What's Your Story?
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Five Star Strong...salutes Sergeant Brennen J. Sharp-Polos, an Army Paratrooper in the prestigious 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne). Brennen is from the small mountain town of Big Bear, California, and is currently serving as a military linguist. He has traveled the world and hopes to continue serving his country with a career in international relations.
Five Star Strong… salutes Captain Jose Macedo, a married father of five, and a decorated Army Officer. Capt. Macedo served in the United States Army as both an enlisted Soldier and an Officer for over 15 years. He has deployed to Iraq, travelled the world and earned awards including the Presidential Unit Citation, the Combat Action Badge and the Army Commendation Medal – six times.
Capt. Macedo always knew he wanted to serve a cause greater than himself. In the Army, Capt. Macedo has accomplished goals and dreams he never thought possible including the completion of both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. His love of family and their support of him has made all things possible.
Five Star Strong…salutes Private Thomas Karo who served in Korea from 1950 to 1952. Private Karo maintained equipment for the troops at the front line as part of the 40th Infantry Division and received a Bronze Star for doing so. A proud Veteran, he continues to fight for fair benefits for all our military men and women. In this way, and many others, Private Karo has spent his life being a support to his family, his community and his Country.
Five Star Strong Salutes....Senior Airman Gregory Mathews who served our country proud for seven years in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Las Vegas at the Nellis Air Force base where he served as a Firefighter. Being in the service gave him the opportunity to travel the world seeing over 36 countries, while also being deployed to places such as Pakistan and Bahrain. He spent over a year in the Middle East protecting our country in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in result of 9/11 terrorist attacks. Greg continues his service today as a Federal Firefighter for the Department of Defense.
Five Star Strong Salutes....Staff Sergeant Brian Mathews who has proudly served our country for seven years in the United States Army. Brian was stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky with the 101st Screaming Eagles. During his enlistment period he was deployed three times: Kosovo, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Brian served as both an Infantryman and a policeman in the Military Police Corp. Brian's service has allowed him to visit several European countries and he has met many fascinating people along the way. Brian now serves his community as a Lieutenant for a police department in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Five Star Strong Salutes... Sgt. Jeffrey Harris, 82nd Airborne infantry, US Army, enlisted in the Army in 2002 after his second year of college because of the terrorism attack on our soil on Sept. 11, 2001. Jeff was 20 when he enlisted and served from 2003-2007. He did a year in South Korea and one tour in Iraq. Jeff was born in San Jose, CA and moved with his family to San Ramon, CA. He graduated from California High School in 2000 and attended Chico State University from September 2000 until December of 2002. While in the Army Jeff received the following awards/certificates/medals: Army parachutist badge, Expert Rifle badge, Combat infantry badge, Egyptian parachutist badge, Army commendation medal, Army achievement medals, National defense service ribbon, Army service ribbon, Iraqi Campaign service ribbon, Korean Defense service ribbon, Global War on Terrorism service ribbon, Global War on Terrorism expeditionary service ribbon. After leaving the Army, Jeff now continues his service as a firefighter/medic in Woodside, CA..
Five Stare Strong Salutes... Cpl Lincoln who served four years active duty in the United States Marine Corps - serving two deployments in Afghanistan and one relief mission to Haiti. He served with 8th ESB and CLB-2, working with heavy equipment, both stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. After finishing his enlistment in 2012, Axel and his wife Ashlyn went on to have a family of two sons (their oldest even being named by 8th ESB). Their youngest son was born blind with a rare retina disorder. Since then, Axel has become inspired to help both Veterans and families with disabled children do home modifications. Currently, these modifications better accommodate easy mobility and promote independence at little to no cost of the family. Learn more about how Axel is helping here.
Five Star Strong Salutes... SGT Den Concepcion, 26 years old, happily married and a wonderful father. He enlisted in the Army when he was 20 with an ambition to protect and fight for his country. He was stationed at Fort Bragg as a 12B Combat Engineer and a part of 82nd Airborne Division for five and a half years. He travelled the world and was deployed to Afghanistan twice in support of OEF XII and XIV. He was awarded Army Commendation Medal three times. He was recently reassigned to 2nd ID in Fort Lewis, WA where he was just awarded his fourth Army Achievement medal. Den is striving hard to do better and better at what he does. He is planning to take up a business degree while in service. In everything that he does, he always makes sure he gives it his best. He does it for God, his country, and his loved ones.
Five Star Strong Salutes... SSG Robert Lingo who joined the Arizona Army National Guard later in life - fulfilling a childhood dream. Soon after enlisting, he was deployed to Iraq in support of OIF/OND. He is married to his wife Jen with 3 sons, all whom have decided to follow in his footsteps. Their oldest is set to leave to Ft. Benning for Basic Training at the end of this month! His family couldn't love or be more proud of Robert and the example he has set for their boys!
Five Star Strong Salutes... Sergeant James Thompson who was raised in the northern Illinois town of Ladd. After college, the United States Marine Corps became his calling. Currently assigned to the Embassy Security Group, he travels the globe in an unending effort to keep our country safe.
Five Star Strong Honors... 1st Lt. Jared Landaker, USMC, who was raised in Big Bear City, CA. After high school Jared attended the University of La Verne and graduated with a Physics Degree. After graduation he entered the Marine Corps as a 2nd Lt. and attended flight school, where he graduated at the top of his class. Jared chose to be a CH-46 helicopter Casevac pilot and was deployed to Iraq in August of 2006. On February 7, 2007, on his last Casevac mission, he and six crew members were shot down and all perished. Jared had a saying "Heroes, anyone who has put their life on the line serving this country".
Support Seven Stars Foundation, Inc. created in memory of Jared here: https://www.sevenstarsfoundation.com/
"The purpose of this Foundation is to make a positive impact on the children of military members which include the fallen, wounded, active, and deployed. We accomplish this mission by sponsoring the children to a local YMCA camp in Big Bear Lake for a week so they can establish lasting bonds with other grieving children. We also provide relief to military members through financial, emotional, and educational assistance."
Five Star Strong Honors… SGT George Borzillo from the U.S. Army who lived to be 94 years old. George was a WWII vet who served as a member of the extraordinary Patton's 3rd Army, 4th Armored Division. Some of his activity during WWII was The Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne and Normandy. Later in his life, George was married with three children, who till this day are proud to have their father be remembered as a historical figure, father, friend, husband and veteran of the U.S. Army. SGT George Borzillo passed away in 2018.
Five Star Strong Salutes… Senior Airman Lora Kriete who comes from a long lineage of service. She was born on a Air Force base due to her father serving in Vietnam, but it all started with her grandfather serving in the U.S. Army during the Battle of the Bulge. With her great family history, it only seemed natural that she too enlisted to join the force. Senior Airman Lora Kriete was stationed in Germany at Ramstein Air Force Base, where she served in direct support of Operation Desert Shield Desert Storm. Her military experience have served her well throughout her life. Lora continues to serve our country through government employment, and has since been a police officer working with many federal agencies including the FBI. Her military experience allowed her to travel the world, trained her to use good judgment while keeping an open mind, taught her to be humble while confident, and showed her how to work hard with grace. She is proud to be a veteran and is deeply appreciative of all who have served.
Submit your soldier's story here.