A recent story in the Albia newspaper tells about the work that PFC Tyler Vitko is doing running a "Husky," one of a new line of vehicles
soldiers in the 833rd Engineering Co. are utilizing to conduct route clearance in Iraq.
Vitko is the son of Ray and Lori Vitko of Albia. Lori (Reynolds)
Vitko is a graduate of Mount Ayr Community high school and Tyler Vitko has four aunts living in the Ringgold county area -- Olive Davis, Mickey Drake,
Lila Overholser and Betty Davenport. He is the grandson of former Mount Ayr resident Marvin Reynolds, now of Sedalia, MO.
Vitko's primary job is riding
out in front of route clearance patrols and scanning. The Husky has two rectangular panels that lay flat with the ground and serve as a big metal
detector to find roadside bombs along the way.
If a suspected bomb is found, the Husky backs off and other vehicles are called in to defuse the
The Husky is operated by one person and lays markers when suspected Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) are found.
To make the operation
as safe as possible, the Husky is equipped with a V-bottom hull that is designed for blast protection, but no piece of equipment is infallible, the
When not on patrol, Vitko spends the hours off mission watching movies, playing basketball or cruising the Internet.
When he gets back
home, he plans to take some time off, go on vactions and then head to college, the story said.
Photograph courtesy of soldiersystems.net
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2015