Veterans Representatives Gather to Support Community Member Enlisted in Army

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On September 5, family and friends of Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Jacob Hunter Charlie came together at the Round House Café for a special meal to celebrate his decision to join the Army.

The very next week, he was deployed.

Beginning as a private, Charlie will be an M1 Armor Crewman MOS (military occupational specialties) 19K (kilo) operating the M1 Abrams tank. He will be stationed at Fort Moore in Georgia for six months before coming home for a couple weeks at Christmas. Then he’ll return to training, graduating in March. From there, he will be assigned to a yet-undecided duty station.

“I’m excited to go anywhere,” Charlie told O’odham Action News. “I’m excited to take another path and start my actual life and career. I’m thankful for my family being here to send me off. We’ve always been a military family, so it’s something that I’m used to. My parents and family are proud, and making them proud makes me happy.”

Charlie’s family reached out to the SRPMIC Veterans Representatives to see if they could arrange a special send-off, and the office was happy to help.

“From what I see, there is a beautiful family here and I really like this interaction,” said Veterans Representative Amanda White to everyone in attendance. “I like that there are Community members who are stepping up and joining the military service. It’s going to be a lot of dedication. Stay focused out there, and bring that back here.”

Veterans Representative Troy Truax said that Charlie will have big shoes to fill—those of past SRPMIC veterans who have served in the military before him.

“It sheds a positive light, having young Community members step up and answer the call to serve the country,” said Truax. “We need more young Community members to join any branch they [like]. But make sure you make the best choice for you in the long run, especially with your education.”

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