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Face of Defense: Marine’s Service Honors Uncle’s Legacy

By Marine Corps Cpl. Immanuel M. Johnson U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa

ADAZI MILITARY BASE, Latvia, June 30, 2016 — With a lifelong dream to serve a cause greater than his own, one Marine also has a burning desire to set the example for those wanting to answer the call to become part of the few and the proud.

Marine Corps Sgt. Thomas A. Powers is a squad leader with Weapons Company, Black Sea Rotational Force. He has been assigned to a combined anti-armor team here since early January for a six-month rotation in Eastern Europe.

“I joined the Marine Corps to do something more with my life; going to college right away was not for me, and I wanted to serve my country,” he said.

Uncle’s Legacy

Powers said his uncle was a firefighter during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

“And, I took it upon myself to continue the legacy he left,” he said.

Powers has participated in cold-weather training and Exercise Cold Response 16 in Norway earlier this year before deploying to Latvia to participate in Exercise Saber Strike 2016.

“Marines are working alongside our partner nations in Latvia, [which] shows that we can come together no matter the mission,” he said. “We can gather our gear and work together to accomplish that task no matter where we are.”

Future Plans

Keen and optimistic about what the future holds; Powers said he hopes to join the Weapons and Field Training Battalion at Parris Island, South Carolina, when he returns from his current deployment.

“It will give me the chance to teach recruits the basics of infantry patrolling and how to come together as a team,” he said.

The battalion conducts entry-level marksmanship training, annual requalification training in rifle and pistol and field training and facilitates the culminating event of Marine Corps recruit training, the Crucible.

Distribution channels: Military