Monday April 21, 2014
A Department of State staffer was the top finisher in the Boston Marathon Shadow Run held in east Afghanistan during the early morning hours April 18. The event was hosted by the Watertown- based, 10th Mountain Division according to Syracuse.com.
More than 500 service members and civilians deployed to Afghanistan competed in this year's event. Josh Peterson covered the 26.2 mile course in 2 hours, 39 minutes for a first place finish. Captain Daniella Mestyanek, of Houston, was the first place in the female division. Mestyanek, a member of the Task Force Lift, ran 3 hours, 12 minutes.
The Boston Athletic Association has assisted the shadow marathons by providing Boston Marathon start and finish banners, bibs, T-shirts, medals, and finisher certificates for participants. This is the last Boston Marathon Shadow Run affiliated with Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Monday April 14, 2014
April is the Month of the Military Child. It's a time to remember that military children serve and sacrifice too. Every move is yet another adjustment. Saying goodbye to old friends and making new ones is the routine.
The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents. When military children serve, they do so by making sacrifices when parents are deployed, through frequent moves, starting new schools and making new friends on a continuing basis.
To honor military children for their sacrifices and service, DOD and the services have planned activities this month that range from installation-based fairs, parades, and literacy and art events.
We want to use this month to not only acknowledge how strong military children are, but to also focus on supporting them through the struggles they encounter due to the lifestyle that comes with being a part of the military. These children are our future.
Friday April 11, 2014
Perhaps you've seen the story in the news - on one occasion or another, a member of the military serving overseas is highlighted as trying to bring home kittens or puppies that were found and adopted. Soldiers report that these dogs and cats provide them with much-needed comfort and companionship during military conflicts. Many military personnel serving in Iraq in the early 2000s found that they wanted to adopt the strays they had grown to love.
Over the years, hundreds of animals have been used United States military - not simply dogs, but horses, camels, pigeons, and chickens (to name a quick few) - and, of course, the Navy has used marine animals such as dolphins and sea lions. All branches of the military have used animals in one way or another, be it as a mascot, or an actual working animal.
For more about the military and it's mascots head over to our latest article Animals and the Military - a brief ramble.
Monday April 7, 2014
Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana put his Universal Sign Language skills to use April 4 as he translated while Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf according to a Department of Defense News Article.
Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise in which U.S. service members train with Belizean professionals in engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and nongovernment organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment to build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.
Stella Maris is one of three schools in Belize City to receive new facilities from the Belizean military's light engineer company and the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps civil engineers. The interaction offered both students and teachers a different perspective of service members outside the construction at the school.