By unitedweroll on Jan 9, 2012 | In Military News and Support
United We Roll World Tour Show
Stardust Radio www.stardustradio.com
Tuesday 1/10/12 2:00pm – 4:00pm Central (Live)
Wednesday 1/11/12 6:30pm – 8:30pm Central (Repeat)
Welcome Stardust Listeners! Thank you for joining us on United We Roll
Tuesday, the 10th day of January, 2012.
It is hard to believe it is already the 10th of January - especially with the warm temps that most of us have been enjoying. I guess we should not make too much a big deal about that or Mother Nature just might decide to change things around and bring those temps back down.
(2:08pm) Our first interview comes to us from the Iowa City VA Health Care System where they are scheduled to host an upcoming event called "Valentines For Vets". Our guest will be here to tell us more about this complimentary concert that will be at 7 p.m., February 14 at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa featuring country music artist Lorrie Morgan. This concert is sponsored by the Iowa City VA Health Care System and Help Hospitalized Veterans. We will also find out what else is on the calendar with this VA office.
Two of our interviews in this show are with members who are deployed at Transit Center Manas in the Kyrgyzstan Republic. Both of our guests enjoy volunteering with the community outreach programs, in fact one is employed in a unit that is focused in this area, while our other guest has a much different duty assignment.
(2:19pm) First, we will visit with SSG Kenyeta Brackett, who is getting close to the end of her 6 month tour of duty with the 376th ESFS (Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron). On top of the long duty hours, SSG Brackett does enjoy being involved with the volunteer efforts at the Children's Cancer Center, which is supported by the on base MABOS volunteer organization.
(2:50pm) Our next guest will give us a great understanding of how the base outreach programs work as they are headquartered through the TSC or Theater Security Cooperation. We will be speaking with Capt David Martin of the 376th AEW/TSC, where he is the Medical Director for the Humanitarian Assistance Program and he has a huge amount of information to share with us today. As many of our listeners may recall, the TSC has just recently been developed and is only one of two in the Air Force today.
Our show will end at 4pm Central. Remember, if you are not able to stay with us through the afternoon, this show will repeat again on Wednesday (Jan 11th) at 6:30pm Central.
Folks, once again we are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring you these beautiful visits with our Heroes of Freedom today and every Tuesday. We hope that you have enjoyed them and will join us again next week, Tuesday, January 17th of 2012.
As always, our hearts and our prayers go out to all of our military members and Veterans, our first responders and to all their families, who also serve.
Of course, we thank all of you, our Stardust Listeners, for tuning in to United We Roll and to all of our programs here at Stardust Radio today and over the past ten years.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Valentines for Vets
A complimentary, “Valentines for Vets,” concert will be at 7 p.m., February 14 at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside, Iowa featuring country music artist Lorrie Morgan. This concert is sponsored by the Iowa City VA Health Care System and Help Hospitalized Veterans.
Veterans can reserve their complimentary tickets by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (319) 339-7155.
The tickets are complimentary because our Veterans have already paid the price.
Again, the tickets are complimentary and can be reserved by calling (319) 339-7155 or emailing to email@example.com.
By Iowa City VA HCS staff
Shoutouts For Our Troops
If your organization would like to schedule a
date and time to record shoutouts for our troops,
please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
... "We Thank You" ...
Stardust Radio Network Inc
Sundays 6pm CT - Rick Townsend brings you Firebase Network with an hour of Veteran issues and discussions. Join Rick and his guests each week and call in with your comments. The phone number during the show is 877-213-4329.
Tuesdays 2pm CT - United We Roll World Tour Show brings current news and stories of personal experiences from deployed troops and those who support our military/Veteran communities.
Relocating To Another Night - Stay Tuned - 6pm CT - Press 1 For Enough where we talk about a wide range of topics that are important to our fellow Americans and our country. Have a comment? Call in and share it. The phone number during the show is 877-213-4329. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, just let us know!
Wednesdays 6:30pm CT - United We Roll World Tour Show repeat of Tuesday's show
To hear our broadcasts - go to www.stardustradio.com and click the Listen Live button. A sound box from Live 365 will appear where you can adjust the settings to suit your listening pleasure. If you see red colored bars in the volume indicator, that means that station sound is buffering and it will turn to green and begin to play shortly. There is no fee for the service as provided.
Local Area Riverside, Iowa - Tune in to 1690 AM radio
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By unitedweroll on Jan 8, 2012 | In Military News and Support
Join us during our United We Roll show live on Tuesday, January 10th starting at 2pm Central, where Capt Steve Martin, Medical Director for Humanitarian Assistance Program at the TSC will share a lot of information with us about Operation Warm and Dry and many other aspects of the outreach programs at Transit Center Manas. The ten year relationship between the members on the base and the citizens in the local communities has become one of great respect and interaction, largely due to the efforts of the men and women who volunteer after their long duty shifts have ended. The United We Roll show with Capt Martin and also SSG Kenyeta Brackett of the ESFS (Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron) from Transit Center Manas will repeat on Wednesday, January 11th, at 6:30pm Central. Check our Facebook page for some great photos that came from this story. www.facebook.com/unitedweroll
Warm and Dry changes lives on four day trip
by Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
1/4/2012 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- Operation Warm and Dry is a major project at the Transit Center at Manas. This year, approximately $300,000 of jackets and blankets were purchased from local vendors to be distributed to families in need.
During a four day trip to Talas City, Kyrgyzstan, Dec. 27 to 30, 12 military members from the TCM distributed 741 jackets and 736 blankets to five distribution sites in the area.
Tech. Sgt. Karl Ferree, 376th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron structures humanitarian assistance team, deployed from RAF Mildenhall, England, added this trip to a long list of humanitarian projects he has been involved in.
"I have always enjoyed the humanitarian side of my job," Ferree said. "The feeling of satisfaction it gives you to make someone's life a little bit better is like nothing else."
For Senior Airman Scott Fry, also from the 376th ECES humanitarian assistance team, deployed from Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., this is his first time participating in a project overseas.
"[The experience] was amazing!" Fry exclaimed. "The best part was handing out coats to the children and watching their faces light up with happiness."
The group traveled a total of 180 miles through rough road conditions and mountainous scenery to make it to Talas City and distribute the jackets and blankets.
"We drove over two mountain passes, one was 12,000 feet and the other was 11,000 feet," said Capt. Spencer Bowen, Theatre Security Cooperation humanitarian assistance project officer, deployed from the Air Force ROTC Detachment 910 at The University of Washington. "On the way back, our cargo truck got stuck and everyone (Kyrgyz and American citizens) worked together to get it out."
The crew traveled in three SUVs and one delivery truck averaging 20 mph.
While the trip to and from Talas City may have been memorable to some, for Lt. Col. Adam Rutherford, director of TSC, also deployed from Peterson AFB, Colo., the most memorable moment was the visit to Pokrovka Rehabilitation Orphanage for Disabled Children.
"We were all excited to go, it's always fun to bring smiles and happiness on our trips," Rutherford said. "Many of us on this deployment are away from our families; this is a chance for us to be around kids."
He added that even though the children were handicapped with painful disabilities, the children were excited and thankful to receive the jackets and blankets.
"[This trip] is a reminder to be thankful for your health and wellbeing," he said.
Other distribution sites included Kok-OI Village, Bakai-Ata Village, Manas Rayon and Talas City School #2.
By unitedweroll on Jan 6, 2012 | In Military News and Support
From 33 acres with 5 buildings to 1500 acres and a thriving community, the changes that have occurred over the ten years since the beginning of Transit Center Manas (first named Ganci Air Base - a beautiful story in itself) were recently reviewed by the base's first commander, then Brig Gen Chris Kelly. As stated in the latter part of the article, it is clear that something very special exists at this base.
First Transit Center commander reflects on decade of change
by Master Sgt. Cindy Dorfner
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
1/6/2012 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan (AFNS) -- Even in his wildest dreams, he never could have envisioned what he started 10 years ago would turn into what he sees now. But when the Transit Center's first commander, then-Brig. Gen. Chris Kelly, landed on Runway 08 at the Manas International Airport on Dec. 16, 2001, he saw potential of what this place could, and should, become.
"To say that things are very different now would be an understatement," said the now-retired lieutenant general, who visited Kyrgyzstan recently to attend a ceremony recognizing the Transit Center's 10-year existence and the enduring partnership between the U.S. and the Kyrgyz Republic.
For example, the 1,500-acres that make up the Transit Center today was once a 33-acre area with only five buildings.
In the short months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the installation was established as a hub for combat operations. Kelly's guidance was to create a wing that would eventually host five different types of aircraft: French Mirages, F-15Es and F/A-18s to support ground operations, and KC-135s and C-130s to provide aerial refueling and passenger and cargo transportation.
Upon arrival that winter day at Manas International Airport, Kelly and his team set about the task of building the support structures to enable the flying mission.
"I took a look around the airfield in order to understand the tasks my team would have to accomplish before we could begin operations," Kelly said. "With the help of many Kyrgyz partners, we were able to quickly prepare to accept aircraft and begin operations."
As the years passed, the purpose of the Transit Center has also evolved. The 376th Air Expeditionary Wing now hosts approximately 1,300 military personnel as well as nearly 900 U.S. and host-nation contractor personnel performing day-to-day operations in direct support of international efforts in Afghanistan. The wing's around-the-clock missions include aerial refueling, airlift, movement of troops to and from Afghanistan, and strengthening the partnership with the Kyrgyz Republic.
The partnership piece is something Kelly noted during his first meeting with the U.S. Embassy's Charge D'Affairs the day he arrived in country.
"Soon after our arrival, Ambassador John O'Keefe made it clear that he expected our U.S. and allied forces to play a role in supporting the local communities on a voluntary basis," he said. "I'll be the first person to tell you that that concept was not one of my primary focuses. But after some thought, I also knew that the ambassador was absolutely correct -- and I think the record of the past 10 years speaks for itself in this regard.
"From blackboards in Naryn to coats in Issyk-Kul to clinic and school renovations right here in the Bishkek area, more than 100 humanitarian projects in all, the Liberandos have delivered more than $4 million in assistance to the Kyrgyz people," Kelly said. "And it is not just brick-and-mortar help that have been delivered."
He noted that in the past year alone, Transit Center personnel have hosted or taken part in almost 80 security cooperation activities; volunteered more than 10,000 hours to community service; and partnered with the Ministries of Health, Education, Emergency Services, local mayors and school officials to identify and implement humanitarian assistance projects and community outreach programs.
During his visit, Kelly saw first-hand the results of the community support he once only envisioned. Stopping at the Razdolnoya Kindergarten, he saw the school's $295,000 renovations, including a new roof, floors, electrical and lighting systems and gymnasium, as well as an upgraded heating system.
Today, when talking with Kyrgyz citizens, many still refer to the Transit Center as Ganci Air Base -- a name his team first attached to the operations at Manas International Airport.
The general was in Manas for about three weeks when a couple of young officers approached him about naming the installation. He knew by their question that they had an unofficial name in mind: Ganci. The name was emblematic for the victims of the attacks on 9/11. Peter Ganci, the chief of the New York City Fire Department, died while attempting to rescue people during the terrorist attacks that day. Kelly thought the name was a great idea, but knew he needed the permission of Ganci's family. So, he tasked the officers with finding a connection and they did. Soon, Kelly called Ganci's brother, Dan, a colonel at Fort Hamilton Army Reserve Base in New York. Dan talked to Ganci's son, Pete Jr., who talked to his mom and she said yes. The rest, as they say, is history.
During his visit, Kelly also reflected on the enormity of the changes elsewhere on the airfield.
"The physical changes in the facilities that I have seen since my arrival are not only apparent, but somewhat hard to believe," Kelly said. "The 33-acre tent city that we erected on a snow-covered field is long gone. The area we called the 'compound' is nothing but a memory. Where once was an empty field, there is now a modern strategic parking ramp, large enough for more than a dozen cargo aircraft.
"In the next few months there will be even more dramatic improvements, including an upgraded runway and a state-of-the-art air traffic control tower and air traffic management system," he said. "These improvements will increase efficiency and safety for all air traffic in Kyrgyzstan."
While Kelly remarked about all that had changed, he found one important item remained unaffected by the passage of time.
"You don't have to be here long to know that something very, very special has endured," the general said. "A decade later, the people of the Kyrgyz Republic and the people of the United States know that along with our other coalition partners, we stand together against those who promote and participate in international terrorism. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a very noble cause."
By unitedweroll on Jan 6, 2012 | In Military News and Support
We salute Retired Lt Gen. Leo Marquez, an Air Force Legend and an American Hero. May he rest in peace and we send prayers of comfort and appreciation for their service to his family.
Air Force maintenance icon dies
by Danny Monahan
377th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
1/6/2012 - KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFNS) -- Retired Lt. Gen. Leo Marquez died Dec. 30 in Albuquerque, N.M., at age 79.
Throughout his 33-year career, Marquez is credited with revolutionizing the maintenance and logistics career field.
"In my many encounters with General Leo Marquez, he always lived up to his reputation as being one of those guys who just comes right at the issue," said Col. Walter Lindsley, the 498th Nuclear Systems Wing commander. "You could tell as you spoke with him that he was weighing your words, and he was thinking about the issues, and you were about to benefit from his sage advice.
"He was a man of action, a fighter, a patriot," Lindsley continued. "He loved the maintenance and logistics community, the Air Force and his country."
Today, an Air Force award bears his name. The Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award recognizes military and civil service aircraft, munitions and missile maintenance personnel who perform hands-on maintenance or manage a maintenance function.
"He is and will always be an icon in the maintenance and logistics community because of his ability to see the problem and cut right to the issue," said Lindsley, a Lieutenant General Leo Marquez Award recipient. "He's responsible for the Air Force Combat Ammunition Center, our world-class munitions school, and had a hand in the very badge maintainers wear above their left pocket. We have an award named after him that is coveted by maintainers at all levels. His is a lasting legacy and a reminder of the difference one person can make."
The AFCOMAC building at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., was dedicated as the "Marquez Academic Hall" in his honor in 2011.
Marquez is also credited for being instrumental in keeping Kirtland Air Force Base operational after it had been placed on the Base Realignment and Closure Commission list in 1995. That year, the Kirtland AFB Retention Task Force said that without his time and professional expertise, the effort to keep Kirtland AFB from closing would not have been possible.
Marquez was born in Peralta, N.M., in 1932 and graduated from Belen High School in 1949. He entered the Air Force as a second lieutenant in November 1954 when he earned a commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps upon graduation from New Mexico State University. In 1978, NMSU named Marquez a distinguished alumnus.
Early in his Air Force career, he was an interceptor pilot, flying F-86s and F-102s. In 1962, Marquez became a maintenance officer and served in a variety of maintenance roles throughout the rest of his career, including as the maintenance control officer for the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam; the logistics project officer in the Directorate of Maintenance Engineering, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics; and as the director of maintenance engineering and supply, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics.
In August 1983, he was promoted to lieutenant general and became the deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., where he remained until his retirement in 1987.
Marquez's military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was selected as Air Force Logistics Command Systems Manager of the year in 1974. In 1977, Marquez was the recipient of the Air Force Association's Executive Management Award. In 2003 he was awarded the Logistics Officer Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
Upon his retirement from the Air Force, Marquez stayed active in New Mexico military affairs, serving on the Kirtland Partnership Committee and the New Mexico Military Base Planning Commission.
He is survived by his wife, Stella, five children and three grandchildren.
By unitedweroll on Jan 6, 2012 | In Military News and Support
If you have been a member of the United We Roll audience for any length of time, you are probably aware that we visit with a different member who is deployed to Transit Center Manas in the Kyrgyzstan Republic every week. While every base, every deployed unit takes advantage wherever they may be stationed to participate in community events, the men and women at TC Manas have taken on a very important presence in the community as they participate in and support organizations and groups on every age level.
Almost every member with whom we have spoken over these past years talks of their volunteer efforts in these programs as a highlight in their deployment and the memories that will live on in their hearts. I am quite certain that the community members - from young children to the "Babushkas (Grandmothers) and Veterans of WWII - probably feel much the same way about these Americans who come to visit, to bring supplies, help with repairs and to show respect.
Here at Stardust Radio Network, Inc, we feel that Transit Center Manas has a very special heart due to those who are stationed there. One side of that heart beats with the thousands of volunteer hours that are put in above and beyond long duty hours to build the relationships and bonds that now exist and continue to grow each day. We will talk about the other side of that huge heart in another post.
The following article gives a current overview of the many volunteer projects that our troops support and keep going by their own efforts and through reaching out to others for help with donations.
Airmen volunteer, make friends in Krygyz communities
by Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
12/1/2011 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- When some people deploy they focus on bettering their fitness or achieving educational and promotion goals; others dedicate their time to helping in their new communities.
The Manas Area Benefit Outreach Society was created in 2003 for those deployed here to assist the people of Kyrgyzstan. It is the largest private organization at the Transit Center and provides assistance to nine area groups.
MABOS supports the Belovodosky Orphanage, the Nizhanchuisk Orphanage, Center for the People, Children's Cancer Center, Children's Heart Ward, WWII Veterans Assistance Program, Babushka Elderly Foundation, Sizim Women's Crisis Center and the Social Village, said Master Sgt. Leenette Joseph, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Equal Opportunity Office director. "These are the organizations we support on a monthly basis; however, sometimes we get additional requests to support other causes or individuals from the community. Those individual projects are considered by the executive council for 'one-time-only' assistance."
Joseph decided to become involved with MABOS as a way to give back to the community.
"Working with MABOS opened my eyes to how grateful people are when we show up at their doorsteps," said Joseph, deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. "In the military we are in the business of serving; we serve our country, and what better way to do this than to build upon relationships between Americans and Kyrgyz people and providing assistance to a greater cause."
MABOS donations come from membership fees, fundraisers and the volunteers. Transit Center Airmen donate everything from school supplies, clothing, toys and personal funds in support of the organizations currently sponsored by MABOS.
"Since I became the MABOS president 50 days ago, we have donated $5,454 and more than 500 hours in the Kyrgyz community," Joseph said. "We will continue to assist as long as the community needs us. The most impressive thing we've done is to reach out to underprivileged children waiting for heart surgery. Since 2003, through MABOS financial support, 171 children have received heart surgeries and are living healthy, fulfilling lives."
Staff Sgt. Brittany Lawson is an active member of MABOS and the Belovodosky Orphanage focus group leader.
"I joined MABOS because I love working with kids of all ages and I wanted to learn about the local culture; the best way to do that is to get out in it," said Lawson, a 376th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster. "It is so rewarding to see the smiles on all the faces of whoever we are visiting and knowing that our donations are helping the local community."
Joseph encourages those deployed to the Transit Center to attend a meeting and see what the organization is about.
"If you are ready to make a difference in someone's life but you are not sure how to do it or how to get started, then MABOS is the place for you," she said. "MABOS gives you the tools and guidance ... all you have to do is give your time. We provide the opportunity to help in so many ways, from spending time with the elderly, playing with children at orphanages or cancer clinics, or sharing stories with WWII veterans we have it all. I guarantee the sense of satisfaction you will experience is invaluable."
Lawson said she finds volunteering with MABOS rewarding both personally and spiritually.
"It is a way to get away from the everyday 'deployment life,'" said Lawson, deployed from Eglin AFB, Fla. "I wish I could spend every minute that I am not working with a MABOS organization trying to improve the lives of the locals who are graciously letting us share their country."
Despite the rewards that come with leading MABOS, Joseph admits she experiences challenges too.
"The most challenging part about running the organization has been prioritizing who needs the most assistance," she said. "You want to help everyone, but unfortunately, we don't always have the resources or funds to say 'yes' to every single request. I wish we did."
Joseph attributes MABOS successes to the hard work and efforts of the young service members who are involved in the organization.
"These Airmen and Soldiers, some with less than five years in the military, have made phone calls, solicited donations and done amazing things for the organizations we support," Joseph said. "An example of that is during my last trip to the Belovodosky Orphanage, we donated 50 blankets, clothes and supplies to the 110 children in the institution. None of this would have been possible without the motivated focus group leaders."
MABOS is in the process of planning a local visit in observacne of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, which is celebrated Dec. 3, and has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992.
"Our efforts are to create awareness for people with disabilities and to provide assistance," Joseph said. "We are donating bags of groceries and other household goods for 36 disabled single mothers and children. We are looking forward to the visit."
By unitedweroll on Jan 5, 2012 | In Military News and Support
This National Guard unit spent 2011 engaged in a program to help young people across New York state, where they reached more than 8,000 middle school students.
During our United We Roll shows, we talk often about our military members and units and how they do not stop when the duty clock stops. Whether they are stationed overseas or at home, in peaceful areas or in harm's way, our military members reach out to the citizens of the communities around them to help however they may be needed.
Why don't these incredible efforts, above and beyond protecting our country & freedom, seem to make the big news? Here is a deeply felt Thank You to those who participated in this great program.
N.Y. Guard Counterdrug Task Force helps keep 100 schools drug-free
By Lt. Col. Richard Goldenberg
New York National Guard
SCOTIA, N.Y. (1/3/12) -- Throughout 2011, more than 100 communities across New York State welcomed Soldiers and Airmen of the New York National Guard, not to hear about their overseas wartime experiences, but to share life skills with students and keep them drug-free.
Part of the nation's war on drugs is fought in classrooms by Soldiers and Airmen of the Guard's Counterdrug Task Force. The Guard supports drug prevention coalitions, other state organizations and local agencies to reduce the abuse and illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The force has 25 certified Drug Demand Reduction Soldiers and Airmen who supervise the Guard's Stay on Track curriculum, a key part of the prevention program. In 2011, the task force reached more than 8,000 middle school students in grades 6-8 in 100 schools across the state.
"We do basically anything that would get the kids off the street," said Lt. Col. Richard Sloma, commander of the Counterdrug Task Force, based here.
"Our Soldiers and Airmen are providing activities that help community organizations engage kids," he said. "We provide a number of alternate activities to drug use. We have several of those programs."
Students in the program participate in interactive activities with the National Guard mentors and learn about the negative consequences of substance abuse.
The Stay on Track program offers an innovative, fun, and comprehensive approach to substance abuse prevention. The research-based curriculum is designed for classroom implementation by teachers. Special emphasis is given to tobacco, club drugs, hallucinogens, alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana and inhalants.
Each level of training also provides four modules to reinforce the benefits of living a drug-free life, from health education, decision-making and setting goals, peer communications and interpersonal skills, as well as the media's influence.
"This unique program provides a mechanism under which National Guard military experience can be employed to assist civilian law enforcement agencies to fight the corrosive effect of illegal drugs in American society," said Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKinley, chief of the National Guard Bureau, during his May 2010 Senate testimony for the 2011 National Guard Budget.
"Our National Guard Counterdrug program fills a very vital need," McKinley said.
The National Guard Counterdrug Task Force partners with other state and federal entities, including the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, New York State Police, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and a variety of community-based organizations across the state.
"We are trying to work in coalitions," Sloma said.
By working in partnership toward a common goal, the National Guard Counterdrug Task Force sponsored drug-free activities and programs to expand their reach to more than 23,000 children this past year.
"We try to go to events where there are multiple exposures to us," Sloma said. "The kids show up once a week for a summer program, or we work with the Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Clubs, Four H, you name it."
Overall, the program covers 12 education sessions, normally spread over 12 weeks, Sloma said, depending on the schedule of the school partnering with the Guard.
"We send in one Guardsman, one Soldier or Airmen and they'll go to the school, show up in uniform and help run the program," Sloma said.
The Stay on Track program, which cost approx. $1.1 million in fiscal year 2011, is expected to visit more than 60 schools again in 2012.
"I believe in it," said Command Sgt. Maj. Roland Wells, the senior noncommissioned officer with the program for 13 years. "I have seen firsthand, students who have matured and I have seen them succeed outside of the school environment."
The National Guard uses their unique resources as a community-based military force to assist local and state law enforcement to reduce the supply of drugs in America and help youth make a commitment to be drug-free.
Guardsmen support both the reduction in supply through their assistance to interdiction efforts as well as implementing a Drug Demand Reduction program through awareness and prevention tactics in communities throughout the state.