Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Military Appreciation Blog Part One: Genna Rowe

In honor of May Military Appreciation Month, current and former servicemen and women from Edgewood Chemical Biologial Center as well as family members were asked to share their memories. Our first post featured Genna Rowe, Operations Research Analyst.

My father served in the Army for 20 years and retired as a Sergeant First Class. He experienced the best and worst aspects of military service during and after Vietnam and uses that experience to help other veterans who have returned from combat. His generation’s credo is: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” His steady commitment to fellow veterans has shown me that every trying experience is not only a trial to be endured, but a chance to turn around and help someone in similar circumstances.
My brother enlisted in the Air Force while the Iraq War was in full swing.  Unlike our father, who enlisted at the age of 18 and unattached, my brother was older and already a husband and father when he enlisted.  As a Staff Sergeant stationed in Okinawa, on his fifth rotation in Afghanistan, my brother is in charge of the servicing and maintenance of Search and Rescue helicopters. He has received a commendation from the Army Task Force Commander for his outstanding service. My brother loves his country and even though he wishes he could be with his family, he knows what he does is important.

Genna's brother pictured above.

I am incredibly proud of the service and sacrifice of these two men; freedom truly is not free. Their continual selflessness makes me think twice before complaining about the “small stuff” I deal with on a daily basis and I make sure to count my blessings each and every day. I take pride in our work here at ECBC; what we do here goes out into the field with soldiers.  It protects them so that they can come home. Even though what we do is on the cutting edge of chemical biological defense, for me, it is about my brother and father, and soldiers like them. Our work keeps someone else’s father, mother, brother, son and daughter safe.

My brother’s wife has a strong support system in Okinawa and overseas.  She has an online social network to reach out to for help and long-distance “love.” For anyone dealing with a family member stationed abroad, I recommend finding and building a support system like this.
As a military daughter and sister, and Department of the Army Civilian at ECBC, what would I say to my son or daughter if either said they wanted to serve our country?  HOOAH!!!

Genna Rowe is an Operations Research Analyst for the Strategic Planning and Business Operations Branch at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center. She has worked for the Department of the Army/ECBC for 10 and a half years.

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