1st Theater Sustainment Command


News Stories

Military daughter is “Rock Star” to deployed Soldiers

By Capt. Joshua Sik | 135th Expeditionary Sustainment Command | June 06, 2022

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait --

Deployments are always a challenge for families, but one Soldier and his daughter have found a way to stay connected. Kindel Whitaker paints rocks with creative designs, and her father, Capt. Michael Whitaker, hides them throughout Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. Other Soldiers then have the opportunity to find them, take a picture with the rock, and hide it somewhere else for another Soldier to find.

“It’s a great way for us to stay connected,” said Whitaker. “We used to do geocaching together, and this gives her a creative outlet while I’m deployed. We also both see it as a way of honoring those who sacrifice.”

"It's something for me and Papa to do together while he is gone," Kindel agreed. "It keeps us connected with him being so far away. Plus it's nice to think it might bring a smile to other Soldiers' faces too."

Capt. Whitaker is currently deployed with the 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Operational Command Post (TSC-OCP), but this is not the first deployment to separate them. In fact, Whitaker was also deployed the day Kindel was born.

There are twenty of Kindel’s painted rocks already distributed around Camp Arifjan. She intends to continue sending approximately a dozen every month, each with a unique design. By the time Capt. Whitaker’s unit redeploys back to the United States, there will likely be around one hundred rocks for Soldiers to find, long after he leaves.

“I’ve already found four rocks,” said Capt. TJ Case, also deployed to Camp Arifjan with the 1st TSC-OCP. “And I fully intend to find them all.” When asked why he does it, he responded, “It’s fun, but I’m also doing it to make my friend’s daughter happy.”

If any Soldier finds one of these rocks, they can upload their picture to https://www.facebook.com/Kindels-Rocks-for-Soldiers-115200034499365. After that, they may hide the rock anywhere on Camp Arifjan. Kindel only asks that they put it in a safe place where anybody has the opportunity to find it.