Army 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.”
U.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.”