Spreading The Word About The Humanitarian Mission Of The U.S. Military
MIAMI, April 26, 2008 – The cost of a pound of coffee in Colombia: $8. A hand-carved souvenir iguana from Cuba: $10. A cold beer in Honduras: $1.
Traveling throughout Central and South America talking to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and seeing firsthand the U.S. military’s role in the region: priceless.
“You can’t put a price on that,” said Dan Simons, president of The World Company in Lawrence, Kan. “It’s off the charts.”
Simons and about 50 other participants in the 75th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference wrapped up their week-long journey to parts of the U.S. Southern Command area of operations here last night with a dinner and an opportunity to chat with the command’s top officer, Navy Adm. James Stavridis. Miami serves as the headquarters for the command.
The JCOC is the Defense Department’s oldest outreach program. In this trip, participants traveled to Brazil, Cuba, Honduras, Colombia and here. The U.S. Southern Command area encompasses more than 30 countries and covers about 15.6 million square miles.
During the conference, participants stood on the deck of the USS George Washington and witnessed hair-raising night landings on the nuclear aircraft carrier up-close. They fired machine guns in Cuba, rode in helicopters in Honduras, and rappelled off towers in Colombia.