Military briefs

2013-02-20T00:00:00Z Military briefs

Two complete basic training

Air Force Airman Nakeyta D. King and Air Force Airman Ashley M. Sass graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

The airmen completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

King is the daughter of Nicole and Hakim King, of Kennesaw, Ga. She is a 2009 graduate of Seton Academy, South Holland, Ill.

Sass is the daughter of Pamela and Dennis Sass, of Portage. She is a 2012 graduate of Portage High School.


Smithmickles completes Navy training

Navy Seaman Jenea M. Smithmickles, daughter of Joyce M. Canselor, of Calumet City, Ill.,  completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill.

During the eight-week program, Smithmickles completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.

The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. Its distinctly ''Navy'' flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a Sailor.

Smithmickles is a 2010 graduate of Waubonsie Valley High School, of Aurora, Ill.


Vesper returns from deployment

Army Staff Sgt. David J. Vesper has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name given to anti-terrorism military operations involving U.S. troops and allied coalition partners. Active duty and reserve component members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces have been deployed to support the war against global terrorism outside the borders of the United States. U.S. troops serve in South, Southwest and Central Asia, the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, islands in the Pacific, and Europe.

Vesper is a battalion assistant S-3 noncommissioned officer assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He has served in the military for 16 years.

He is the son of James and Marianne Vesper, of LaPorte. The staff sergeant is a 1993 graduate of Westville High School.


Von Buelow graduates from basic training

Army Reserve Pvt. Joshua R. Von Buelow has graduated from basic infantry training at Fort Benning, Columbus, Ga.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier received training in drill and ceremonies, weapons, map reading, tactics, military courtesy, military justice, physical fitness, first aid, and Army history, core values and traditions. Additional training included development of basic combat skills and battlefield operations and tactics, and experiencing use of various weapons and weapons defenses available to the infantry crewman.

Von Buelow is the son of Luis Estrada, of Merrillville. He is a 2012 graduate of Merrillville High School.


Barandela part of care package delivery

Navy Airman Recruit Kendall L. Barandela, daughter of Jennifer A. Barandela, of Hobart, and Ronald L. Barandela, of Merrillville,  and other Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) received more than 2, 500 Operation Gratitude care packages at the all-hands call in the ship's hangar bay.

Operation Gratitude is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that sends 100, 000 care packages annually filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letter of appreciation. The packages are delivered to everyone from U.S. service members deployed to hostile regions around the world, to their children left behind and even wounded warriors recuperating from war. Their mission is simple : lifting moral and expressing the appreciation and support of the American people.

Barandela is a 2011 graduate of Hobart High School, and joined the Navy in February 2011.


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