Pounds: Saluting AustinWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | email@example.com
An upcoming Toledo Free Press project dovetails with one of my proudest moments as a father. I don’t usually use this space to gloat about my family, but I just came back from a most outstanding weekend at Fort Benning, in Columbus, Ga. My son Austin graduated from Army Basic Training or One Station Unit Training. This was a nine-week basic training course followed by a five-week Advanced Individualized Training segment.
Those of you with children may know how emotional it is to see your child grow up. Austin is a fun and carefree guy. What I saw this weekend made me the most proud person on the planet! Not only did Austin graduate but he excelled. He has found his calling and is making the most of it. Austin was a graduate of the 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry Regiment. His certificate reads, “Due to his high standards of conduct and excellent performance, Pvt. Pounds achieved outstanding results in areas of physical training, basic rifle marksmanship, common skills and infantry skills testing. His performance reflects great credit upon him, Charlie Company, the 2nd battalion, 54th infantry Regiment, the 198th Brigade and the United States Army.”
Austin also was awarded the “High Marksman” award for all of Charlie Company, consisting of 204 solders. That certificate reads: “For superior performance during Charlie Company’s basic rifle marksman training, Pvt. Pounds distinguished himself as the ‘High Marksman’ because of his attention to detail, tactical competence and dedication to training, which reflects great credit upon him, Charlie Company, the 2nd Battalion, 54th infantry Regiment, the 198th Brigade and the United States Army.”
Wow! This was along with a promotion and selection to Airborne school and a shot at Special Forces.
I was the proudest I have ever been of Austin. His attitude, work ethic and general demeanor have never been better.
This experience comes as Toledo Free Press announces its first-ever Military Yearbook. To be published July 1, the Military Yearbook will collect photos and brief information of every serviceman and service woman in our region, free of charge to participating families, along with a veterans’ resource guide and many special stories. A special email address and web site tab to help families contribute to the Military Yearbook issue will be available soon. We thank our partners in this project — Honor Flight Northwest Ohio, the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Toledo Veterans Center, Columbia Gas of Ohio and Toledo Clear Channel radio stations. We are also working with the offices of Rep. Bob Latta and Rep. Marcy Kaptur on a special veterans history project. More on both of these projects soon.
So good luck, Austin and God bless you, the United States Army and every serviceman, servicewoman and their families. We are 110 percent behind every one of you.
And Austin — thanks for picking up the dinner tab!
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Army, Austin Pounds, Bob Latta, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Honor Flight Northwest Ohio, Marcy Kaptur, Military Yearbook, Publisher's Statement, the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Toledo Clear Channel, Toledo Veterans Center, Tom Pounds