Military Essay Contest Winners to Ride in Rose Bowl Parade
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2003 Two military officers will join marching bands, equestrian teams and colorful floats traveling down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., at the 115th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1.
Georgia Army National Guard Capt. Kris Marshall, commander, Alpha Company, 221st Military Intelligence Battalion, meets with villagers of Jarchi, Afghanistan. Marshall's mother, Lynn, wrote one of the winning essays in The National Military Family Association and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve "Heroes Among Us" essay contest. The essay details Alpha Company's commitment to helping Jarchi families by purchasing school supplies, clothing, and food. Photo courtesy of Lynn Kaley.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Air Force Reserve Maj. Tami Rougeau, and Army National Guard Capt. Kris Marshall, along with their families and civilian employers, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the event. The officers were the subjects of the winning essays in the "Heroes Among Us" essay contest sponsored by the National Military Family Association and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve organization.
The officers will ride on a patriotic float featuring Uncle Sam and the Liberty Bell, sponsored by the ESGR, during the nationally televised event.
Rougeau was nominated by Air Force Reserve Maj. Tamara Averett-Brauer, who depicted Rougeau as a "perfect example" of a hero on many levels.
She said Rougeau's "dedication to her family, her job, her education, and her nation can only be described as amazing."
"She's not happy unless she has at least 12 irons in the fire," Averett-Brauer explained. "Her ability to juggle multiple tasks while devoting herself fully to each is inspiring. Tami is my hero because she can juggle civilian employment with a personal and family life, graduate school and military education all with her busy military duties."
In her civilian career, Rougeau works as a nurse in the emergency department of Northern Nevada Medical Center in Sparks, Nev. In September, as part of an Aeromedical Evacuation Control Team, she deployed to Qatar to work in the U.S. Central Command Combined Air Operations Center.
There, her duties involved the daily management of patient movement requests, arranging airlift and medical crews to rapidly evacuate the sick and injured in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Lynn Kaley, of Loganville, Ga, wrote an essay about her son, Marshall, the company commander for Alpha Company, 221st Military Intelligence Battalion, Georgia Army National Guard.
Marshall deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in February, leaving his job as project manager with Weidmann Remodeling-Renovation, Alpharetta, Ga. He joined the company after graduating in 1998 from North Georgia College & State University, Dahlonega, Ga.
In her winning essay, "My Hero is a Family Man," Kaley describes her son as "full of boundless love, embracing all who are fortunate enough to enter his life." And she added that her son and his wife, Jennie, put aside having a family while he serves his country.
"Kris, like the America he loves and protects, reserves the right to claim any and all as family, and he carries this belief around the world," she wrote.
The National Military Family Association is a nonprofit, predominantly volunteer organization with membership from the uniformed services, active duty, retired, reserve component and their families and survivors.
The association was organized in 1969 as the National Military Wives Association by a group of wives and widows seeking financial security for survivors of uniformed service personnel and retirees.
NMFA's primary goals are to educate military families concerning their rights, benefits and services available to them and to inform them regarding the issues that affect their lives. The organization also works to promote and protect the interests of military families by influencing the development and implementation of legislation and policies.
Established in 1972, the ESGR is an agency within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. The agency promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment.
Donna Clodfelter, vice president for public relations, marketing and membership at NMFA, said this is the second year for the contest, which was created as a way to show support and appreciation to men and women of the National Guard and Reserve, and to their civilian employers.