Some of you may be scratching your head right now asking “who is this guy, and what happened to the service members?!?” Well, Mr. Matt Lomba is a member of our civilian corps who works alongside the military.
Matt is the Chief of Television and Radio for the Defense Media Activity, Air Force in San Antonio, Texas…which is a pretty big deal.
Matt was prior enlisted and joined the Air Force in 1990. He served tours in Zaragoza, Spain, Rimini, Italy, Ramstein, Germany as a Security Policemen.
He eventually moved on andcrossed trained into Broadcasting and served in Naples, Italy, and Ramstein, Germany as a Combat Correspondent. Matt spent most of his tour in Ramstein as the senior foreign correspondent for missions in Europe, Africa and Central and South West Asia. He also is an Operation Enduring Freedom veteran who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as other outposts such as Qatar, Oman, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Pakistan.
Needless to say, Matt is extremely well traveled.
Matt left the Air Force in 2003 to work for Fox television and also served as the Regional News Director for Air Force News in Europe/Central-South West Asia. While traveling, Matt managed to earn a Masters Degree in Communications and International Relations from the University of Oklahoma.
I got to know Matt pretty well during my two months at DINFOS and I thought that this portrait captured his personality perfectly. He is extremely straightforward and can be pretty intimidating, but underneath that tough Detroit exterior is a very upright dude.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to help out the Ishan Gala Foundation again. This time they held a charity concert titledRewrite the Lyrics, here in Charlottesville. The event ended up being a really big success in raising awareness and funding to fight childhood cancer.
Pictured above is Colin Healy out of Richmond, Va., who put on a great one man show. Colin was one of two acts that night. Tim Be Told came out after Colin’s set and put on quite a performance too (more photos here).
Here is Mason Thomas posing for a photo with his mother Kelley Kassay to the left. Mason is currently battling cancer of the Central Nervous System, but you could hardly tell from how active and excited this young man was all night.
A big thanks goes out to Mayank and Sejal for inviting me out to capture their event. I am always humbled by their relentless efforts and happy to be a small part of their organization.
I also want to thank Erin and Dana from my Meetup group who came out to lend a hand and ironically enough, Erin’s husband Bob took the grand prize at the raffle!
After another quick break in the action, I am excited to bring you yet another Service Member from my 30 day project.
Amy and I also went on a short vacation to Charleston, SC, and I am gearing up to head out the door on Wednesday for Austin, TX to attend the South by Southwest Music festival. After that, I am going to Los Angeles to visit my younger brother before finally returning to Charlottesville at the end March.
Needless to say, I’ve been busy. I’m still going to try to update the blog while I’m on the road and I guess that means there’ll be no more apologizing for breaks.
On to the woman of the hour, U.S. Army Captain Charlene LaMountain from Norfolk, Va.
Charlene enlisted in the Army Reserves at 17 where she became a Graphics Illustrator. Two years later, she earned a ROTC scholarship to attend Old Dominion University. She graduated in 2001 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering.
In 2003, Charlene deployed to Iraq where she served as a Horizontal Platoon Leader (someone Army, help me out here with an explanation).
After returning from Iraq, she worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle district, as a Project Engineer before coming to DINFOS.
I wasn’t able to hang much with Charlene outside of class and I was surprised to find out during our shoot that she’s formally trained dancer, which I think is pretty cool!
Next up, a very special member of our civilian corps.