News: All about community, soldier gains, shares insight during event
TORRANCE, Calif. -- Spc. Cathryn Baldanza didn’t know what to expect when she arrived on site to participate in the 53rd Annual Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration, May 18-20.
“I thought perhaps it would be just a matter of us soldiers manning our vehicles so the public could have a look,” said Baldanza, of the 56th Military Police Company, 11th Military Police Brigade, out of Mesa, Ariz. “As it’s turned out, it’s been an amazing experience.”
The Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration is an annual event in which the military showcases itself for the community in the form of static displays of vehicles, aircraft and other various equipment, culminating with a two-mile parade through downtown Torrance.
As the throng of humanity streamed through the display area at the Del Amo Mall, where the military expo portion of the festivities took place, Baldanza, a Phoenix native, couldn’t help but soak in all the happiness and harmony she found herself surrounded by, she said.
“I love the kids and families being out here,” said Baldanza, who aspires to a civilian firefighting career. “They quickly find out we’re just like everybody else – approachable and not intimidating.”
According to Baldanza, a common theme amongst the general public is the misconception of what the Army actually does.
“Many people think we’re just about infantry, weapons and combat,” she said. “Then they realize, especially in the Army Reserve, there are so many other support jobs.”
For Baldanza, the event was a microcosm of why she joined the Army Reserve in the first place, she said.
“I’ve been inspired by history and how, as far back as the Revolutionary War, young people have taken the opportunity to enlist and serve our great country,” said Baldanza. “The camaraderie between the services represented here and the community coming together and showing their support has been outstanding.”
Date Posted:05.22.2012 19:49
Location:TORRANCE, CA, US
Hometown:PHOENIX, AZ, US
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