Indiana National Guard Sgt. Rudolph Gonzalez, a 38th Infantry Division intelligence analyst from Fort Wayne, currently serves in the Middle East supporting Task Force Spartan.
Gonzalez, who's served in the Guard for four years, joined for patriotic, spiritual and familial reasons.
"There are a lot of reasons why I serve. One is for country, two is for a strong sense of duty, but a lot of it stems from my connection with God and my belief that this is the path God has set me on," said Gonzalez. "My service makes my family very proud of what I am doing, and it makes me feel like I am contributing to something bigger than myself."
Gonzalez sees his military job as being an integral part the U.S. Army's mission.
"I feel like what I'm doing is very important," said Gonzalez. "I get to see the bigger picture of what we do in the Army and have a deeper understanding of how important it is that we maintain our status as the most lethal fighting force in the world."
Gonzalez, an avid hiker and traveler, also said he appreciates serving in the Guard because it gives him a sense of belonging to his community, state and nation.
"The sense of community I get from serving in the National Guard has given me new perspectives in life and has made me grow appreciative of the people I serve with and the people I serve for, the citizens of the United States," said Gonzalez. "I have a great sense of duty, purpose and honor as a member of the Army National Guard."
More than 600 38th Infantry Division soldiers left the Hoosier State in May to support Operation Spartan Shield in the Middle East by providing command, control and in-depth staff analysis for approximately 9,500 U.S. service members.
Task Force Spartan helps maintain a U.S. military posture among allied nations to strengthen defense relationships, build partner capacity and deter regional aggression.