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Veterans' Reflections: Third-Generation Sailor Recalls Service

[caption id="attachment_4402" align="alignleft" width="300"]ThirdGenerationSailor11252010 Former Navy officer John Gainer, bottom row center, poses for a photo with several signalmen assigned to the communications division aboard the USS John L. Hall. Gainer said it was a great honor to have served fellow Americans. Courtesy photo[/caption] WASHINGTON – As a third-generation Navy man, John Gainer knew what kind of commitment and dedication it would take when he accepted a commission in 1992.
“Service to our country is one of the most important things you can do as a citizen of the United States,” he said. “It’s one thing my father taught me, and his father had taught him. It was something that was taught to us through our family -- that service and dedication to the cause of freedom is something to be upheld.”While he was serving aboard a ship in the Persian Gulf following Operation Desert Shield, Gainer said, he was reminded almost daily of that dedication to service as he oversaw maritime intercept missions. He and his crew were a part of the Mideast Force’s naval blockade in 1994. If an incoming ship was thought to have cargo violating United Nations sanctions on Iraq, it was up to them to go through the ship’s hold to find it.Gainer said some of his most vivid memories come from long days and nights, watching his crew dig through boxes and crates searching for contraband. “Sometimes we would spend eight, 10, 12 hours out on a ship, going through crates and boxes, making sure there was nothing illegal being transported to Iraq,” he said. “Their dedication to that mission was most impressive to me.” But the best glimpse into Gainer’s own dedication to his country comes in his humility about it. While some brag and boast of the great things they did while in uniform, Gainer said he was just happy to be able to work for the nation and, as he put it, “the cause of freedom.” “I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to serve -- to serve the American people and to defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said. (“Veterans’ Reflections” is a collection of stories of men and women who served their country in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and the present-day conflicts. They will be posted throughout November in honor of Veterans Day.) Nov. 25, 2010: By Ian Graham- Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity
 
Article Redistributed by Support Our Troops Redistributed by www.SupportOurTroops.org

Deployed Airmen Celebrate Thanksgiving Downrange

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN, November 23, 2016 - Members of the 455th Expeditionary Medical Group decorated a table for Thanksgiving with placemats sent in care packages Nov. 24, 2016 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Decorations, cards and gifts sent in care packages help brighten the holidays for deployed service members.

Thanksgiving 2016 - Deployed Airmen Celebrate Thanksgiving Downrange supportourtroops.org Photo by Senior Airman Daniel Lasal

2015 Financials - $34 Million in Goods & Services Delivered

On behalf of the active duty troops and their families we thank the American people and SOT’s Patriotic Partner® companies for their support which was clearly evident in 2015. Support Our Troops delivered over 98% percent of its resources to program goods and services for the troops, their spouses, and their kids. 
October saw the completion of calculation the 2015 financials, completion of SOT’s annual independent audit, and Return filing, and the results made one proud to be an American.


2015 Snapshot

 
     
Programs
(p. 10, ln. 25b)
$34,897,857 2015 snapshot pie chart 300
Administrative
(p. 10, ln. 25c)
$292,355
Fundraising
(p. 10, ln. 25d)
$20,146
   
   
   

The financials demonstrate organizational efficiency combining with highly effective programs to yield great impact — 98% average to program goods and services to the troops, their spouses, and their kids CY2013 - CY2015.

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Meet your Military - Soldier's Idea Saves Army Big Money

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct. 7, 2016 —

Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. Wesley Todd of La Porte, Indiana, invented a device that improves soldier safety and equipment longevity while working on a light-towed howitzer.

Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. Wesley Todd, of La Porte, Indiana, places his invention that’s used to remove the muzzle break from the light towed howitzer, onto a lathe at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in North Riverside, Illinois, Sept. 21, 2016. Todd device improves soldiers’ safety and equipment longevity while working on the light towed howitzer. Illinois Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. AdamsIllinois Army National Guard Sgt. Wesley Todd, of La Porte, Indiana, places his invention that’s used to remove the muzzle break from the light towed howitzer, onto a lathe at the Combined Support Maintenance Shop in North Riverside, Illinois, Sept. 21, 2016. Todd device improves soldiers’ safety and equipment longevity while working on the light towed howitzer. Illinois Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Robert R. AdamsTodd’s idea is being adopted by the entire U.S. Army later this year, and is projected to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps more.

“I am shocked that the Army is going to adopt something I designed myself,” said Todd, a noncommissioned officer with the 333rd Military Police Company in Freeport, Illinois, and a military technician with the Combined Support Maintenance Shop at North Riverside Armory in North Riverside, Illinois.

“It’s an honor to know I improved the Army in a small way,” Todd said.

Army Maj. Gen. Richard J. Hayes, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard, said Todd’s invention will affect the Army in more than a small way.

Invention Provides Savings, Safety Benefits

“This soldier’s invention will increase safety and save the entire Army hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment parts and repair time,” Hayes said. “These are resources that will now be able to be devoted to other U.S. Army priorities. Sgt. Todd and his leadership have set a great example.”

Hayes added,“Sgt. Todd has shown how a single Illinois Army National Guard soldier can improve a process for the entire Army, and his leadership has shown us a great example of how to listen to your soldiers’ ideas and help them implement positive changes. I’m proud to have these soldiers under my command.”

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Meet Your Military: Decorated Soldier Becomes Marine

support our troops org decorated soldier becomes marineMarine Corps Private First Class Sean F. Evans, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, stands in front of his squad bay at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, May 17, 2016. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Tyler ViglioneMARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, June 09, 2016 — Joining the military is a life changing experience, and reaching the end of a contract can sometimes lead to an emptiness that can only be filled by joining the ranks once again.

Marine Corps Private First Class Sean F. Evans, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion here, felt that emptiness since leaving the Army almost six years ago, and believed the Marine Corps was the best way to fill the void.

Evans says he was always interested in the infantry. In 2004, at age 18, he enlisted in the Army to become an infantryman. After infantry school, he attended airborne school and then reported to his first unit -- the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Less than two years later, Evans was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he spent a year conducting patrols, executing missions involving high-value targets and cross-training with Iraqi forces. During his tour, he received several individual awards, including the Combat Action Badge. Additionally, his unit received three Valorous Unit Awards, which is the second-highest unit award and is considered the unit equivalent of the Silver Star. It is awarded to units that show extraordinary heroism against armed enemies.

A Second Deployment

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