Moravian security officer
serves in the Balkans.
international attention has been focused on American troops
in Iraq, some of our soldiers still are standing watch
over a leftover conflict in Europe. The place is Kosovo,
where Brandon Kendall of the campus police spent eight
months with his reserve unit before he was rotated out
this spring and returned to his old job.
Brandon’s photographs show a country
of small villages, rough hills, scrubby vegetation. Its
people, worn down by war, look the way any European agricultural
populace looked about 50 years ago. Yet they, like the
Iraqis, are moved by ugly forces unleashed in the 20th
century. The Muslim Kosovars, at least, regard Americans
as the good guys, but that doesn’t mean it’s
a jolly duty station.
An affable stocky guy, Brandon and his unit
were part of the Multinational Brigade (East), the American
increment of a NATO-sponsored outfit that has kept the
peace in Kosovo since 1999. The American sector has about
The brigade includes both NATO troops and soldiers from NATO’s
Partnership for Peace allies. Multinational Brigade (North),
for instance, is a French military police unit under command
of a French general, but it also comprises a Danish tank
battalion, a unit of armored personnel carriers from the
United Arab Emirates, Russian and Belgian troops, and a Jordanian-Moroccan
battalion that specializes in medical support for the population.
The American sector supplies the same services
with its own troops, weapons, and equipment. Brandon says
its work was to set up checkpoints, confiscate weapons
from illegal caches, and patrol its area to prevent outbreaks
of ethnic violence. It provided medical assistance and
brought school supplies to Kosovar children.
The Kosovo conflict actually began in 1989,
with the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, but ignited
into civil war in 1998, when a guerrilla force from the
largely ethnic Albanian population challenged Serbian troops
sent by the government of Slobodan Milosevic.
Within a short time, there were more than
1,500 Kosovar casualties, some 400,000 refugees displaced
when their homes and crops were destroyed, and evidence
of several gruesome incidents of ethnic cleansing. NATO
stepped into the situation in 1999 after U.N.-approved
bombing strikes that persuaded Milosevic to withdraw his
According to Brandon, the peace is uneasy,
punctuated by shooting incidents, weapons discoveries,
and inexplicable (to the Americans) outbreaks of ethnic
hatred. There were times when he thought he could trust
only the half-wild dogs who guarded the church in the nearest
town. At least they seemed to consider the American troops
Brandon is under no illusions that one side
or the other in the Kosovar conflict is “right.” He
says when the NATO troops leave, ethnic strife will break
out anew. He shrugged when it was mentioned that last year’s
incoming freshman class had read The Hemingway Book Club
of Kosovo, with its definite anti-Serb slant. One evening
on his rounds at the College, he happened to meet Borko
Milosev ’04, an international student from Serbia,
and they had a long talk about the Kosovo situation, agreeing
that it was nowhere near resolution.
Back at the College, Brandon claims the 8:00
p.m. to 4:00 a.m. shift. It helps him coordinate child
care with his wife, Barbara, now that they have a 6-month-old
girl, Taylor Arwyn.
Brandon Kendall of Multinational
Brigade (East) in Kosovo (above), and one of the half-wild
dogs who keeps watch over an empty church in a nearby
village. Also featured is a soldier with two bear cubs.
serves in Kosovo.
photo of Bethlehem
Street in Tondabayashi,
Japan, our sister
14 Moravian students attend LeaderShape, a leadership
camp and workshop at the University of Illinois.
to Impact Awards
in last issue.
staff, student accomplishments, new hires,
faculty and staff departures, etc.