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JBLM's QM Soldiers provide soothing showers

5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Published: 04:14PM June 26th, 2014

Sweat trickled down his forehead as a Soldier emerged from the dense forest. His rucksack had worn him down. Stumbling up the hill with heavy legs, he sighed with relief after catching sight of the shower tent.

Soldiers from the 295th Quartermaster Company, 593rd Exeditionary Sustainment Command supported Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, I Corps with personal hygiene services during a weeklong training exercise June 17 to 20.

“We provide shower, laundry and clothing repair supporting I Corps, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, tenant units and the western region,” said Staff Sgt. Marvin Viney, platoon sergeant, 295th QM Co. “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our skills and inform Soldiers about other services we provide.”

The 12-stall shower unit is capable of supporting an average of 120 Soldiers per day with approximately 500 gallons of water, said Viney.

The laundry section can service approximately 21,000 Soldiers per week with 15 pounds of laundry per Soldier, said Cpl. Chris Blais, laundry shower and textile specialist, 295th QM Co.

According to Viney, each of the six shower, laundry and clothing repair sections can support roughly 3,500 Soldiers per week.

“The best part of the job is being able to provide customer service to those in the field,” Blais said. “It is great to see people happy and be thanked for providing these services after a long day in the field.”

Soldiers from HHB lined up to utilize the shower services when they opened that first evening. Every day after, Soldiers rushed to get in the line first.

“It was really nice to have a warm shower to help wash away the dirt and grime from being in the field,” said Spc. Michael Bonner, mode channels operator, C Company, HHB. “It helped ease my time in the field by being clean and not using moist towelettes.”

In addition to the shower and laundry service, the 295th QM Co. has a renovation shop on JBLM Lewis North that produces nameplates, conducts minor repairs on Army Combat Uniforms, High Mobility Multi Wheeled Vehicle doors, tent canvas, and special projects such as leader books and guidons, Viney said.

We do all these repairs and services to uniforms at no cost to Soldiers with a three-day turnaround,” he said. “We save Soldiers more than $60,000 annually.”

According to Command Sgt. Maj. Woodrow Ishman Jr., command sergeant major, HHB, requesting quartermaster support, is not only a benefit to the Soldier but allows the 295th QM Co. to exercise their equipment. It was also a chance for Soldiers to see the different services the Army can bring to field training.

“It is nice to put on fresh clothes and take a shower,” said Ishman. “You don’t have to leave the field site and can stay focused on the mission.”

“Sometimes we take the small things for granted,” said Ishman. “This is a big morale booster.”