghan army, Italian army, Spanish army and Slovenian army.” He said his unit has created jobs for the local Afghans such as full-time cooks or constructors of new barracks and gyms for soldiers.

Kovalenko’s job is a mixture of different elements. “I go on mounted patrols and all the infantry stuff, but I also have a top secret clearance as a nodal network security operator, providing secure and non secure communications (coms) to everyone on the battlefield as well as the camp. It could be something as simple as securing lines to commanders down range or as complicated as coms to Kandahar to get air support.”

Kovalenko promises to keep us abreast of his actions in Afghanistan.

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