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.
Not quite a Marine, but U.S. Air Force SecondLieutenantZach Anderson can stare down a bull from 500 meters!!! Getting this smile out of this guy was like lifting a mountain with a crowbar!
Of course I’m kidding, but Zach is up there on the intensity scale, which is surprising since he’s an incredibly nice guy.
Zach grew up in the tiny town of Amber, Okla., which, according to him has a gas station, a school, two churches and a restaurant. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma, and was a television news reporter for a few years before finding his true calling.
In 2005, Zach enlisted and was assigned to the 507th Air Refueling Wing as a Public Affairs troop at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. After three years, he put in a package and was accepted to Officer Training School and commissionedlast year.
Zach is also a life long reservist (what what!) and is currently stationed at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. while assigned to Fourth Air Force Command Public Affairs as an Air Reserve Technician (meaning he’s a full-time GS employee). On a side note, the Fourth is who my wing reports to, so I’m always on eggshells when Zach is around.
He’s alsomegahigh-speed, and has greased every speaking assignment we’ve had to date. Someday, I hope to grow up and be just like Zach…wait, I’m a Captain!