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Meet Your Military: Drill Instructor, Recruit Reunite Decades Later

support our troops marine corps promoted master gunnery sgtMarine Corps Master Sgt. Thomas Draffen is promoted to master gunnery sergeant at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., April 1, 2015. Draffen was promoted by retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett, who was his drill instructor at boot camp. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Xzavior T. McNealMARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz., April 2, 2015 – Newly promoted Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Draffen stood at attention in front of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 building here yesterday. His uniform’s collar lay bare for a moment before two pairs of hands deftly pinned in place the rank he has worked 20 years to achieve.

Behind him, friends and peers mirrored the air traffic controller’s tall stance. To his left, his wife, who he has been with since before his enlistment in 1994, secured one side of his collar. On his right, retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett -- the drill instructor responsible for making Draffen into a Marine -- secured the other.

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Meet Your Military: Female Airman Seeks to "Make a Difference"

support our troops us airman fourth generationAir Force Senior Airman Julie Breault of the 97th Security Forces Squadron at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., is a 4th-generation service member, and she aspires to be the first female chief master sergeant of the Air Force. Breault said she chose security forces because she feels like she can make a difference as a defender. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Megan E. AcsALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., April 1, 2015 – Air Force Senior Airman Julie Breault said the desire to serve in the military was instilled in her at a young age. “I wanted to be security forces. I know a lot of people go into the Air Force and get weeded into security forces, but I chose it because I feel like as security forces I can truly make a difference,” said Breault, who is a 4th-generation service member.

While the security forces career field has traditionally been male-oriented, Breault said she remains undeterred and unaffected by gender-role stereotypes.

Gender ‘Doesn’t Matter’ “Being in a career field that is primarily male-dominated feels relatively normal to me,” Breault said. “I understand women are outnumbered in security forces, but the guys do a really good job of treating me equally. When stuff hits the fan, it doesn’t matter [the] the gender of the person to the left or right of you. We’re defenders. That’s the label I’d prefer.” Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Smith, Breault’s supervisor at the 97th Security Forces Squadron here, noted that her performance is exemplary and said she performs her duties just as well, if not better, than many of the males in the same career field.

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Care Packages to Afghanistan

A history of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 455th Air Expeditionary WingA recent photo of the 455th Air Expeditionary WingRecently, Afghanistan - On an USAF base in a Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, there’s an elite unit of soldiers proudly named the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing (455 AEW). Support Our Troops recently had the privilege to provide these patriots with care packages and letters, and remind them how grateful Americans are for the job they do. The 455th has a storied history, dating back to World War 2. The current unit was activated in 2001, and its members are deployed throughout the world.

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Soldier requests care package

A Deployed Soldier craves an American treat

Soldiers complete fire qualification/request care packageSoldiers from 3rd Battalion, 13th Field Artillery successfully completed M270A1, Multiple Launch Rocket System, crew live fire qualification Feb. 26, at Fort Sill, Okla.OCONUS, 2-25-2015- Soldier Francis -- is currently deployed. His unit, an artillery brigade, is originally from Oklahoma. He wrote to Support Our Troops from our contact page, asking for a simple donation of a care package of something that will help him ease the transition to being so far away. He’ll be overseas for another eight months, and he misses home. He asked for beef jerky for him and his fellow soldiers.

Here’s his letter:

Good Morning. First of all thank you and God bless you to all the things you do and for supporting the troops and Soldiers all over the world. My Unit is currently deployed right now and we would really appreciate if you can help us with some of those delicious beef jerky. I really appreciate all the help. We currently don’t have any jerky in our location. The Soldiers would love and appreciate all the help you can do. Give us a little taste of home. We just got here and we’ll be here for the next 8 months. Hoping for your kind consideration.

SOT is working on his request. Please message us if you can, and donate to help fill this unit’s request for support.

Whish Body supports the troops

Kind donation of goods from American Company Whish Body

support our troops mother of national guardsmenMrs. -- hugs her son, Senior Airman Wesley --, as she, along with his sister Senior Airman Melissa -- gives well wishes to SrA Wesley -- as he departs on a deployment as a member of the 124th Security Forces Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, on November 18, 2008 (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Robert Barney / RELEASED)CONUS, 2-18-2015 - Recently, Support Our Troops was able to provide $60,372 of much welcomed comforts and supplies for the Idaho National Guard. In cooperation with Whish Body, a bath and body care company sold in Nordstrom and through the Internet with companies like Birchbox, SOT provided various scented body butters and washes, in flavors like orange cream and lavender.

No donation is too big or too small, and anything given supports the troops while they do the difficult work we admire them for. Though the regular Joe and Janet may use products like these on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget that our men and women in the armed forces might not have access to the common creature comforts the rest of us do. On a daily basis, soldiers deal with the visceral and psychological challenges of serving our country, and anytime we can provide, it’s a way to ease the burden of that difficult job. The goods arrived and Maj. James -- was excited to disperse them amongst the soldiers and their families, saying: “Many thanks for this donation. Just received it today and will get it out to our Service Members!! Best regards.”  

SOT® Rings In New Year with Rebuilt Site

Caption Text There’s a whole lot of new this year for the troops and their families! To better serve America’s military community Support Our Troops® rings in the New Year with a total SupportOurTroops.Org rebuild.

  • Built for speed
  • Built for portability
  • Visually engaging, user-friendly
  • Clean modern look
  • Simplified to navigate
  • Adapts to the type of device accessing it, whether hand-held or computer
  • Total social media integration.

SupportOurTroops.Org remains grand central station connecting up everyone and everything. It remains primarily content driven, focused on informing the public about the troops and their families. It connects up all of SOT’s programs, all troop-support groups, and everyone doing anything useful to bolster those currently serving in America’s military community. A revision of items offered on the cart will take place January through April. So check out the new site and pass on the good news everyone! Thank you! Martin C. Boire, Chairman January 1, 2015

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