For his dedication to troops serving overseas in Iraq, former Brazil resident Michael B. Harvey recently received an American Flag that flew over the Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
"I was really surprised to learn of the presentation of the flag in honor of my support to the troops," Harvey told The Brazil Times via e-mail. "I feel that I could not have achieved this without the team effort and support provided by the men who work for me."
Harvey, a 1980 graduate of Brazil High School, currently works as the Electrical Superintendent for Fluor Government GROUP, CETAC II -- Task Order 22, in Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq.
According to its website, Fluor is a "Fortune 500 Company that delivers engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance (EPCM) and project management to governments and clients in diverse industries around the world."
The company has 60 global office locations on six continents and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.
The Flag was given Aug. 2, 2010, to Harvey in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the service men and women of the United States Forces -- Iraq.
The company provides contractor support and logistics work for U.S. military troops stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.
Harvey supervises four departments that consist of 50 third country national electricians, who are from Jordan, Egypt, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the Philippines.
"We provide operations and maintenance to buildings that house military operations," Harvey said. "We maintain the 11kV (high voltage) distribution grid and the sub-stations and perform preventive maintenance to buildings and structures that house military operations. We also perform new construction activities for the military."
Harvey has been with Fluor for approximately 18 months.
Harvey served in the U.S. Army for four years after graduating from high school. After being honorably discharged in 1984, he started working for the U.S. government in Europe.
"I was based in Frankfurt, Germany, and traveled to military installations all over Europe as a Field Service Technician."
He has been in the Middle East since November 2008.
"It is very challenging to say the least," he said. "You have communication issues when dealing with workers from so many different countries. There are also cultural and religious customs that we must work through.
"We work on a military base that you do not leave. We are not authorized to travel off the base unless escorted by military convoy or transportation by military aircraft."
Harvey said he oversaw electrical departments of five Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) when he first arrived in Iraq.
"I traveled by military helicopter to perform my job," he said.
While there, he ran into members of the 138th Quartermaster Support Company, based in Brazil.
"That was a unique experience for me to see some friends and children of friends while over there," Harvey said.
He received the American Flag from United States Forces -- Iraq Commanding General Raymond T. Odierno.
"I am very honored to have met General Odierno," Harvey said. "Definitely, the most respected and revered person I have ever met."