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Meet Your Military: Soldier Earns Olympic Berth at Pan American Games

support our troops us army world class athlete program tabooArmy Spc. Nathan Schrimsher of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program rides a horse named Taboo, en route to earning a berth for the 2016 Olympic Games with a third-place finish in men's Modern Pentathlon at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, July 19, 2015. U.S. Army photo by Tim HippsTORONTO: Army Spc. Nathan Schrimsher earned an automatic berth into the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with a third-place finish July 19 in men's Modern Pentathlon at the 2015 Pan American Games here.

Schrimsher, 23, a soldier in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, or WCAP, from Roswell, New Mexico, took the bronze medal in the five-sports-in-one-day event with 1,421 points. "I'm ecstatic," Schrimsher said. "Yes, sir, it's awesome." WCAP Sgt. Dennis Bowsher, 32, a 2012 Olympian from Dallas, finished 10th with 1,348 points in the event, which includes fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping and combines cross-country running and laser pistol shooting -- all in one day. "I think my day was OK," Bowsher said. "I'm definitely feeling my age. The whole goal today was for one of us to get an Olympic quota spot, so mission accomplished." Charles Fernandez of Guatemala won the gold with 1,444 points, followed by silver medalist Ismael Hernandez Uscanga of Mexico with 1,439 points. Fourth- and fifth-place finishers Jose Figueroa (1,415) of Cuba and Emmanuel Zapata (1,413) of Argentina also punched tickets to Rio de Janeiro by virtue of by-name Olympic berths awarded to the top five.

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Meet Your Military: Ranger Saves Drowning Child

FORT BENNING, Georgia: On the afternoon of July 11, Army Rangers Spc. Luke Smith, Sgt. Khali Pegues, and Sgt. Brian Miller were cleaning up after hosting a barbecue with members of the 75th Ranger Regiment at a community pool area here when they heard cries for help.

support our troops us army spc saves drowning childArmy Spc. Luke Smith, 75th Ranger Regiment, saved the life of a drowning child, July 11, 2015, at Fort Benning, Georgia. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael R. NoggleA child about 6 years old had fallen into the pool and drowned. "We heard a woman scream and some commotion from another party," Pegues, Smith’s supervisor, said. "I grabbed Smith to head over there, because I knew he had extensive training in CPR and [lifesaving] techniques." Smith, a native of North East, Maryland, was a Boy Scout before he enlisted in the Army in 2011. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout as well as earning the Life-Saving Merit Badge and had extensive training in performing CPR.

Operating on Instinct "We got over there and then I went into a tunnel vision," Smith said. "As soon as I saw the child, I immediately asked everyone around if anyone was a current lifeguard or medical provider. No one responded." Smith and Miller assessed that the child was unconscious and had no pulse. In addition, the child’s abdomen was swollen and her lips were blue, Smith said. The soldiers immediately started CPR. As Smith began chest compressions, he called for the child’s father to begin rescue breathing. He instructed the father to do half-breaths, so the child’s lungs would not overexpand. After the second cycle of CPR, Smith said he began to fear the worst. "As I was giving her chest compressions, I was staring her in the face and praying," said Smith. "Please God, let me save this little girl."

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Meet Your Military: Civil Engineer Airman Builds Toward Dream

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.support our troops us airforce senior airman works on days offU.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."

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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.

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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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