Archive for February, 2010

Service Members – Day 8

Alright, now we’re getting some rank on this page!

Please welcome U.S. Army Major Blane Iffert, a MinnesotaGuardsmanwho comes to us fromEdina, Minn.

Maj. Iffert joined the National Guard in 1991and has attended a number of military schools to include:Officer Basic Course, Officer Advance Course, Commanders Course, Combined Arms Service and Support School, Command and General Staff College.

In his civilian life, Maj. Iffert has worked for some big name companies such as KPMG, Lawson Software, U.S. Bank and AT&T.

When he returns to Minnesota he will resume his duties in the Public Affairs Office as the State Command Historian.

And despite this intimidating photo, Maj. Iffert is a prettyhilariousguy!

Next up, the Navy.

Service Members – Day 7

After a brief hiatus from the Service Member blog this past Valentine’s Day weekend, I’m happy to be back and bring you all U.S. Army Captain Cesar Santiago.

Cesar was born in Puerto Rico and joined the Army 1992 where he served as a non-commissioned officer for 12 years. After graduating from Troy University, Cesar commissioned as an infantry officer in 2005.

While serving with the Army, Cesar has been stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Benning, Ga. and Fort Stewart, Ga., and despite all that time in the south he is still Army strong!

Cesar has deployed twice to Iraq, and even managed to earn a Bronze Star for his performance while acting as the company commander responsible for the capture of one High Value Target and multiple insurgents.

When Cesar graduates DINFOs, he will travel to Fort Bragg, N.C. to become an Escort Section Team Leader for the 10th Press Camp Headquarters.

Next up, more Army and more hooah!

Service Members – Day 6

Time to get Army strong!

I’m very proud to introduce you to U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Alagie Barrow. Al, like a number of my other entries was prior enlisted but, unlike the previous service members Al is not from the United Sates.

Al grew up in The Republic ofGambia, and was born by a kerosene lamp in a thatched roof hut in the village of Kiang. His village was comprised of about 20 families living in mud homes with no paved roads, running water or electricity.

His family moved to the capital city where his father found work at a shipyard. One day, a 6-year old Al accompanied his father to work. Al’s father worked for a Caribbean gentleman and asked if his son was in school? The next week, Al became the first person in his family to attend school and walked four miles each way for 11 years.

Al has an older brother who found success in Europe and brought him back periodicals from the U.S. during his travels. A coup occurred and conditions in Gambia deteriorated for Al. Motivated by what he read about life outside of his homeland, Al pursued a visa to the United States, and was granted one in 1992 and flew to New York City.

He tried his hand for a semester at the City College of New York, but had to quickly withdraw after finding out that all assignments must be typed. Al had never seena computer.

Unfettered, Al took up work as a salesman, cleaned buildings and bussed tables to make ends meet in N.Y. Meanwhile, he applied for scholarships and eventually moved to Nashville, Tenn. at theinvitationof a local private college. Al went to school during the day and worked nights at a Heinz food plant, got married, and put his education on hold.

2001, Al joined the National Guard to defend his adopted nation as a Private First Class.

In 2008, Al wascommissionedand now we’re in school together at DINFOS.

A pretty amazing story if you ask me.