Nepali native sails toward goals in Iraq

3 Feb 2007 | Lance Cpl. Andrew Kalwitz

A Pyuthan, Nepal, native has proven to be of great worth to the fix-it-up process at the Camp Taqaddum Surgical Detachment.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Shiva R. Giri, a surgical corpsman with Charlie Surgical Company, 1st Medical Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), has been an asset to his unit since arriving here in August. Whether with his ability to speak six languages fluently or by donating his own blood to help a patient in need, he has helped his unit on levels beyond his required duties, according to his peers.

"He's an outstanding sailor and has a very positive demeanor about him," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Donald W. Clark, the operations chief from Giri's unit.

Already having a two-year bachelor's degree from Tibhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, Giri enlisted in the Navy to acquire his United States citizenship and enroll in American college courses.

"He studies the hardest out here," said Clark. "I think his maturity helps him. He's very focused on furthering his education."

Giri has completed two classes with the University of Phoenix since enlisting. He plans to continue progressing toward his master's degree when he returns to the U.S. after his deployment.

Giri has also been exposed to cultures beyond those of Nepal and the United States. While living in Saudi Arabia for two years, he worked in a restaurant where customers and co-workers played a part in his understanding of Arabic cultures.

"We've had him translate for patients and that's great help because we only have two translators here and when they aren't available we can use him," said Clark, an Atlanta native.  "One of his languages crosses over into Arabic and he is able to understand what our Iraqi patients are trying to say."

Equipped with all his skills and knowledge, Giri plans to someday earn a commission and become a naval officer.

"My wife, Manju, whom I married March of 2006, wants to see me in an officer uniform someday," said Giri. "Also, my mom and dad always wanted me to work as an officer. They would be very proud to hear what I became."

Giri not only receives encouragement from his wife and his family in Nepal, but from his second family, the Navy. His fellow sailors have been supportive of his goal to become an officer.

"It would be an honor for me to write a recommendation for him to be selected for Officer Candidates School," said Capt. Michael A. Thompson, Giri's officer-in-charge. "He already embodies those qualities inherent in our best officers."

Through the acknowledgement of Giri's qualities, Thompson expressed much appreciation for the sailor and skills he brings.

"He has great intelligence, honor, and personal dedication, as well as organizational and interpersonal skills that are the hallmark of a good leader."

As Giri looks to his future, the Navy continues to look to him. The goals of the one and the opportunities made available by the other compliment each other much like the tools of a handyman's toolbox.
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