AMVETS Southern Command August Meeting
Southern Command Leader John Bell introduces the program for the evening, and guest speaker Captain Gerry Young USNR (Ret).
Pictured left to right is former Submariner Ralph Mantela, Joyce Young, and Capt.Young who is the author of his book, "Deep Secrets, A Cold War Thriller".
Post Officer Installation Ceremony
At the July meeting our new Post Officers for 2017/2018 were formally installed. Amvets State of Michigan Department Commander Jean Hall, and District 3 Commander Bob Bushman were on hand to participate in the Induction Ceremony. Pictured below, from left to right, are Jean Hall, Post 2006 Commander Joe Salvia, and Bob Bushman. The post was honored for being the State of Michigan's Post of the Year, and Commander Salvia was given a plaque for being the Department's Commander of the Year.
2017 Milford Michigan Memorial Day Ceremonies
CSM Deborah Storm
NARRAGANSETT, R.I. — Sgt. Maj. Deborah P. Storm became the highest-ranking, noncommissioned female officer in the Rhode Island National Guard during a change of responsibility ceremony Sunday at Camp Varnum.
Storm, a 41-year-old mother of three, was appointed command sergeant major for the 243rd Regiment, where she will be in charge of the regional training institute for the National Guard.
“This is a big deal,” she said Sunday. “I’m the first active-duty female command sergeant major for the state of Rhode Island. It’s the highest rank of the enlisted corps.”
Storm, who lives in Swansea, Mass., with her husband, Henry, and their three children, has twice deployed overseas, the first time to Bosnia, the second to Guantanamo, Cuba, in 2009, where she was in charge of personnel for the unit guarding the detainees.
“I didn’t have much contact with the detainees,” Storm said. She did conduct “walkabouts” to make sure that the guards were following standard operating procedure.
The second time Storm deployed, she left two daughters, ages 3 and 5, at home, along with her 12-year-old stepson.
“I missed seeing my kids grow up,” she said. “A whole year is a long time. It’s difficult, not being able to see them reach certain milestones. My biggest concern was that when I returned, they would be different with me but we fell into the old routines. My husband did a wonderful job, having to raise three kids on his own.”
Henry Storm, a chief warrant officer, is also in the National Guard and there are times when they both pull weekend duty. The two of them met when they were assigned to the same unit in Bosnia.
“Her kids are very proud of her,” Henry Storm said. “She is a strong role model for her children. Her daughters really look up to her.”
Still, Storm said a military career can be tough on families: “There is a lot I miss — soccer games, karate tournaments. But I signed up for this. The kids understand. They sacrifice.”
Storm joined the National Guard during high school. Raised by a single mother who emigrated from the Azores, Storm said she came from a “humble” background where college didn’t seem like an option. She joined the National Guard because she wanted to see the world beyond her hometown of Bristol.
“I came in as a private,” she said. “Never in a thousand years would I have imagined reaching this — the highest grade.”
Twenty-three years later, Storm has no regrets.
“It’s a second family to me,” she said. “We look out for each other. There is a camaraderie you can’t find in any other job.”
Storm entered the military during a time of great change for women. Although she was reluctant to share the hurdles she faced, Storm said she hopes she can serve as a role model to other women rising through the ranks.
“I hope they take away that they can achieve anything they want as long as they put their hearts and minds into it,” she said. “There were no female sergeant majors to look up to when I was young.”
CSM Deborah Storm is the Daughter-in-Law of Henry J. Storm and husband of Henry M. storm, all members of Amvets Post 2006