News: ‘Black Jack’ soldier receives rare Thanksgiving honor from commander-in-chief
Story by Sgt. Quentin Johnson
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – Thanksgiving is a time for family, tradition, giving thanks and for one soldier, a special opportunity.
Sgt. Cynthia Filip, a signal support non-commissioned officer with the Company E, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team “Black Jack,” 1st Cavalry Division, was given the honor of receiving a phone call from President Barack Obama on Thanksgiving.
Traditionally, the president selects 10 deployed service members from across the armed forces to speak with via phone to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and express his appreciation for their service to the nation.
Filip, who is currently deployed in support of Operation New Dawn, was chosen to speak with Obama from tens of thousands of her fellow service members currently deployed. Additionally, she was selected to be the first service member to receive the presidential call.
Filip was selected due to her character and hardworking nature, said Lt. Col. Chip Daniels, commander of the 1st Battalion, 5th Cav. Regt.
“Serving as the company’s communications specialist is just part of Filip’s work,” explained Daniels. “Her positive impact goes far beyond radios and computers.”
In addition to ensuring the company’s communications run non-stop, Filip also serves as the company’s training and operations non-commissioned officer, assisting to ensure her company’s daily operations run effectively, added Daniels.
Currently on her third deployment to Iraq, Filip said speaking with the president was definitely the highlight of them all. She was able to spend five minutes speaking with the president.
When asked what they spoke about, Filip said “The president thanked me for my service and support to the nation. He wanted me to share his gratitude among my fellow soldiers and the leaders of my brigade. He asked me about my family’s Thanksgiving traditions, daily duties during my deployment and even about my dogs.”
After the call, the President’s office arranged for Filip to place a morale call to wish her family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving, and to share with them her experience, an experience she will not soon forget.
“I am very appreciative and honored to have spoken with the president on Thanksgiving. I will now have what I call ‘bragging rights’,” stated Filip.
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