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Meet Your Military: Army Reservist Pursues Leadership

support our troops us army cadet maggie walstromCadet 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."

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Request: Deployed Marines ask for care packages

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 SCSpecial 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.

He writes:

"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.

Click here 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.
 
 
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Meet Your Military: Coins a Priceless Commodity for Navy Nurse

support our troops us navy lt presents his personal coin 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.”

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Meet Your Military: All-Army Triathlete on the Road to Pro

support our troops us army 1st lt triathlon competitionArmy 1st Lt. Marcus Farris, quality assurance representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District, participates in a local triathlon in Fairbanks, Alaska, May 13, 2015. Farris is trying to earn his pro card, so much of his off-duty life consists of athletics and racing individually and for groups such as the All-Army Triathlon team and U.S. Military All-Endurance Sports teamJOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska, July 14, 2015 – Underneath his quiet and cool demeanor, Army 1st Lt. Marcus Farris is ready to be unleashed on race days. A disciplined athlete, he has trained for many hours to represent and compete as a member of the All-Army Triathlon team.

Farris, a quality assurance representative in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Alaska District’s construction division, said he realized his passion for running in high school in Huntsville, Alabama. As a cadet in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, he did lots of running to prepare for physical training tests. It wasn't long before he was attending Auburn University and, in his free time, participating in ultramarathons –- distances longer than the standard 26.2 miles. Now, Farris said, his lifestyle consists of athletics and racing individually and for groups such as the All-Army Triathlon team and U.S. Military All-Endurance Sports team. “There are some days that feel like workouts and some that feel like I am playing outside,” Farris, 25, described. “It is good to see that your training pays off now and again.”

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Meet Your Military: Marine Serves His New Country

support our troops us marine corps sgt edwin maldonadoU.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Edwin Maldonado, warehouse chief with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response- Central Command, facilitates logistics in Southwest Asia, July 11, 2015. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Garrett WhiteSOUTHWEST ASIA: Although some families can trace their heritage back to the days of the founding fathers, more recent arrivals often hear the call of duty just as keenly. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Edwin Maldonado emigrated from Honduras to Miami as a child, and now he continues a recently founded family tradition of service in the U.S. military.

“For the first five years of my childhood I didn’t know my mother or father because they had already moved to the United States,” said Maldonado. “In 1993, when I was about six years old, the rest of my family began to get their visas and we all moved to the U.S.” Maldonado said his cousins were the first members of his family to join the U.S. military.

“I always knew growing up I wanted to join the military, I just didn’t know what branch I wanted to join,” he said. “I had cousins that were already in the Navy and Army, but I wanted to do more than that, be better than them.”

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Meet Your Military: Soldier Puts the Count in Accountability

support our troops us army spc imua dawn japanArmy Spc. Donna C. Moya, a human resources specialist for the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, instructs a junior soldier during Exercise Imua Dawn at Sagami Depot, Japan, July 4, 2015. Imua Dawn is the culminating training event for the 303rd MEB to achieve full operational capability status in phase 3 operations. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Melissa McGaugheySAGAMI DEPOT, Japan: It is 15:07. Army Spc. Donna C. Moya stands up. "Sir, the number of personnel on the ground is 4,721. In the last 24 hours we received enemy contact at two locations within Task Force Bayonet. Seventy-nine soldiers are being treated, 14 have been medically evacuated. Currently we are still operating at full strength. There are no additional issues. For the next 24 hours, we will continue to monitor any developing situations. Pending any questions, this concludes my brief."

There are no further questions. Moya sits down. While the words may sound simple, a vast amount of work goes on behind the scenes in order to create that accurate picture of the battlefield. In the U.S. Army, that work is done by human resource soldiers in the S-1 -- the personnel section. Moya is one of those soldiers, serving in the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade during annual training here as part of Exercise Imua Dawn. Imua Dawn is a command post exercise created specifically for maneuver enhancement brigades. The exercise covers the fictional island of Tembago, and is designed to replicate the Pacific Command area of responsibility and exercise the brigade-level staff. Within the exercise, the S-1 must maintain accountability of almost 5,000 troops operating on a simulated battlefield of more than 236 square miles. Moya’s job is to make sure the numbers add up.

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