BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Air Force Senior Airman Carl Vanlandingham, 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron structural journeyman, always knew he wanted to be a carpenter and welder.U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Carl Vanlandingham, 455th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron structural journeyman, works on a project at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, July 16, 2015. Vanlandingham builds various projects during duty and on his days off to support the mission. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cierra Presentado He said he was only 12 when he built his first project. He noticed he had a talent for working with his hands, he said, so he proceeded to experiment and build things throughout his young life. Ultimately, he decided to follow a three-generation family tradition and join the Air Force. As a civil engineer airman, he said he knew he would be able to deploy and make a difference doing what he loved.
Dream Job "I made the decision at a young age that this is what I wanted to do," Vanlandingham said. "From building a dog house to now building projects for the Air Force, I’m living my dream." Since being deployed here, Vanlandingham has worked on numerous projects, including building platforms for air conditioning units and a stand for the air traffic control tower. "We get many work orders to build things around the base," he said. "I always jump at the chance to build something new. It’s always exciting to see what the next project is going to be." During free time and days off, many airmen prefer to catch up on sleep or relax. Vanlandingham said he prefers to use his free time go to work and build things from scratch. "When I have down time, I really enjoy going to my shop and working on projects. It’s really relaxing to just build stuff with my hands," he said. "That’s what I like to do."
Cadet Maggie Walstrom, left, takes charge of the 353rd Transportation Company formation after convoy operations July 11, 2015. Walstrom, an Army private with the 353rd and an ROTC cadet at Minnesota State University at Mankato, is serving as a platoon leader during the unit's convoy operation. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Victor AyalaLARAMIE, Wyoming: Some join the military out of a lifelong call to serve their country. Others join out of a long family tradition of service. Some are drawn by the chance to make a better life or see the world. For Maggie Walstrom, the decision came abruptly.
"I'd been talking to a friend in high school who had just gotten back from basic combat training," said Walstrom, a private in the Army Reserve's 353rd Transportation Company and an ROTC cadet at the Minnesota State University at Mankato. "At that time, I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. So, I was in the gym one day at school and said to myself, 'I'm joining the Reserve when I turn 17.'" Walstrom, a Buffalo, Minnesota, native, recalled telling her parents about the decision. "I told my mom, and she thought I was nuts," she said. "My whole family thought I was crazy."
CENTRAL AMERICA, Recently, –
From time to time, we get requests for care packages from soldiers stationed all over the world. Nothing gives us more joy than being able to provide small comforts for our deployed brothers and sisters, however, we can't do it without your help and donations.
Special Purpose MAGTF SCCaptain Dan -- is a logistics officer for a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, currently stationed in Central America. The unit, originally from North Carolina, consists of "more than 250 Marines spread across 4 countries," and trains local soldiers in counter drug and trafficking operations.
Captain Dan writes that he has the capacity to send care packages to all of the Marines in the area. Morale is important to him, he said, and nothing builds morale like care packages from strangers back home.
"Some of our folks are in pretty austere locations and accessible only by helicopter. I would like to inquire what I need to do to get Care packages for these Marines. As we all know mail means morale; and care packages from strangers back home have always been the most morale building of all."
Please donate to the hard working men and women stationed overseas.
to donate and show your support for the brave men and women serving our country.
About Support Our Troops®
Support Our Troops®
is America’s Military Charity. We enhance the morale & well-being of the troops and their families worldwide. Our programs provide millions of dollars’ worth of care goods and services including family assistance, kid’s camp assistance, positive public support and more at hundreds of locations around the globe. If they’re there, we’re with them.
Please consider donating today!
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Carmelo Ayala presents his personal coin to Patricia Koether for her commitment and contribution in the Naval Hospital Bremerton internal medicine department in Washington state. Ayala has been an avid collector of coins during his 28-year naval career. He also has designed his own coin and routinely presents them to staff and beneficiaries. U.S. Navy photo by Douglas H. StutzBREMERTON, Washington: Some coins are simply worth more than money. Their face value is measured not in monetary worth, but with professional significance, personal sentiment and, at times, even historical relevance.
For Navy Lt. Cmdr. Carmelo Ayala, chief of the Naval Hospital Bremerton internal medicine department, the best example he can readily share is to reach into a uniform pocket and proudly display the commemorative coin of the 25th chief of naval operations, Navy Adm. Jeremy Michael Boorda. To Ayala, the coin’s worth lies in the fact that Boorda was the first sailor to rise up through the enlisted and officer ranks to become the Navy’s top officer. Ayala also started out as an enlisted sailor and has found his niche in the Navy Nurse Corps in his 28 years of naval service. “I just love getting and also giving coins. I have received a few over the years from mentors, hospital corpsmen, [independent duty corpsmen], Navy Nurse Corps officers and others,” the Camden, New Jersey, native said. “I am a firm believer that a coin is just a great way to say, ‘Thank you’ to someone for going that extra mile to help out.”