A Soldier's tale
October 4, 2012
The life of a Soldier is not always easy both at work and at home, but it's the everyday soldiering that often displays a person's character through the struggles and the triumphs.
Cpl. Matthew T. Morgan, U.S. Army Military District of Washington, command group administrative non-commissioned officer, joined the Army as a human resources specialist in March 2010.
Putting the welfare of the Nation, the Army, and subordinates ahead of personal needs and desires are key elements of Army selfless service that Soldiers' possess but are often unseen.
"Since I've joined the Army, my family and I have probably spent about six months together," said Morgan. "My wife Genna and I have been trying to get her a job in the local area. We just hadn't been successful."
After staying in Virginia for a short time, Genna moved to Texas to find employment during a hard economical time. Using her training, Genna was determined to put her education to work.
"Even with a 3.9 GPA in Mathematics from Angelo State University in San Angelo TX, Genna couldn't find anything," said Morgan. "Washington D.C. is a tremendously competitive town, and many people who have careers (in a math-related field) here have masters' degrees and PHD's, and security clearances. Sometimes a security clearance can mean more to a potential employer than a college degree."
"Cpl. Morgan has been under my leadership for approximately five months," said Staff Sgt. Yvens A. Saintil, Morgan's supervisor. "For the short time I have known him, he has been keeping himself busy by furthering his education while his family is so far away. He's an extremely optimistic Soldier."
Morgan said he and his family made every attempt to see one another and to try and make life as normal as possible, but according to the young corporal having a five-year-old child in the family, made life somewhat complicated.
"We would both fly back and forth as often as we could," said Morgan. "But that started to become a bit pricy."
"People wouldn't be able to tell that Morgan was separated from his family," said Saintil. "He always works hard and has a smile on his face. Even though I think the flying back and forth started to get to him."
Morgan gathered as much advice as possible from peers, his supervisor and senior leadership on how to deal with difficult times.
"The Soldiers at MDW have shown me that there is a balance between work and family," said Morgan. "So I know I can do it too."
"Even though I know that it is hard for him being separated from his loved ones, he'll never show it," said Saintil. "I can honestly say that Morgan does not know how to get upset."
After a year of applying for jobs in the DC metropolitan area, Genna recently received a call from the Department of Homeland Security informing her she had been selected as a contract analyst.
"I'm so happy my family can all be together again," said Morgan. "The Army allowed me to sustain my family through the most difficult times in my life."
"The Army has given me so many benefits; from military housing to the staff members caring nature," said Morgan. "I'd say it is well worth any sacrifice."
"As soon as he heard about his wife finally found work here, you could already sense the excitement in his voice," said Saintil. "I know he is going to love having his wife and son around."
"I may sometimes struggle throughout my life, but I know with the support of my family and my MDW family, I'll be okay," said Morgan."
"The one thing I don't think Soldiers' realize is that selfless service goes beyond the battlefield," said Saintil. "It's real soldiering, when it is used at work and at home."