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April 2009 • www.army.mil

The Official U.S. Army Magazine

Life as an Army 'brat'

The military through children's eyes

Army values a way of life

Soldier's family survives Hurricane Katrina

Believe in tomorrow
Help for families of critically ill children

'Deal or No Deal'
Soldier competes in popular game show

April: Month of the Military Child

* Kids' Puzzle—Page 27
* 2009 Earth Day Poster enclosed
Soldiers APRIL 2009 • VOLUME 64, NO. 4
Lacey Justinger

Children from various child development centers enjoy a day of water games at Kelly Park, Fort Bliss, Texas.

[ On the Cover ] [ Coming Next Month ]

Toddlers from the Fort Bliss Main May 2009 - Honoring the Fallen
Child Development Center parade
down Haan Road in a decorated
wagon during the Red, White and
Blue parade to honor the Army's
233rd birthday last year.
Contents April

Life as an Army 'brat'

04 Children talk about what it's like growing
up with parents in the Army.

Teen driving Defending America from space

08 24
Feature Stories

Simulator helps teens in Europe learn to The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense
drive. Command protects the homeland.

11 A reason to believe
Critically ill military kids and their fami- 'Deal or No Deal'
lies relax and have a good time. 28 A Soldier competes in a popular TV game
20 Army values
An Army mother and her son survive
Hurricane Katrina.
(Above photo) Military kids play a board
game in Ocean City, Md., during a
Believe in Tomorrow retreat weekend.
The weekend was organized so military
families with sick children could relax
and bond with each other. Photo cour-
tesy of Believe in Tomorrow.


03 My Army Benefits After being called to attention, a

"squad" from 555th Engr. Bde.'s
deployment camp sounds off with
15 Operation Tribute to Freedom its company motto. Photo by Spc.
Lindsey M. Bradford


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2 www.army.mil/publications
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The official benefits website for the U.S. Army • Comprehensive and up-to-date • In English and Spanish
Campers line up for the military-style obstacle course at Operation Purple’s
Camp Sandy Cove in High View, W.Va., a summer camp for military kids.

Life as an Army
Story & photos by Elizabeth M. Collins

4 www.army.mil/publications
ONSTANT moving. Dif-
ficulty making and keeping
friends. Parents who may leave
for months at a moment’s notice. Extra
responsibilities. Loneliness. Missed
birthdays and holidays. Constant
fear that this time mom or dad
might never come home.
These are the hallmarks of
life as a military “brat,” said
Army kids at an Operation
Purple summer camp for mili-
tary children. But with these
drawbacks come immense
pride, patriotism, maturity and
strength, along with a national
and often global outlook.
Created in 2004 by the Na-
tional Military Family Association,
Operation Purple’s free camps are
designed to help military brats relax
and have fun, while bonding with
other kids who understand the rigors
of watching parents march off to war
and moving every few years.
“It’s really fun and I think it helps
a lot of kids whose moms or dads
are in the Army,” said nine-year-old
Abigail Zipperer. “We talk and stuff.
Sometimes at school, a lot of kids don’t
know what it’s like to have your parents
in the military. And you move a lot and
you have to make new friends all over
again. And they don’t know how you
feel if something happens.”
According to organizers, about
10,000 kids attended 62 camps in 37
states and territories last year, up from
4,000 kids and 37 camps in 2007.
Campers participated in such activi-
ties as trapeze, archery, skateboarding,
horseback riding, gymnastics, self-
defense, drama, air rifle and chess.
Organizers also planned military-
centric activities to help the kids
understand what their parents do for a
living, said Tim Glass, program direc-
tor at Camp Sandy Cove in High View,
W.Va. Obstacle courses and team-
building exercises like guiding a blind-
folded friend through a second series of
obstacles reflected military training and
Kids practiced writing letters and
postcards to help them keep in touch
with deployed parents, made hero post-
ers of their parents and got a true taste
Soldiers • April 2009 5
of military life with Meals- tried to fill the void when his mother
Ready-to-Eat, which was deployed to Kuwait in 2005, al-
received mixed reviews. though Jacob said he also tried to look
“It makes you feel out for his little brother.
pera like that’s what (our In fact, when one parent is gone,
ns at O View,
less High parents) are doing so an older sibling like Jacob or Abigail’s
trapeze Cove in kids.
akes Sandy military
kid t p r you can do it too,” older sister Audrey, 13, often has to
n Army le’s Cam camp fo
A P u rp mmer said Katherine Riley, 12, take up some of the slack.
tion a., a su
W. V whose father had recently returned With her mother often busy as a
from Iraq. family readiness group leader, Audrey
Army kids also said that no matter said she became almost a second parent
ar-old what, they know their moms and dads during her father’s two deployments.
y Bea
le pra are real-life superheroes. She sometimes cooked dinner, she
s arc “My mom’s my cleaned the house with Abigail and she
hero since forever, potty-trained her baby brother.
because even before “Being an Army kid is definitely
the war she was always different than being your normal, aver-
a strong person,” said age kid,” she said. “We go through a
16-year-old Jeremy Beale. lot tougher situations that require us to
“She graduated when have certain things like courage and the
she was about my age. ability to withstand pressure. And you
And knowing that this have to be responsible, definitely.”
is her third time over, it’s “You have to be prepared for
just amazing to me that the anything, because anything can happen
Army would send her three and you have to be prepared for bad
times and she would just keep things and good things,” added Abigail.
military going.” Audrey said that she got angry
, and other
erer (left), 13 Jeremy’s mother is currently when her father left-angry at him,
Audrey Zipp eback riding.
kids learn ho on her third deployment to angry at the situation and angry in
Iraq, and his father has also general. It just wasn’t fair, she said, but
deployed. Jeremy said that his her mother would remind her that her
parents worked hard to keep father didn’t start this war. She should
from deploying at the same be angry, her mother said, with the
time, but that he’s closer to people who did.
his mother, so having her “We’d cry and get sad, but we knew
gone is particularly hard. that we couldn’t change it. We couldn’t
Although she tries to say, ‘You can’t do this.’ It was his job.
call every day, and both his He had to do it,” said Audrey.
grandmothers live with Most of the kids had a special,
the family, he said it isn’t treasured momento to help them stay
the same. No amount of connected to their absent parent as
phone calls, emails, letters they counted down the days and cried
or packages can make up when they had to add more days as
for a missing parent. deployments were extended.
“It was really hard because my Jacob has a bear with his mother’s
dad doesn’t really do all of the taking picture that he would look at when he
Mili care of and stuff—it was normally missed her badly. Katherine wore an
my mom,” Jacob Gaz, 11, said. anklet her grandmother had engraved
e to
“The hardest part was just with “Capt. Gerald B. Riley, be safe,
ch t not having her come home soon.” The two Zipperer
. there. Like when girls received stuffed animals with
you accomplished recordings of their father’s voice from
something—you just Build-a-Bear.
couldn’t tell her.” “I’d press the hand and the mes-
Like Jeremy, Jacob sage came up. It’s dead now because I
had grandparents who pressed it so much when I was upset

6 www.army.mil/publications
and I still sleep with it. It’s really spe- An Army kid rests on top of a Bradley at Op-
eration Purple's Camp Sandy Cove in High
cial. That helped a lot,” said Audrey. View, W.Va. The front of his shirt reads: "Got
The kids also agreed that the uncer- Freedom?"

tainty and confusion of deployments

was exacerbated by frequent moves and
starting over in schools that might not
have many other military kids. Civilian
kids might try to understand what it’s
like to send a parent to war, but it’s
impossible, they said.
“Some people think that starting
over is pretty much something that
they would want to do,” said Jeremy.
“Starting over’s not always the greatest
thing. This last move was the hardest
because I moved right in the middle
of middle school. Going to school off
base was a little different because mak-
ing friends with military kids would
be easier because they have something
in common. It’s a little weird because
you don’t know what to say to kids or
you don’t know if they have military
parents. You’ve just got to wing it.
“It’s just cool, having friends again
who have parents who have been
deployed and stuff like that,” he said of
the camp.
Jeremy’s mother actually deployed
in order to avoid moving him in the
middle of high school.
Like Audrey, he said it’s useless to
get mad or expect his parents to change
who they are. He said that he’s grateful
to have parents he can be proud of,
especially when many kids don’t have
parents at all.
“Army kids are full of pride,”
agreed Audrey. “Especially with our
parents. I’m very proud of my dad. He
looks to me for support and love and
comfort.They can’t help their job. They
can’t help what they do. We might not
like them going overseas and stuff, but
we have to know that that’s what they
signed up to do. They signed up to
help protect our country. We just have
to say, ‘Okay, I love you so much. I’m
so proud of you all the time.’”
Families interested in 2009 Opera-
tion Purple Camps can visit: www.
default for more information or to
apply. v

Elizabeth M. Collins is a former Army brat.

Soldiers • April 2009 7

C. Todd Lopez
Simulator helps
teens in Europe learn to drive
Story by Christie Vanover

EENAGERS are learning to all the complexities of an automobile.
drive in the rain, in the fog, Gavin Wainwright, the father of
even on narrow mountain three teenagers, was glad to hear that manual mode, forcing him to shift as
roads at night. They’re driving while U.S. Army Garrison Benelux was get- he went up and down hills. While he
their friends talk and laugh behind ting one of the simulators. “I thought it completed the two-minute exercise
them and even while their cell phones was one of the best things they brought with no faults, toward the end of the
ring. But because of new technology, to the community in a long time,” he lesson, he was startled by a sudden
their lives are in no way at risk. said. “I know it’s a lot better than what curve with no guardrails. Had he been
They are the first students to use I went through. going too fast, he would have slid
one of Installation Management Com- “I was considering sending one son down the side of the mountain.
mand-Europe’s new driving simulators. back to the States last year so he could “I think it (the simulator) makes
Ten simulators, including one here at go through drivers’ training and then them more aware of some of the
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers get his license,” he said. “It would be a challenges of driving,” his dad said.
Europe, were installed throughout the lot more expensive to send him there “They’re learning how to be defensive
region to enhance Driver’s Education than this inaugural program, which is as well as offensive and how to balance
programs for teenagers of service- free.” that behind the wheel.”
members and Department of Defense His sons, Gavin Jr. and Justin, Kregg Kappenmon agreed. He has
civilians. were among the first graduates of the taught driver’s education for eight years
At first glance, students are Driver’s Education course. About mid- and said this simulator adds a real-
pumped by the multi-panel monitors, way through the course, Justin hopped ism that he’s never been able to teach
which include a rearview mirror, side in the simulator, buckled up and asked before.
mirrors and a lifelike perception of the teacher to challenge him on the He can add weather elements,
peripheral vision. Once they get behind winding mountain pass. which require drivers to use their wip-
the wheel, however, they’re faced with He chose to use the simulator in ers and adjust their speed so they don’t

8 www.army.mil/publications
The simulator is accurate down to the
instrument cluster. It displays speed, rpm,
miles traveled and indicators for blinkers
and high beams. It will also warn students
if they are low on fuel or if they have a
battery or oil problem.

asked Kappenmon if he
was supposed to swerve
or stop.
It’s that immediate lesson that
ano Kappenmon said is invaluable. Addi-
istie V
Chr tionally, everything the students do in
the trainer is recorded, so Kappenmon
can evaluate their driving patterns,
hydroplane. He can change the drive reactions and habits to help them prog-
from small towns to freeways, forcing ress throughout the course.
kids to merge into traffic. He can even Because of that feedback, Kappen-
add elements of surprise like deer and mon said students learn early on that
kids running into the street. this isn’t a video game. “I get results,”
“The first time they see it out there, he said, and from those results, com-
it won’t be the first time,” he said. “It’s bined with 18 tests based on his lecture
very, very, very realistic. It gets them to and videos, students either pass or fail.
feel the car.” “My philosophy is they must have Christie Vanover
Caleb Crotts, another graduate of 80 percent or better,” he said. “I don’t
the class, happened to ace the test on want anyone out there with my family, Caleb Crotts tries a more challenging course
that presents elements of surprise along the
the reading that day, but when he got if they scored less. Do you?” route. Through each phase, he aims at finishing
in the simulator, he faced an element The next Driver’s Education course with zero faults.

of surprise. As he was driving, someone scheduled for the spring is completely

on the side of the road opened their car filled up. Kappenmon is working with
door unexpectedly. Child and Youth Services on SHAPE
“Weather is usually the big hazard to schedule summer classes and to
talked about in the book,” he said, coordinate programs for teens at USAG
After teens finish a run through the driving simulator,
admitting that he didn’t know how to Schinnen and USAG Brussels. v they receive instant feedback about their perforperfor-
mance. The teacher uses the feedback to analyze a
respond to the situation. He veered to student’s performance throughout the course.
the left and passed the car safely with
an acceptable reaction time, but after Christie Vanover works for USAG Benelux Public
finishing the drive, he immediately Affairs.

After students were quizzed on a chapter of their text, instructor Kregg Kappenman discusses the
answers. Kappenman has taught driver’s education for eight years.

Christie Vanover Christie Vanover

Justin Wainright, 18, nearly slips off a mountain pass Christie Vanover
while driving in the simulator. Scenarios like these
make the digital training experience invaluable to
teens learning to drive in Europe. Soldiers • April 2009 9
Dominick Smith
When 11-year-old Dominick Smith grows up, he wants to be a
NASA engineer, or a pro basketball player, or a Soldier. This son
of Soldiers lives as boldly as he dreams. Culturally adaptable
and trilingual, Dominick is a model student. Highest among
his commendations is the President’s Award, which honors
academic excellence and exemplary citizenship. His parents,
Sergeant First Class Katina Smith and Master Sergeant Eddie
B. Smith, Jr., are very proud of him and would be pleased if he
decided to one day join the Army. His strength of mind, spirit
and character attest to the values Army life has taught him.

The Nation’s strength starts here.

David Smith
On the bleak day in 2003 when David Smith learned of his father’s
death, he told his mother that Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith
must have lost his life to save other Soldiers. Months later, David
was the one into whose hands President Bush placed SFC Smith’s
Medal of Honor. As David had surmised, the first such tribute
of Operation Iraqi Freedom honored his father’s extraordinary
act of heroism, one that spared the lives of numerous wounded
Soldiers. David continues to honor his father’s memory by reaching
out to console other children who have lost their parents to war.
Now a member of his high school’s JROTC unit, David is making
plans to join the Army and echo his father’s legacy of service.

The Nation’s strength starts here.


10 www.army.mil/publications
Courtesy of Believe in Tomorrow

(Above) Artist’s drawing of the Believe in Tomorrow House at Pinnacle Falls near Henderson, N.C., which will soon be completed for military families with sick
children. (Below) Ninth-grader Joey Corpuz works on his homework in the apartment Believe in Tomorrow lent to his family while he recovered from a bone-

A reason
marrow treatment. A tutor came several times a week to help him keep up with his classmates. The organization’s logo is also below.

Story by Elizabeth M. Collins

to believe
hen their 14-year-old son son organized their emergency move to
Elizabeth M. Collins

Joey was diagnosed with the States.

Stage II hodgkin’s Lym- After initial treatment at walter
phoma last summer, Filipina Corpuz Reed, Joey was transferred to Johns
and her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Jude hopkins hospital in Baltimore for a
Corpuz, wondered what they were go- bone-marrow transplant. even after
ing to do. he was discharged, Joey had to remain
not only were they worried and within 10 minutes of the hospital. The
devastated, they had another prob- Corpuzes’ new duty station was an
lem: the Corpuzes were stationed in hour away. They didn’t know where to
Germany, far from family, friends and turn.
medical care for their son. That’s where Believe in Tomor-
within two days, father and son row came in. Founded in 1982, the
had been medevaced to walter Reed organization provides housing within
Army Medical Center in washington, walking distance of the hospital and
traveling on the same plane as injured amenities, and organizes fun, entic-
Soldiers, while Corpuz and her younger ing activities for families of critically

Soldiers • April 2009 11

• The Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins,
• The Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House at St. Casimir,

• The Believe In Tomorrow House By The Sea, Ocean City, Md.
• The Believe In Tomorrow House On the Bay, Ocean City, Md.
• The Believe In Tomorrow House on Fenwick Island,
Fenwick Island, Del.
• The Believe In Tomorrow House on Wisp Mountain,
McHenry, Md.
• Coming Soon: The Believe In Tomorrow House at Pinnacle Falls,
Hendersonville, N.C.

ill children, giving military families a number of the families Believe in the most critical kids in the most life-
priority. It also has respite houses in the Tomorrow served had fathers who were threatening situations first and why
mountains and along the Maryland- deployed. “It’s hard enough for any we’re constantly reevaluating families
Delaware coastline where families with family to have a child who’s critically on a case-by-case basis of who really
sick children can go to relax and have a ill. That produces enormous stresses on needs to be here the most and maybe
good time. One house in Ocean City, the family and is a very draining experi- which families are in the greatest crisis,”
Md., and one under construction in ence. On top of that, having a dad or she explained.
the Asheville, n.C., area, are for mili- mom who’s deployed really makes it a Maj. Ross Charton said he didn’t
tary families exclusively. tremendous hardship.” even know about the military prefer-
“I have no greater admiration than According to family care manager ence. no one said anything to him,
for those men and women who are in Jackie Valderas, the hardest part of her but he did wonder how they managed
the military and the hardships those job is deciding who gets to stay in the to get in immediately after his seven-
families deal with,” said Brian Morri- 32 spaces available for hospital hous- year-old son Luke was diagnosed with a
son, founder and chief-executive officer ing. She makes the decision with the brain tumor.
of Believe in Tomorrow. “There was child’s doctors and social workers (who “Because military people are travel-
a desire to provide support to those usually refer the family to Believe in ling from all around the country and
families who support us and it became Tomorrow), and factors in their family are frequently dislocated from the type
apparent that this was the right thing situation, distance from home, diagno- of support other people have via being
to do. It’s not easy to see someone mak- sis and treatment. embedded in communities, for Believe
ing all kinds of sacrifices in their lives, “we always have a long wait list in Tomorrow to give them priority is
who, in addition, are also dealing with and it’s a frustrating job sometimes be- phenomenal, not only at the hospitals,
a child who is critically ill.” cause you want to help everyone. That’s but in their retreat locations as well.
he added that in the past year, why we’re really committed to taking Families are able to meet in a place and
12 www.army.mil/publications
(Left) Military kids play a board game in Ocean
City, Md., during a Believe in Tomorrow retreat
weekend. The weekend was organized so military
families with sick children could relax and bond
with each other.

(Right) Military kids relax during a game of min-

iature golf in Ocean City, Md., during a Believe in
Tomorrow retreat weekend.

(Background) The view off the back deck of the

Believe in Tomorrow House On the Bay in Ocean
City, Md. The house was built so military families
with very sick children could take relaxing breaks
from the hospital. (Photos courtesy of Believe in

have some family time,” Charton said. going to do?’ I asked one of the nurses. taken care of until he returned.
Believe in Tomorrow provides ‘how long is this going to be?’ She “One of the great things about the
kitchens complete with food pantries said, ‘90 to 120 days.’ ‘Are you serious?’ Believe house was that there were other
and utensils. Several times a week, I said. ‘I’m driving that much every families there who were going through
community groups come by with day?’ Parking before, when we stayed the same thing. It was tremendously
family-style dinners. There are game in the hospital for a week, was like $60. helpful to our family to (avoid) the
and television rooms, and Believe in And then you have your gas. That’s a outlay and expense of a hotel. It was
Tomorrow staffers frequently organize lot of money that you can use some- great that they had people who came in
activities like movie nights and arts and where else. That’s a lot of convenience.” and provided food a couple of nights a
crafts, or bring in massage therapists “I like it. It’s kind of like a vaca- week, because that alleviated expense.
to help the patients and their parents tion home away from my own home. It was great that we had a kitchen to
relax. It’s better than the hospital,” said Joey, go to where we could prepare our own
They do whatever is necessary to who added that the best part was that food so we didn’t have to eat out all of
help the families avoid day-to-day wor- he could eat his mom’s cooking and the time, but the most important thing
ries and annoyances. when the power not hospital food. A tutor even came there was the support from seeing other
at one of the houses went out for a day several times a week so Joey wouldn’t families going through the same thing,”
in September, for example, Morrison fall behind in school. said Charton.
even went to pick up ice for Corpuz so Believe in Tomorrow made a tough Because Luke was in such bad
she could keep her son’s medicine cold. situation much easier, said Charton, shape, the Chartons weren’t able to visit
“I’m glad that people think about because he knew that after he dropped one of the respite facilities, but Believe
these things,” said Corpuz. “when his wife Lisa and Luke off on Monday in Tomorrow brought a vacation to
you’re in this kind of situation, you’ve mornings (he then returned to work them. The organization would fre-
never thought about it. ‘what are we for the rest of the week), they would be quently have tickets for the Baltimore
Soldiers • April 2009 13
Elizabeth M. Collins
Orioles, and drivers to take families out
to attractions like the zoo, the national
Aquarium or the Maritime Museum.
“The families oftentimes are so
focused on hospital treatment that they
don’t vary from that,” said Morrison.
“But when they can, they’re encouraged
to get out for those breaks. Our staff
is trained to recognize stress, recognize
when families are in a position where
they can do things and then kind of en-
courage those families to do that. Many
of the families we serve aren’t thinking
of going to the aquarium. They aren’t
thinking of going to dinner. They really
need to be kind of gently encouraged
to do so. It takes their minds away
from pain and stress.”
he added that there’s also plenty
for families to do at the respite houses.
Beyond just relaxing and enjoying the
oceanfront or mountain scenery, fami-
lies can enjoy meals at local restaurants,
miniature golf, go carts, parasailing
and surfing, all compliments of local
From the architecture to location to
furnishings and paint colors, the houses
are all designed to promote relaxation
and help families and kids forget about
doctors and hospitals. The short vaca-
tions can give families the strength to
go on and face the next stages of treat-
ment, Morrison explained.
One military family drove all the
way from Texas to Maryland to visit
one of the beach houses, which Morri-
son said highlights the need for respite
housing nationwide. The organization
wants to expand to other locations with
large military populations such as the
Texas coast, Florida panhandle, Arizona
and Southern California.
“So our military initiative really is
to make sure that we are providing the
best service possible to military families
and that we’re getting them in very
quickly, trying to avoid any waiting
lists that occur in our facilities. And it’s
working very well. Our retreat facilities
are full. They constantly have families
from walter Reed or from Portsmouth Courtesy of Believe in Tomorrow
naval hospital or from other hospi-
tals,” he said.
For more information, visit Believe The back garden at the Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. (Inset) The
rent-free Believe in Tomorrow Children’s House at St. Casimir in Baltimore, where military families who
in Tomorrow’s web site at www.believ- have children with life-threatening illnesses have priority to stay while their children are undergoing treat-
eintomorrow.org. v ment at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

14 www.army.mil/publications
Operation Tribute to Freedom wants to tell your story.

We’re looking for Soldiers who’ve served or are currently

serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Nominate yourself, a friend or another Soldier in your unit.

Stories will be featured in Faces From the Front or OTF

Soldier Story.

Send an email with your nomination to


Operation Tribute to Freedom is a program of the U.S. Army Office of

the Chief of Public Affairs designed to share with the American public
the stories of Soldiers who have or are currently serving in Operation
Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. OTF works in partner-
ship with PAOs throughout the Army to tell the Army story.
Faces From the Front is a weekly news product
distributed to national, local and social media.
OTF Soldier Story is a weekly newsletter
distributed to Army communicators.

Soldiers • January 2009 15

On Point
The Army in Action

Spc. Jon Kruskamp, 72nd Signal Battalion, ensures
his little buddies are set for a merry-go-around ride at
the German-American summer fest. Traditionally, one
morning of the annual fest is dedicated to children from
nearby German and U.S. military communities.

16 www.army.mil/publications
Soldiers • April 2009 17
army news
Army tests cannon for FCS Mounted Combat System

T he lightweight Future Combat Sys-

tems XM-360 120mm cannon—
designed to sit atop the new Mounted
one of several that would occur over
a few days that would bring the total
number of firing trials for the cannon
Combat System—was test-fired in to 1,000. The weapon, he said, is sig-
Aberdeen, Md., Jan. 22. nificant because it is as powerful as the
The XM-1202 Mounted Combat one mounted on the M1-A2 Abrams
System is one of eight new vehicle tank—also a 120mm gun—but comes
types that the Army is developing in with significant savings in weight
through its FCS modernization pro- and provides automation that will
gram. The FCS vehicles will be lighter help prevent the loss of lives.
and more mobile than current Army “The Mounted Combat System
Army striving to decrease sexual
combat vehicles; yet officials promise is going to feature an automatic assaults, increase reporting
they will have greater lethality and ammunition-handling system,” Cal-
Lighter and more survivable ve-
hicles are required to combat a growing
houn explained. “Our current force
Abrams has a crew of four men—a
gunner, tank commander, driver and
T hrough its Sexual Harassment and Assault
Prevention and Response Program, the Army
hopes to change command climates to make
array of new and more sophisticated loader. On the MCS, there’s a crew victims of sexual assault feel more comfortable
threats, officials said. Greater speed and of three men—an automated loader reporting the crime.
mobility, coupled with better surveil- takes care of that loading function. During a meeting with members of the press
lance and reconnaissance capabilities, Coupled with other FCS technology, Jan. 26, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren dis-
can enhance operational effectiveness, the MCS will also bring beyond-line- cussed the Army’s efforts to reduce sexual assault
while improving survivability, they of-sight capability to the battlefield,” within the ranks, a crime he said that is not just
said. Calhoun said. an assault on a person, but on the whole Army.
Composite FCS armor, for “In the current force, a tank can “Soldier-on-Soldier violence, blue-on-
instance, which is being developed engage everything it can see out to blue—sexual assault is a crime everywhere, but
at Aberdeen, provides better armor about three kilometers—if you can see in the Army it is a crime that is more than just
protection at significantly less mass and it you can engage it,” he said. “With a crime against the victim. In the Army it is a
weight. the MCS, you are going to be able crime against the core values that bind our Army
Maj. Cliff Calhoun, assistant to—through the network—engage together,” Geren said.
product manager for the Mounted targets beyond line-of-sight.” Geren has approved funding to provide 15
Combat System, said the test-firing is — C. Todd Lopez, ARNEWS v special-victim prosecutors—which will be filled
from within the ranks by those that have proven
themselves as especially effective prosecutors
and who also have experience in sexual assault
Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, the provost
marshal general of the Army, said the service will
add an additional 30 special investigators to be
assigned at 22 of the Army’s largest installations
to assist Criminal Investigation Command agents
in investigating sexual assault crimes.
An additional seven “highly qualified experts”
are also coming aboard, Johnson said, to provide
training and assistance to CID agents.
“We in CID already have highly skilled
agents investigating these crimes,” Johnson said.
“But bringing the civilian expertise onboard will
The XM-360 120mm cannon for the Mounted Combat System, part of the Army’s Future Combat simply be a valuable tool to glean insight and a
Systems, carries up to 27 shells that are for a mechanized loader to pull into the cannon. The fresh perspective in many areas.”
automated system means Soldiers do not need to hand-load the heavy shells. Coupled with other
FCS technology, the MCS will also bring beyond-line-of-sight capability to the battlefield. — C. Todd Lopez, ARNEWS v

18 www.army.mil/publications
From the Army News Service and Other Sources

President meets with senior NCOs

P resident Barack Obama met with

Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O.

C. Todd Lopez
Preston and the senior enlisted advisors
of other services to hear concerns from
a boots-on-the-ground perspective in
the Oval Office in January.
The initial White House meet-
ing was an opportunity for Obama to
establish relationships with the most
senior enlisted noncommissioned of-
ficers of the military, Preston said.
This was reportedly the first time
a commander in chief held an official
meeting with senior enlisted leaders.
Previous presidents normally met with
the joint chiefs of staff.
“I don’t know of any other presi-
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston stands behind President Barack Obama at the
dent sitting down with the senior en- Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball as Obama addresses the audience of active-duty
listed advisors,” Preston said. “It sends and reserve military and invited guests at the National Building Museum.
a big message of his support of the
military and really shows that he wants and their families make through re- but good that his initial meeting with
to connect with all our servicemembers enlistment. Obama happened during this “Year of
out there.” “Soldiers are re-enlisting and stay- the NCO” in the Army.
Preston told Obama his biggest ing with the team,” he said. “We can “It speaks to what we’re trying to
concern in the Army was stress on the all be very proud of Soldiers and their do in the Army to recognize the value
force. supporting families as they continue to and the contributions of our noncom-
Preston also acknowledged the volunteer and serve our country.” missioned officers,” he said.
selfless service and sacrifice Soldiers Preston said it was coincidental —Lance D. Davis, ARNEWS v

White Sands testing new laser weapon system

Drew Hamilton

T he Army has been testing a new

weapon system known as the Laser
Centurion at White Sands Missile
Initial tests with the demonstra-
tor have been positive. The laser has
proven capable of rapidly penetrating
Range, N.M. armor plating even when not at full
The system combines radar and power, and system setup has been easy.
threat-detection technology with “We are excited to be testing
the latest in laser weapons. The new system capabilities by shooting down
laser is designed to replace the 20mm mortar rounds…” said Sal Rodriguez,
cannon on the Navy’s Phalanx system senior flight test engineer, White Sands
and the Army’s Centurion system. Missile Range detachment.
The Phalanx is an air- and missile- Since the laser does not use any
defense system used on nearly every kind of solid shot like the cannon, it
ship in the fleet. Converted to be can be used to better defend populated
transported and fired from a trailer, areas without the fear of the “20mm
it is also used by the Army to provide shower” that conventional air-defense Raytheon technicians show the Laser Centurion
Demonstrator to members of White Sands Missile
defense from air and missile threats guns cause when their bullets fall back Range Navy and Test Center leadership. The sys-
tem mounts a high-powered laser onto a Centurion
as well as defense against mortar and to earth. weapons platform to provide area defense against
artillery attacks. —Drew Hamilton v artillery, missile and other aerial threats.

Soldiers • April 2009 19

Staff Sgt. Ricky A. Melton

Army values...
a way of life ! Aerial views of the areas still flooded two
weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck in and
around New Orleans.

Story by Jacqueline M. Hames

ERGEANT 1st Class Tara New Orleans on Aug. 29, breaching find out what was going on, Watson,
Watson and her son Xavier the levee four miles from Watson’s like any good Soldier, took action. She
have survived a hurricane and parents’ house. Her parents, Thesma got in her car and went to find them.
braved the tribulations of and Henry Fulton and brother Kirk, “Finally, between two and three
show business, and throughout, Army who had moved to the French Quarter o’clock in the morning, I got a collect
values have helped them with both for safety, were forced to pile their call from somebody at a gas station
triumph and disappointment. They belongings into a truck and flee. (saying) that she had my family there.
hope their story will encourage others “They started throwing stuff into And I picked them up and brought
to continue to reach for their dreams, the truck, trying to get out—my dad them to my house,” Watson said.
come hell and high water. fell,” Watson said. “When they got to Starting over
Currently in the Active Guard and me, he was all broken up, they were The rebuilding process is always
Reserve, Watson has been in the Army hysterical.” difficult, both physically and emotion-
for a total of 19 years. Originally from The Fulton family went on the ally, but returning to the scene of the
New Orleans, her two children, Xavier road in hopes of reaching Watson’s destruction was more devastating to
and Chantell, lived with their grand- house in Mississippi, but became lost Watson and her family than the actual
parents and uncle there when she was along the way, Watson explained. She event. She and her father returned to
stationed in Iraq from 2004-2005. In had been calling her family and trying the Fulton house in New Orleans to
August of 2005, Watson picked up her to find out where they were, but no see what kind of damage had been
children and brought them to her duty one was answering. done.
station in Clarksdale, Miss. Then the “No one thought to bring the “A lot of what we saw, you know,
unthinkable happened. charger or charge the phones,” Watson was kind of worse than what we saw
Hurricane Katrina roared into said. So, instead of waiting around to in Iraq, because of bodies floating (in

20 www.army.mil/publications
Staff Sgt. Ricky A. Melton

New Orleans, Louisiana

Courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class Tara Watson

Sgt. 1st Class Tara Watson and her family pose after her graduation at the University of Phoenix stadium in Arizona.
Pictured from left to right are mother Thesma Fulton, father Henry Fulton, brother Kirk Fulton, Watson and her two
children, Chantell and Xavier Watson. Watson was taking online courses with the University of Phoenix when the
hurricane hit and had to stop in order to take care of her family. Eventually, she was able to return to school and
graduated with an associates degree in general studies, July 7, 2007.

the water) and stuff like that,” Watson digital camera into the different rooms Thesma and Henry’s room was
said. and, unable to see what was in the in total disarray, with the television
Watson described the house as viewfinder, snapped pictures at ran- turned over, and the specially designed
pitch black in the early afternoon, dom. She and her family finally saw wallpaper and bed frame destroyed.
slime and decay covering the walls, the extent of the damage when the “The king-size mattress was
floor and the contents of the house. pictures were uploaded to a computer inflated with water and it looked like a
They wore face masks, gloves and back in Clarksdale. big balloon,” Watson said.
rubber boots in order to just go inside. “When I showed them to my During the aftermath of the storm,
Henry hesitated, unwilling to go in, mom, she had a big gasp for breath,” the AGR helped Watson and her fam-
and for the first time ever Watson saw Watson said, describing her family’s ily. Her commander at the time sent a
her father cry. She explained that the reaction to the pictures. “My mom support team to New Orleans to help
thought of all the hard work he put said when she saw the home she spent with the citywide clean-up process,
into the house and the family business 35 years of her life in, the tears began and provided assistance to Watson’s
being washed away in the hurricane to flow like a river.” family specifically, she said. He also
was just too much. The living room, which had a helped in any way he could with her
The Henry S. Fulton Ceramic big-screen television and a collection father’s hip surgery and medical care
Tile Company trucks and business of VHS tapes that were special to for her brother Kirk Fulton, who
documentation were lost to the hur- Thesma, was completely unsalvage- was diagnosed with pulmonary lung
ricane, Watson said, and the custom able. In pictures you can see the water- disease.
tile Henry had added to the house was line where the flood sat at 12 feet “A lot of credit goes to my unit at
ruined. before they patched the levee, Watson the time,” Watson said. “I had good
Once inside, Watson pointed a explained. Soldiers, really good Soldiers,” she

Soldiers • April 2009 21

said, explaining that her office would emotional attributes for character— the weight of the family losing the
often tell her to go home and that they what a leader must be. Interpersonal, home, family business and vehicles on
would take care of things while she conceptual, technical and tactical skills her shoulders.
was gone. are what a leader knows, and the com- Watson had been taking online
“Without the Army working with bination of the “be” and “know” form courses at the University of Phoenix
me I would not have been able to leave the “do” portion of the framework, before the hurricane hit. When the
my job and deal with the family stuff. according to Army Field Manual 6-22, storm made landfall, she had to put
They gave me time to take care of my “Army Leadership.” her schooling on hold to help her
family,” Watson said. “I had to pass on the bag, I had family. Happily, Watson was able to
In addition to physical help and the friends, I had the support of the return to her studies soon after and
basic care, Watson felt the Army community,” Watson added. graduated with an associate’s degree in
prepared her emotionally as well. The Xavier agreed, praising his mom as general studies in July 2007.
leadership philosophy of “be, know, the strength of the family. “I don’t know how she did it, but
do” and other values taught by the “I watched my mom try to hold because the Army instills such strong
Army gave Watson the strength to the family together and I realized how values in them, they are ‘Army Strong’
endure. strong-minded she is since being in at work and at home,” Xavier added.
The framework of “be, know, do” the military,” he said. “I think any Hollywood philosophy
comprises the core Army values and normal person would have just cried Xavier, an aspiring actor, has taken
outlines the physical, mental and and cried, but not my mom; she put his mother’s example to heart and

the waters of
Orleans after
Fulton's bedroom in New me were specially designed
esma d fra
Henry and Th ded. The wall paper and be ring the storm.
Katrina had re d completely destroyed du
for the family Courtesy of
Sgt. 1st Clas
s Tara Watso

“With those family values that were instilled in me with

the military, you know, it gave me the strength to keep

(Right) The living room of the Fulton house in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
In the top right of the picture the water line is visible.

22 www.army.mil/publications
used the “be, know, do” philosophy to Xavier also emphasized that acting dream,’” Xavier said. “That is my
his advantage. A month after Katrina, has to be something you really want tagline.”
Xavier and his family moved to Deca- to do. Letting your personality shine Together, Watson and her son have
tur, Ga., and there he began his acting through while still being integrated written a book about their experi-
career in local dramas and musicals, into the character is very important— ences with Hurricane Katrina and the
he said. He’s gone on to have parts in you must be one with the role, he different ways it changed their lives.
commercials and other professional advised. The book, entitled “Weathering the
performances. “Once you be and know the Storm: A Young Actor’s Journey to
“Now I’m doing professional character, then you can fulfill the role Hollywood,” chronicles their family’s
work, Screen Actors Guild eligible,” confidently. Acting can’t be absorbed; experiences with Katrina and beyond
Xavier said, adding that Army values you have to just show up to the audi- the storm. Xavier also gives a few
and philosophy helped him reach that tion, become the character and just do pointers on acting, resumes and audi-
goal. it,” Xavier said. tions. Throughout the chronicle, the
“Knowing how to adjust to a role The young actor said that the philosophy of “be, know, do” plays an
is the biggest part,” Xavier said of hurricane has taught him never to take important role.
acting. “It’s easier to be a character if life for granted and to use his talent to “We just hope that our story will
you know how to find the similarities influence other people to achieve their encourage other kids” who have been
and differences between you and the goals. through Katrina, Watson said. “It’s all
character.” “My message is ‘reach for the about reaching for the dream.” v

Soldiers ride along in a U.S. Coast Guard fan

boat as it cruises the flooded streets of New
Orleans looking for survivors after Hurricane
Katrina swept through, submerging much
of the city under more than six feet of water.
Department of Defense units mobilized in

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Brien Aho

support of humanitarian relief operations in
the Gulf Coast region.
1st Class of Sgt.
Tara Wat

New Orleans, Louisiana

Soldiers • April 2009 23

Defending America
Story by Heike Hasenauer

53rd Signal Battalion Defense Satellite Commu-

nication System radome in the Colorado Desert.
(all satellite imagery from NASA)

HE Colorado Springs, Colo., the United States. satellites are within specified (security)
landscape is home to majestic In a high-security area of Schriever parameters,” added battalion operations
blue-grey mountains dotted Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, noncommissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class
with deep green pines that traverse Soldiers assigned to the 1st Space Bde.’s Robert Lewis.
ridges, spilling down to grassy knolls 53rd Signal Battalion gain access to The 1st Space Bde. also encompass-
and desert brush. the Defense Satellite Communication es the 1st Space Bn., a unit of active
In addition to its natural beauty, System Certification Facility, only after Army and Reserve Soldiers, who can
the Colorado Desert is home to critical entering phone-booth-like “portals” interpret Global-Positioning-System
defense assets, including elements of with security badges and access codes. information “as no other group can,”
the U.S. Army Space and Missile De- The building is tucked behind a giant said Lt. Col. Tom James, 1st Space Bn.
fense Command/Army Forces Strategic golf-ball-like radome, one of several commander.
Command, the Army service compo- that rise more than 30 feet from the More than 100 officers are dedi-
nent to U.S. Strategic Command. desert floor. cated to providing information from
Soldiers and Army civilians as- Security is extremely tight here space assets, according to James. This
signed to SMDC/ARSTRAT’s 1st because, “nobody in the government includes Soldiers from the 1st Space
Space Brigade and 100th Missile talks without these guys,” said 1st Bn., 1st Space Company’s Joint Tactical
Defense Bde., and their joint-service Space Bde. Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Ground Stations, which provide early
counterparts, track the locations and McGovern. “They facilitate conversa- missile warning.
availability of satellites that provide life- tions from the president of the United The battalion’s 2nd Space Co.
saving imagery to commanders both at States to Soldiers in the sandbox and includes 10 space support teams that
home and in combat theaters. from ships crossing the Atlantic or support corps and higher headquarters
Additionally, they monitor missile Pacific oceans.” around the world, added SMDC/AR-
launches worldwide, operate early “The Soldiers check the health and STRAT spokesman Mike Howard.
missile-warning systems and allow welfare of satellites to ensure there’s no Additionally, the brigade’s Com-
the launch of interceptor missiles that break in connectivity and that com- mercial Exploitation Team, currently
would down a ballistic missile targeting munication signals traveling via the deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan,
24 www.army.mil/publications
...from Space
Heike Hasenauer

Heike Hasenauer

Soldiers from the 117th Space Battalion monitor missile tests in Colorado 117th Signal Battalion satellite systems op-
Springs, Colo. erator/maintainer Spc. David Wilde adjusts a
satellite antenna atop a building in Colorado
Springs, Colo.

uses the theater’s largest repository of In the training scenario, a threat of the Marshall Islands in the Pacific
commercial-satellite imagery to provide country in northeast Asia “launched” Ocean, Howard said.
commanders with critical situational several ICBMs into defended areas SMDC/ARSTRAT picked up the
awareness, Howard said. of the continental United States and Army’s Blue-Force Tracking mission
Support teams that transform raw Hawaii, said Lt. Col. Mark Emmer, in 2000, said Col. Todd Day, chief of
data from satellite imagery into detailed MDA division chief for war games and plans, SMDC/ARSTRAT.
maps are also supporting commanders exercises. “We provide the location of
in the Horn of Africa, for which the Based on the crews’ rules of engage- friendly forces and track missile
newest unified combatant command, ment, they’ll destroy those threats with launches from around the world,” said
U.S. Africa Command, was recently the help of the brigade’s 49th Missile Jon Busick, operational support and
established, James said. Defense Bn. at Fort Greely, Alaska, readiness lead for Blue Force Tracking
At an exercise at Schriever AFB, and a joint-service network of ground- at Peterson AFB, in Colorado Springs.
a five-member crew of active-duty and sea-based interceptors, Bortolutti He added that most of the federal
Colorado Guard Soldiers from the explained. employees and contractors at the facil-
100th Missile Defense Bde. sat glued During the exercise, the crew simu- ity are military retirees who understand
to computer monitors at individual lated notifying elements of the North that operational support is critical to
fire-control stations inside the Missile American Aerospace Defense Com- warfighters.
Defense Agency’s Missile Defense Inte- mand and the U.S. Northern Com- Five years ago, “we tracked three
gration and Operations Center. mand, to validate the “threats” and device types and 155 devices,” said
“Our job is to destroy interconti- confer on the best tactics to “eliminate” Busick. “Today we track 18 device
nental-ballistic missiles in midcourse the threats, said Bortolutti. types and 70,000 devices, or transmit-
that target the United States or our Actual tests of theater-missile ters, on 32 monitors, versus the former
allies,” said Maj. Martin Bortolutti, defenses are conducted jointly from six.”
missile-defense element director for Vandenberg AFB in California and Why the increase? “Tracking
the Ground Missile Defense System SMDC/ARSTRAT’s missile-defense Soldiers down to the battalion level
trainer. test facility at Kwajalein Atoll, one was OK before. Now the Army wants
Soldiers • April 2009 25
to take that down to the squad and
platoon level,” Busick explained.
The BFT crews who monitor troop
positions don’t need to know who’s
going to be in harm’s way, Busick said,
just that the combatant commander
has all the information he needs to
know what could happen and make
informed decisions.
The information is accessible
because satellites and sensors are com-
ing into the BFT center, going out to
commanders in the field and returning
to the tracking center to verify what
was received—thereby traveling around
the world twice in a matter of seconds,
Busick said.
As critical as the real-time informa-
tion is to commanders downrange, it
was equally crucial following Hurricane
Katrina in New Orleans. BFT crews
provided imagery from satellite, ground
and airborne sources that allowed
responders to track such things as water
depth and contaminants in the water.
They were also able to provide critical
infrastructure information, Day said.
Among the command’s other as-
sets are the Space and Missile Defense
Future Warfare Center, Space and
Missile Defense Battle Lab, Director-
ate of Combat Development, and the
Simulation and Analysis Directorate.
“Because of our Future Warfare
Center and the technology research
and development that takes place in
Huntsville, Ala.—home of Headquar-
ters, SMDC/ARSTRAT—we can em-
ploy incredible technologies to combat
anything our adversaries are thinking
about doing to us,” said McGovern.
One of the command’s developing
technologies is the High-Altitude-
Long Loiter, added Day. Testing of the
information-providing sensor, which
would be located between 65,000 and
100,000 feet above ground to provide
information from a nonorbiting-satel-
lite mode, will be conducted in 2013.
In addition, better launchers,
interceptors and sensors are all on the
horizon to protect America and its al-
lies from threats, Day said.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,”
echoed McGovern. Space is a wide-
open frontier; “there are many capabili- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command
ties yet to be exploited.” v conducts a missile test over the Pacific Ocean.

26 www.army.mil/publications
Spring weather
word search

Spring weather is BREEZE RAIN
unpredictable and can
be hazardous.
These months can be cold THUNDERSTORM FLOOD

and stormy with heavy rain, MOISTURE HOT

lightning, wind and ice. PRECIPITATION CHILL
Although many experience THUNDER ICE
mild spring weather, we must plan
Name Date
(Key # 1 - 936174)PRESSURE FROST
for the unexpected.
Weather (Grades 3-4) DRIZZLE HEAT
Find and circle each
Find each of the following words. BLIZZARD WARM
of the words on the list. ICICLE FAIR
Color the Easter Bunny
and his eggs! FAIR PRESSURE
















Soldiers • April 2009 27
NBC Photo: Trae Patton
America’s Army real action hero
figure of Zedwick

Soldier competes in popular game show!

DEAL? OR NO DEAL? Story by Jacqueline M. Hames

“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel gestures at the camera while contes-
tant Staff Sgt. Matthew Zedwick looks to his on-stage guests. Zedwick said
Mandel was a “pretty nice guy” and was really excited to have newlyweds
Zedwick and Kristin on the show.
28 www.army.mil/publications
TAFF Sgt. Matt Zedwick, an Iraq leader, Zedwick saw that the gunner— Once the immediate danger passed,
veteran and the only living Silver a good friend of five years—was dead. the wounded were medevaced from the
Star recipient in the Oregon Other vehicles in Zedwick’s patrol scene.
National Guard since World War II, laid down suppressive fire while he “That’s when I found out I was in-
competed in a special holiday airing of performed the rescue. Insurgents jured. I had so much adrenaline going
“Deal or No Deal,” in December. His began firing mortars on them, but they through my body I didn’t know what
appearance on the show was prompted fell short of their position. Just as the was going on, I just reacted,” Zedwick
by his impressive career as a Soldier, patrol was getting into a defensible said. He had taken a large piece of
especially when he rescued fellow position, another IED went off. The shrapnel to the wrist.
Soldiers after insurgents ambushed his explosion injured another Soldier try- Zedwick was awarded both
patrol. ing to help Zedwick. the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for
Zedwick joined the Guard in The patrol was trapped in the open, pulling his squad leader and another
1998, straight out of high school. His on a barren landscape that stretched Soldier from the burning Humvees.
decision to join was influenced by his “several hundred meters in both direc- To honor his achievements further, the
grandfathers and several uncles, who tions,” with only their vehicles for Army has incorporated Zedwick as a
had served previously. cover, Zedwick said. character in the America’s Army Real
“It was somewhat of tradition, but “There was nowhere to hide,” he Heroes program—complete with his
it wasn’t required,” Zedwick laughed. said. very own action figure.
“For me it was a way to take my own Once Zedwick got his squad leader Zedwick said he believes his experi-
independence and do something for to safety, he ran back to the burning ence with the America’s Army Real
myself, kind of like a passage to man- Humvee and retrieved some sensitive Heroes program helped him become a
hood.” items, another radio and weapons. contestant on the show. He said the ac-
During a deployment in 2004, his He and other Soldiers from the patrol tion figure seemed to intrigue produc-
patrol came under enemy ambush on loaded the wounded onto an opera- ers, and he soon found himself on the
June 13—a Friday. tional vehicle and moved south of the popular game show’s set, bumping fists
The patrol inspected an asphalt “kill zone.” They set up security, using with Howie Mendel.
factory a little ways off the road they the Humvee for cover, where they
were traveling on, but something didn’t waited until reinforcements came and
feel right. neutralized the threat.
“It looked a little peculiar because
the shop was actually closed,” Zedwick
explained. The patrol continued on
after the inspection and soon saw a
vehicle parked on the side of the road.
Zedwick, who was driving that
day, heard the call over the radio to
“steer wide,” and veered away from the
vehicle. As he was making the turn, the
other vehicle exploded.
It was an improvised explosive
NBC Photo: Trae Patton

“From what I heard from the ve-
hicle behind me, it lifted me up like 10
feet in the air,” spinning the Humvee
around so it faced the opposite direc-
tion. After the explosion, the Humvee
caught fire and Zedwick was taking
small-arms fire from insurgents. He
checked for a response from his squad
leader and received one, but the gunner
was not responding.
“My door was on fire, and the
only way I could get out was to kick
through it,” Zedwick said. Once
outside, Zedwick ran to the opposite
Staff Sgt. Matthew Zedwick and wife Kristin enter the “Deal or No Deal” set in
side of the vehicle and pulled his squad style. The two-hour special aired Dec. 25, 2008.
leader free. While rescuing the squad
Soldiers • April 2009 29
Sgt. Matthew Zedwick (left)

Jim MacMillan
and a fellow Soldier fight in
the streets of Najaf, Iraq,
Aug. 16, 2004. Sporadic but
heavy fighting continued
through the day and into
the evening, with insurgents
firing, rockets, mortars and
small arms. U.S. forces
responded with tanks, Brad-
ley fighting vehicles and
helicopter air strikes.

Staff Sgt. Re
bekah-mae Br
Zedwick appeared on the show
with his wife Kristin to compete for a
top prize of $1 million. In addition to
his wife, Zedwick’s brother Dan and
friend Ryan Tuttle joined him on stage
to provide support. Several friends,
family members and fellow Soldiers
t. Mat-
were in the audience cheering him on. elli awards Sg
de r Maj. Ge n. Peter Chiar 2005, for his heroic
mman Feb. 8,
“The show was really fun,” Zedwick lry Division co r Star Medal,
Then-1st Cava of Corvallis, Ore., the Silve
Ze dwick ,
thew .
said, though he was “cooped-up” in a enemy attack
actions under
green room with only soda and energy
drinks to sustain him and his on-stage
guests until filming.
Zedwick thought that the show the amounts are high, the offer could splurge,” he said.
probably wanted to keep him energized disappear all together. He also intends to save a portion
for filming, which took three hours. Zedwick won $227,000 in prize of the money, and wants to donate
According to the “Deal or No money on the show, and believes he the rest to charities that hold a special
Deal” Web site, 26 sealed cases con- made a good deal. There was only $400 meaning for him.
taining various amounts of money in the case he chose to keep at the “I am going to donate some of it to
are presented to the contestant. The beginning of the game. a scholarship fund, a charity (in honor)
contestant picks one to keep or bargain “I think I made an excellent deal. of some of the guys who served in our
away as he chooses, in hopes that the After knocking out the million bucks battalion who lost their lives there, for
chosen case contains a large amount of for the first choice, I think I did pretty their children. And also, my gunner—
money. well,” he laughed. there is a skate park named after him
After each round in which a prede- A full-time student, Zedwick plans as a memorial. I was going to invest a
termined number of cases are opened, to use the winnings to help pay for little bit in that,” Zedwick said.
“the Banker” makes the contestant an college, where he is studying business For more information on Zedwick’s
offer. If the amounts eliminated from and marketing with a minor in military participation in America’s Army Real
the remaining 25 cases are small, the science. Heroes, visit http://www.americasarmy.
offer gets higher with each round. If “I’m not going to go out and com/realheroes. v

30 www.army.mil/publications
Year of the NCo
I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action
in the absence of orders.

Soldiers • April 2009 31
Focus on People Story by Elizabeth M. Collins

Becoming Gaston
ASTER Sgt. Lance Milsted
is many things: Soldier,
teacher, husband, father and
actor. And in a recent production of
Walt Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,”
in La Plata, Md., the Defense Informa-
tion School instructor took on a role
enhanced by his military bearing and
confidence: Gaston, Belle’s egomaniacal
Milsted had a presence on stage
that director Joseph Stine thought
came from his military bearing. Stein
pointed out that several other service-
members from the Navy and Air Force
were also participating in the cast and
“You definitely have to have the air
of confidence about you to have the
presence that he has on stage,” added
Michael Mickey, who played Beast in
the production. “It’s nice to see mem-
bers of the military being active outside Master Sgt. Lance Milsted as Gaston is surrounded by admiring ladies in a production of “Beauty and
the Beast.” Photo courtesy of Master Sgt. Lance Milsted and the Port Tobacco Players.
of just serving the country. It’s nice to
be able to see how they live other than called the “Little Theater.” usually the Family, Morale, Welfare and
what we see in the papers and on TV.” He said it was a great way to add Recreation office.
Milsted agreed that life influences some variety to his first years in the Not only did his love of performing
his roles, but said that because Gaston Army. probably influence his decision to be-
was so overblown, he could just have “I think the big one is to combat come a broadcaster, Milsted said it also
fun with the role. He said he usually boredom, especially as a younger Sol- helps in his current job at DINFOS.
prepares for the role by walking around dier,” said Milsted, who once dreamed He said it’s easier to teach when you’re
making up new lyrics to his title song. of joining the Soldier Show. “For me, already used to getting up in front of
“For example, I would walk around it got me out of the barracks, it kept people.
and sing, ‘No one hikes like Gaston, me associated with people I liked. We “I think, in theater, you get used
rides bikes like Gaston.’ It allows me shared the same passions for music and to being in front of people and you
to think of funny things that Gaston performing and being silly or being se- definitely have to lose your inhibi-
would do, instead of focusing my at- rious or putting on something that al- tions, especially if you’re going to walk
tention on me and, really, it’s caught lowed people to experience something. around in tights and a black wig,” he
on. The only fear is that some night Which is still why I enjoy it today. For said. “You really get comfortable with
during the show, we’ll actually sing the a single Soldier, it’s something to do who you are. So it’s helped me be able
wrong words,” he said. besides sit in the barracks and watch to communicate with folks on the
After taking to the stage in middle TV or play video games, not that those platform and be animated in class and
and high schools, Milsted was able things are bad in and of themselves.” hopefully present the material in a way
to pursue his love of acting even after He said it’s a great outlet, and for the students will remember. I enjoy
starting a career as an Army broadcaster Soldiers at new duty stations, the best teaching because I like sharing that
via a theater at Fort Carson, Colo., place to find out about local theaters is information.” v

32 www.army.mil/publications

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