Military Veterans Try and Overcome PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries Through Music

LinkedIn
Two musicians pictured on the album cover

DFD Music (dfdmusic.com/) recently announced the release of “Hits the Collection,” Shane Foster & Christopher Davis bring together an extraordinary group of musicians to join them, something that has never been done by military veterans and industry producers.

Notable collaborators and featured musicians delivering instrumental & vocal performances include Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, Boosie Bad Azz, and Project Pat. These are artists with diverse musical backgrounds coming together to create a timeless musical quality. “Hits the Collection” is available for purchase on all major digital platforms and on iTunes.

Check out “Hits the Collection” on Spotify HERE.

Buy tracks from “Hits the Collection” on iTunes HERE.

About DFD Producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris
DFD Music is a production company dually located in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. Helmed by producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris, DFD Music offers music production, engineering, songwriting and a wide variety of marketing directions for musical artists.

Shane Foster is an American producer and marketing executive, in addition to being a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served with distinction as an elite Paratrooper. Having first studied law, Shane is an alumnus of V.C.U., and an alumnus of The Los Angeles Film School where he obtained degrees in both Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Shane’s most recent work has graced the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart with Yo Gotti’s single “Play” (Remix), where it peaked at number 17. Shane’s other credits involve mentions in Hype Magazine as well as television, including collaborations with Showtime, MTV, BET, VH1 and Amazon Prime Video. Shane formed DFD Music with collaborating producer Davis Chris in 2016.

“Our purpose is to create music that heals the souls of everyday people and the veterans who have served. It is a battle every day for so many to stay mentally healthy after serving our country. There are too many men and women who have fought for the country like me that end up taking their lives because of depression and PTSD. This cycle needs to stop. Working in partnership with fellow veteran Christopher Davis and other unique artists to release this album has been a step in the right direction in helping those who need healing to be healed like us.” Shane Foster said.

An American songwriter, producer and engineer from Houston, Davis Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Davis studied Kinesiology before also attending The Los Angeles Film School to obtain degrees in Music Production, Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Davis’s most recent work appeared on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, with Iggy Azalea’s album “In My Defense,” which peaked at number six for independent albums, and number 22 for Top Rap Albums in 2019. The album itself has been streamed over 220 million times to date.

Both producers are BMI and Grammy U members who provide fast and reliable service to all their clients, while living by the three Ds: Determination, Dedication and Discipline. They welcome media inquiries, in addition to reviewing and receiving new talent. Follow them on social media at:

Davis Chris: @godavischris for all platforms.

Shane Foster: @therealshanefoster on Instagram and Facebook.

DFD Music: @therealdfdmusic on Twitter

Sailor of the Day!

LinkedIn
U.S. Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Lesley Carrasco, from Anaheim, California, poses for a photograph as the Sailor of the Day with Capt. Randy Peck, right, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and Command Master Chief Marc Puco in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 8, 2019. The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

U.S. Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Lesley Carrasco, from Anaheim, California, poses for a photograph as the Sailor of the Day with Capt. Randy Peck, right, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and Command Master Chief Marc Puco in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 8, 2019.

The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.

U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas R. Pittman.

Source: outreach.navy.mil/

About The Navy Office of Community Outreach
The Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) connects Americans with their Navy. With most of the Navy’s personnel and equipment logically concentrated on America’s coasts, NAVCO oversees a number of community outreach programs designed to bring America’s Navy to cities throughout the country which do not enjoy a significant Navy presence.

Jimmy Fallon surprises military veteran with $50K in heartwarming video

LinkedIn
Jimmy Fallon hugs military souse on the Tonight Show

To mark Veteran’s Day, Jimmy Fallon had a couple of announcements in store. The first was that The Tonight Show would be donating $150,000 to Fisher House Foundation, a charity that “provides housing for families of military and veterans while their loved one is receiving treatment.”

The second surprise, meanwhile, was even closer to home.

“Our friends at The Home Depot Foundation started a brand new contest this year called Operation Surprise, where people all across the country get to nominate a U.S. military veteran in need, and the winner gets $25,000 to go towards critical home repairs,” explains Fallon in the clip above.

“It’s a great thing, and I’m happy to say that the winner of this year’s Operation Surprise contest is here with us tonight.”

Just watch the face of the winner — a veteran of the Air Force — as her name is called out.

 

Continue on to Mashable to read the complete article

Celebrating Veterans Week… On the Wheel of Fortune!

LinkedIn
Wheel of Fortune Veterans Week promo picture with Pat Sajak and Vanna White pictured next to it

As iconic as the American flag and apple pie, the Wheel of Fortune game show has become a beloved phenomenon that millions tune into each and every night. Longtime hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White are not only game show royalty but the most genuine, down-to-earth people you’ll ever meet.

U.S. Veterans Magazine was extremely honored to not only be invited to a taping of Wheel of Fortune’s Veterans Week, but also to have the chance to sit down and chat with both Sajak and White about what this special week means to them.

Pat Sajak’s Army Experience:

‘The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me’ Born and raised in Chicago, Pat Sajak always knew he wanted to go into broadcasting. He joined the Army in 1968 during the height of the Vietnam War. Because he had some experience in radio, he thought he would be sent to the Armed Forces Radio in Saigon.

However, “the Army in its wisdom sent me to be a finance clerk, of which I had no experience,” laughed Sajak, who kept applying for a transfer to Saigon until he finally got it.

There, he spent a year and a half doing radio similar to the famed Robin Williams character in the featurePat Sajak Wheel of Fortune host holding U.S. Veterans Magazine film, “Good Morning, Vietnam!” “Guys would come in from the field and I’d be like, ‘he’s out there doing that and I’m in here playing records,’” said Sajak. “We tried to play just music on the station, with not a lot of military talk, and I think they [soldiers] were always grateful to have that little bit of home.”

Following his discharge, Sajak later went to work for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles as a weatherman, where he was discovered by Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin.

“I was working in local TV doing the weather when Merv said he needed a host. He liked my stuff and here I am, 40 years later,” said Sajak, who’s been recognized by Guinness World Records® for having “the longest career as a game show host for the same show.”

When asked about Veterans Week, Sajak said, “One thing our contestants have in common with our audience is they appreciate the military and admire what these men and women are doing. The way we celebrate that is to celebrate them. Our audience loves it and we love it.”

Sajak is proud the Wheel of Fortune is truly America’s Game® and embodies those values naturally. “You look at other shows and it looks like everyone just stepped off the beaches of Southern California,” he said. “We have every size, shape, race, color and belief on our show.”

We asked Sajak about a past Veterans Week contestant who sabotaged her own game so a fellow veteran who was struggling financially could walk away with some winnings.

“This young lady was wiping the floor with everyone and was clearly going to be the, but then she started calling bizarre letters. I thought she had a stroke,” Sajak said. “She ended up losing the round but then it hit me what she was doing. Later, when we were backstage, I said to her, ‘you deliberately blew that, didn’t you?’ and she said, ‘yeah, I did.’ It says something about the military mindset.”

A key aside about game strategy: Buy vowels. “If you don’t buy vowels, you won’t win,” Sajak said.

The former veteran says he feels his military experience helped him mature as a person.

“Looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. What I gained in those three years were something I couldn’t have gained in years doing something else.”

A Chat with Vanna White on Lessons Learned Vanna White and her Dadand 7,000 Dresses

Famed letter-turner Vanna White became a household name when she became co-host of Wheel of Fortune in 1982. Since her debut, she has been revealing letters on the iconic puzzle board, clapping for contestants and dazzling the audience in a new gown every night.

How did you get your start on the Wheel of Fortune?
It all started when I lived in Atlanta, Georgia. I wrote in to be a contestant on the show. They wrote back and said if you’re ever in the area, give us a call and come audition. A few years later I auditioned for a different part and I was the lucky one.

I’ve now been here for 37 years.

Why do you feel it’s important to celebrate Veterans Week?
Because veterans are very special—my dad is a veteran who served in the Korean War.

How do you thank the veterans for all that they do?
This gives them a chance to have fun, win a little money and for us to recognize them for the incredible work they do.

What lessons did your dad teach you?
Where do I begin with that? My dad’s 94 years old and still with us, God bless him. He’s a kind man and believes in being real. He’s always kept me grounded. He’s just a good man.

We understand you’ve worn more than 7,000 gowns on the Wheel of Fortune, but never worn the same one twice.
Most of what I wear are samples so I have to fit in what they send me. My favorite dresses are the stretchy ones. I’ve been wearing a lot of cocktail dresses lately, which I like because I don’t trip in them like the long dresses.

A funny story: We take dinner breaks between show tapings and this one time I really overate and the dress was very tight. In the middle of a round, the belt popped off and fell on the ground. I just continued on as if it never happened!

I know you and Pat have a special relationship. Do you think it attributes to the success of the show?
I definitely do. We are like a brother/sister team. We have a genuine friendship and we respect each other. To be able to work with someone you like for 37 years is pretty good.

Be sure to tune in for Wheel of Fortune’s Veterans Week on November 4th – 8th on the Game Show Network (GSN) or on your local broadcast station.

Sailor uses laser range finder aboard USS John P. Murtha

LinkedIn
Alejandra Murillo users laser USS John P. Murtha

Lt.j.g. Alejandra Murillo, from Huntington Beach, Calif., uses a laser range finder on the forecastle of the amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) as the ship arrives in Okinawa, Japan.

The John P. Murtha is currently on its first deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team and is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom)

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Vietnam Veteran Wes Studi calls historic Oscar ‘overwhelmingly amazing’

LinkedIn
Wes Studi pictured smiling, wearing a dark suit and silver necklace, at event premiere

Cherokee actor, activist and Vietnam veteran Wes Studi is poised to become the first Native American actor to be presented with an Oscar at Sunday’s Governors Awards gala in Los Angeles.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that it planned to celebrate Studi’s extraordinary career with an honorary Oscar at its annual fall ceremony.

“It’s overwhelmingly amazing,” Studi told UPI in a recent phone interview.

“It’s recognition of a body of work that’s taken me 30-some-odd years to put together, and it really is kind of overwhelming that my peers in the business have recognized my work and think that it’s deserving of an award.”

The 71-year-old Oklahoma native — who is known for his unforgettable performances in the films Hostiles, AvatarGeronimo, The Last of the Mohicans and Dances with Wolves — was preparing his Oscar acceptance speech this week.

“I’m definitely getting nervous about it. I hope I am able to give credit where credit is due and to be able to see, as well as communicate with, people I have worked with throughout the past,” Studi said.

He also wants his remarks to convey to Native actors just starting out that “these things are possible.”

“It opens a door in a way,” he said. “It has provided possibility.”

Studi, who has eight projects in various stages of production, hasn’t given up his dream of winning a competitive Oscar.

“As much as I appreciate this award, I’m definitely still looking for that one award for an individual performance,” he said, adding he considers his work ethic among his greatest achievements.

“Just doing the best I possibly could has always been a goal of mine.”

Studi said he understands the impact art can have on people and appreciates being part of films widely regarded as timeless classics.

“Hopefully, the story gets across the intended purpose — not only entertaining, but also passing on virtues, as well as failings of our human race,” he said. “Storytelling is one of the most important ways of passing on cultures and of maintaining them.”

Continue on to UPI to read the complete article.

Meet the U.S. Army Medical Command Equal Opportunity Advisor of the Year

LinkedIn
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Wharton in uniform with U.S. Flag behind him

By Mr. John Ciccarelli (Regional Health Command Pacific)

It was April Fools’ Day when Sgt. 1st Class Brian Wharton received news he couldn’t believe. Through fragmented texts exchanged during a flight across the Pacific Ocean, Wharton discovered that he had been named the Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) of the Year for U.S. Army Medical Command.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘No way!'” he said. “It wasn’t until I landed that I received the confirmation letter in my e-mail.”

Wharton assumed duties as an EOA after graduating from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute in 2017. Assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC), he immersed himself in building relationships with the staff of more than 4,500 Soldiers and civilians, which earned him widespread admiration and gratitude.

“His drive and determination as EOA have established a positive climate for the command and adherence to higher standards of equality through awareness initiatives, open and focused discussions, and providing sound advice to the commander and staff members,” said Col. Mary V. Krueger, Commander of TAMC.

The EO program is the Army’s way of validating the values we stand for in a visible way, Wharton said.

“Embracing our differences, acknowledging our histories, and showing respect for the plethora of people that make up our military forces shows our Soldiers that we are not separate entities but rather one and the same,” added Wharton.

Wharton has been busy planning, coordinating and executing observances across the Army. The Army Hawaii EO office selected Tripler to lead eight observances in fiscal year 2018, setting the standard for other units.

“As the world is evolving, so are we as individuals,” Wharton said. “We must continue to create a safe place for individuals to talk about differences and create solutions to work well as a multidisciplinary team from various backgrounds. Our ability to do this is what makes us great.”

Wharton was born and raised in Detroit. He enlisted in the Army in 2003 and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he became an Army healthcare specialist.

Wharton said it is important to embrace each opportunity to further the platform of EO to Soldiers, civilian counterparts and the communities in which we serve.

“Creating partnerships that haven’t been created before and soliciting assistance from outside organizations will make for a larger impact and lasting changes throughout the world,” said Wharton.

Source: army.mil

Together We Served: A website to help you find old friends

LinkedIn
Group of U.S. Military pictured in rows wearing military uniforms

The United States military is a brotherhood and sisterhood like no other. Those who serve together form a common sense of purpose and devotion to duty. It’s a level of trust not commonly found in civilian life.

Those military friendships last forever. But as life moves, and when people leave the military, they often lose touch with those friends, some of whom they would have given their life for.

Tracking down old friends, particularly if you have been out of the service many years, is not always easy. But there is one company that can help. Together We Served (TWS) is a Veteran-only website, launched in 2003. It provides Veterans a highly-effective means to reconnect with old service-friends. One simply enters their service history onto their TWS Military Service Page. TWS built an individual website for each branch of service and, with over 1.9 million Veteran members, the chances of finding people you served with is high.

The secret behind TWS’s ability to connect more Veterans is the depth of its databases. Over the past 16 years, TWS has built one of the most comprehensive databases of U.S. Military training and operating units in existence. Its databases span from WW2 to present day.

Military Service Page

By creating your Military Service Page on Together We Served, you can not only find Veterans who went to the same basic training as you, or served in the same units or duty stations, but also those who participated in the same combat or non-combat operations. TWS’s search engine automatically matches the service information you enter on your Military Service Page with the service information on the Military Service Pages of all other TWS members. Those members, whose entries could match yours, get listed on your Service Page. That is what enables you to make contact with those you may know. This powerful feature helps Veterans remember forgotten names.

Finding key people on TWS can be very helpful, especially if you need or can provide witness account to support a potential VA claim.

“We are especially proud of the fact that Together We Served has been able to help hundreds of thousands of Veterans to reconnect with old service friends they would otherwise never see or hear of again. For a combat Veteran, in particular, to be able to re-unite with someone you went through hell and back with, can be a very cathartic experience”. –Brian Foster, President and Founder of Together We Served

Take this opportunity to reconnect with the servicemen and women you shared some of the most important times of your life with. In recognition of your service, Together We Served provides all VA Veterans with a FREE One Year Premium Membership, providing unlimited people searches, when you join TWS via the following link: join.togetherweserved.com/va

Continue on to the VA website to read the complete article.

Anyone Can Register for this MilSpouse Hackathon

LinkedIn
military spouse working on a computer

Have you ever wanted to learn how to code or just improve your skills? Now is your chance! Milspouse Coders, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering military spouses around the globe to find challenging and fulfilling careers in technology, is hosting a live hackathon at the Microsoft Visitors Center in Redmond, Washington, on Nov. 8-9, 2019.

In the annual hackathon, coders, entrepreneurs, UI/UX designers, graphic designers and project managers come together to “hack” a solution or to create the next big app. This year, the Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy is sponsoring the event, which will focus on hacking the military life — finding ways to knock down obstacles military families face.

“We have registrations from civilians local to Seattle/Redmond, but we’d really like to fill the seats with more military-affiliated tech lovers,” said MilSpouse Coders Chair Kerri-Leigh Grady in an email. “We want to expose our community to the opportunities available to us in this industry, whether it’s a milspouse hungry for a career of their own, or a transitioning service member curious about the wide range of opportunities in this field.”

Beginners are welcome and will learn to code. If you’re unable to attend the event but are interested in learning more, MilSpouse Coders has 15 chapters around the globe, as well as a virtual chapter. Military spouses of all coding levels are encouraged to participate in their local chapter or online.

“Military spouses are perfectly suited for IT careers,” said Grady in an interview. “IT tends to have a distributed workforce, which offers military spouses the flexibility they need with moves.”

She also said that military spouses should consider a career in IT because of the diversity of positions available, as well as the sheer number of jobs that are open in the industry.

Continue on to Military.com to read the complete article.

Huan Nguyen First Vietnamese American Navy Rear Admiral

LinkedIn
Vice Adm. Thomas J. Moore administers the oath of office to Rear Adm. Huan T. Nguyen during Nguyen's promotion ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial & Heritage Center, Oct. 10, 2019.

WASHINGTON (NNS) — Huan Nguyen became the first Vietnamese American promoted to the rank of rear admiral during a recent ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Nguyen, 60, will serve as the Deputy Commander for Cyber Engineering at the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on the Washington Navy Yard. NAVSEA Commander Vice Adm. Tom Moore served as the presiding officer.

“Today we will welcome the first Vietnamese-born U.S. Navy officer to achieve flag rank, and that is a significant event,” Moore said.

Nguyen addressed the audience after being promoted. “It is a great honor to attain the rank of admiral,” Nguyen said. “I am tremendously humbled to become the first Vietnamese American to wear the flag’s rank in the U.S. Navy.

“The honor actually belongs to the Vietnamese American community, which instilled in us a sense of patriotism, duty, honor, courage and commitment to our adopted country, the United States of America,” he added.

“This is our America. A country built on service, kindness and generosity, opportunity–the freedom to hope and dream. These values are what inspired me to serve. And what a great honor and privilege it is to serve our Navy, to serve our country, to support and defend our Constitution,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen was born in Hue, Vietnam, the son of an armor officer in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, Nguyen’s mother and father, along with his five brothers and sister, were killed by Viet Cong communist guerillas in their family home outside Saigon. Nine-year-old Nguyen was shot in the arm and thigh, with another bullet piercing his skull. He stayed with his mother for two hours, until she bled out and died. Amazingly, Nguyen survived and escaped after dark.

Nguyen was taken in by his uncle, a colonel in the Republic of Vietnam Air Force. In 1975, at age 16, they fled Vietnam, seeking refuge in the United States following the fall of Saigon.

Transported through Guam, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel took care of Nguyen and his family. The U.S. 7th Fleet helped to evacuate thousands of Vietnamese refugees and transport them to safety in Guam. Seeing the U.S. Navy take care of his family would later inspire Nguyen to serve in the Navy.

“I was one of those refugees, apprehensive about an uncertain future, yet feeling extremely grateful that I was here at all,” he recalled. “The images that I remember vividly when I arrived at Camp Asan, Guam, now Asan Beach Park, were of American sailors and Marines toiling in the hot sun, setting up tents and chow hall, distributing water and hot food, helping and caring for the people with dignity and respect.

“I thought to myself how lucky I am to be in a place like America. Those sailors inspired me to later serve in the United States Navy,” Nguyen said.

Later that year, U.S. Air Force Colonel Ed Veiluva and his wife Dorothy sponsored his uncle’s family, allowing them to officially come to the United States as political refugees. Nguyen moved with his uncle’s family to Midwest City, Oklahoma, just outside of Tinker Air Force Base.

Nguyen graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1981. He holds master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, in Engineering (Manufacturing Concentration) from Purdue University, and in Information Technology with Highest Distinction from Carnegie Mellon University. He received a Navy direct commission through the Reserve Engineering Duty Officer program in 1993.

“America is the beacon of hope for all of us. There is no other place in the world where a person can go for such opportunity,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen’s operational tours include a number of waterfront maintenance assignments: Ship Repair Facility Yokosuka as testing officer on USS Kitty Hawk availability; Officer in Charge, Ship Repair Facility, Detachment 113.  Later, he served as Executive Officer/Chief Engineer at the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (CREW) Field Office in Baghdad supporting Task Force Troy/18th Airborne Corps and V Corps, CREW Engineer at Task Force Paladin and Combined Explosive/Exploitation Cell (CEXC) in Afghanistan.

Staff assignments included duties as Deputy Chief Information Officer, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) from 2017-2019, Director Military Programs, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and Executive Officer, NAVSEA Enlisted Personnel from 2013 – 2017.  He also served as Community Manager, Engineering Duty Officer (Reserve Component). Reserve assignments include multiple command tours with various units at NAVSEA, Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), and Office of Naval Research.

Nguyen’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards) and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards).

Get more information about the Navy from US Navy facebook or twitter.

Source: Naval Sea Systems Command.

Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Laura Lakeway

Brothers Keep Family Tradition of Army Service

LinkedIn
Three Stovell brothers pose for photo at their training site in Saudi Arabia, 26 June 2019. From left to right: Staff Sgt. Daniel Stovell, Staff Sgt. Daryl Stovell, and Sgt.1st Class Davin Stovell. All three work as training instructors for the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command's Military Assistance Group that advises the Saudi Ministry of Interior. Called MOI-MAG, the DoD program teaches Saudi security forces how to defend their country's critical infrastructure sites like ports, airports, bridges, oil pipeline and refineries. (U.S. Army photo by Richard Bumgardner)

By Richard Bumgardner, USASAC

In 2018, when Sgt. 1st Class Davin Stovell saw a job posted on the Army’s Tour of Duty website, he knew it was tailor fit, not only for himself, but also for his two brothers, Staff Sgts. Daryl and Daniel Stovell.Pictured from left, Staff Sgt. Daniel Stovell, Staff Sgt. Daryl Stovell and Sgt. 1st Class Davin Stovell.

“It was like the advertisement was a list of our qualifications and life experiences,” Davin said, who, like his three brothers and two sisters, grew up as military kids.

The three Stovell brothers, full-time members of the Los Angeles Police Department, who were once in the National Guard and now Army Reserve, applied and were soon accepted.

Davin, who enlisted as an active-duty Army infantryman in 1995, and his brothers, who joined post 9/11, follow a proud military family tradition and legacy of service to the Army.

Five generations of the Stovell family tree have worn Army colors, starting with their great-grandfather, the first Stovell to wear an Army uniform. Their grandfather served in Korea, and their father, Donell Sr., did two combat tours to Vietnam.

A fourth older brother is in the Army Reserve, and their older sister is deployed overseas with the Mississippi National Guard. The family has not only served in the Army but has also served in every Army component.

Altogether, the five generations have completed nine combat tours, with more on the way before their duty to country and service in the Army is complete.

Davin, Daryl and Daniel are serving as military training advisers, assigned to Security Assistance Command’s Ministry of Interior-Military Assistance Group, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. As a subordinate organization of USASAC, MOI-MAG’s mission is to build partner readiness that ultimately enhances regional security.

Collectively, the three brothers have already given more than 80 years of public service: 53 in the military and 26 as police officers with the LAPD. And they’re not done yet.

The MOI-MAG program is the only program in the world where a U.S. Department of Defense organization has a train-and-advise partnership with another country’s Ministry of Interior. One of the primary missions of MOI-MAG personnel – who are Army reservists – is training the Facilities Security Force that protect the country’s civil structures and facilities, much like what the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security does.

For the Stovell brothers, teaching defensive techniques to a partner force is natural fit. All are trained drill instructors. All have backgrounds in infantry. All have served on deployments in places such as Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, Panama, Germany and Australia. Altogether they have served four combat tours in Iraq.

“Ultimately, it will make the FSF soldiers better at what they do,” Davin said. “We’re trying to give them as much training as we can; training like how to handle a weapon, reflexive fire, clearing a building, establishing a checkpoint, how to do a patrol, conducting vehicle searches at an entry control, and even how to protect themselves if they are physically attacked.”

For Watson, having three brothers, all highly experienced noncommissioned officers, on his team is an interesting story, but he said, “I think what makes it a better story is that the three brothers that I have working for me are fantastic instructors; they are doing an extraordinary job of making FSF soldiers better at what they do.”

Source: army.mil