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    The Soldier That Keeps on Giving: Deployed 44th Expeditionary Signal Soldier Donates Money and R&R Time to Help Needy

    The Soldier That Keeps on Giving: Deployed 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Soldier Donates Money and R

    Photo By Spc. Evan Marcy | Spc. Timothy Roy, C Co., 44th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, looks at a computer...... read more read more

    BAGHDAD, IRAQ

    08.19.2008

    Story by Spc. Evan Marcy 

    5th Signal Command (Theater)

    By Evan Marcy
    Headquarters, 5th Signal Command

    CAMP VICTORY, Iraq -- A Soldier who volunteers in the U.S. Army knowingly makes a sacrifice for their country. Whether it is sacrificing time with their family, personal comforts, or even their life, the duty of a Soldier eventually requires sacrifice in some way or another. Certain Soldiers though go beyond that call of duty and give more.

    During his two-week rest and recuperation leave while currently serving a 15-month deployment in Iraq, Roy, a New Hampshire native along with his parents, volunteered their time preparing and serving meals at a local soup kitchen/shelter for the homeless called New Horizons for New Hampshire, Inc. He also donated $1000 to the soup kitchen and got a large corporation to match his contribution as well. "My parents always taught me to put others before myself," said Roy.

    Roy also got involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation by donating $3000 to grant a wish that was tied to his own interests in computers. His donation was matched up with a 17-year-old girl with the life-threatening inflammatory disease Lupus. She used the money to buy much needed computer equipment that allows her to continue her education from home. Over the past year Roy has donated a total of $7000 to the foundation.

    "What Spc. Roy did was really remarkable, and shows how much of a good guy he really is. Soldiers usually take deployment money and spend it on themselves. I was surprised by how much money came out of his pocket to donate since he's just an E-4," said 1st Sgt. John Willis, C Company, 44th ESB.

    "I figured if people saw me giving back, it would encourage them to do the same," said Roy. "When they see a Soldier trying to give back, when they are already selflessly serving their country, they want to be a part of it as well."

    "To know that you can make a profound difference in someone's life is a wonderful feeling. I got a letter of thanks from the first child and her mother that I sponsored [through Make-A-Wish] and she said she was moved to tears by my kindness. There's no feeling like that and it's hard to put in words how that made me feel," said Roy.

    While Roy was watching a Christmas special on the television show, Orange County Choppers, the crew made a bike for the Make-A-Wish foundation and had kids come on the show. "You could see the magic of it all light up their eyes. I knew then that was an organization I wanted to be involved in," said Roy.

    This year, Roy is financially sponsoring another wish through the foundation and was able to get Macy's department store to also contribute. Together they are providing a girl whose health requires her to receive weekly treatments at a hospital, a place to relax. "We're giving her the room makeover of her dreams. She's always shared a bedroom and her older sister just moved out, so were making her a place she can call her own," said Roy.

    Roy found another way to give back to the community through a classmate from high school who now teaches at an elementary school in Connecticut. During his deployment, Roy and the students have been writing letters back and forth. "It's an educational experience for them because they are learning about Iraq and what the Soldiers are doing here to make things better. They ask the most innocent questions," said Roy.

    They had never met a Soldier before, and Roy was able to make the three-hour drive down to see them while still on R&R leave from Iraq. "I got to spend the day with them answering questions and playing at recesses. It was a great experience. It only takes a few minutes every couple of weeks to write a small letter to them to let them know how things are going. They looked at me with such awe and I was really touched to be a part of their lives," said Roy.

    Roy's first deployment was in 1999, while assigned to the 110th Military Intelligence Battalion. They went to Bosnia as part of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization peace-keeping force to help stabilize the country after a conflict with Serbia. At the time, the Soldiers were allowed to go off base.

    "There were bullet holes everywhere and I saw a lot of burned-down houses. The kids would come up and ask for money. I talked a lot to our translator about the country," said Roy. "The multi-national forces and everyone liked us being there, and it felt good. We were down there for a good cause. I've spoken to Bosnian forces serving with us here in Iraq and they said it's gotten a lot better." Roy said the experience of helping a third-world country was his best time in the Army.

    While serving in Iraq, Roy, an IT specialist, is currently assigned to the Technical Control Facility helpdesk on Camp Echo, located near Diwaniyah. His main mission is to manage and troubleshoot internet, phones, switches and provide configuration changes throughout the camp. For the first half of his deployment, Roy was at the Regional Embassy Office in Al Hillah, Iraq. There he manned the operations desk booking flights, answering phones calls, monitoring radios, and providing internet support to state department personnel.

    Having just reenlisted for five years this past February, Roy said he's had the fortune to work in both the civilian world and the military world. After his first enlistment was over, Roy got married and worked as an Information Technology Technician for Time/Warner Cable and News 10 Now, a 24-hour news station owned by Time/Warner, in Syracuse, NY. After six years of marriage Roy got divorced and decided to leave Time/Warner and reenlist in the Army.

    "I feel great about serving in the Army. It is a great place to find direction while meeting people and getting valuable skills. You get out of it what you put into it," said Roy. "Coming back for me was a chance to meet new people, gain new skills and travel. The Army grew back on me and that's why I reenlisted."

    "The Provincial Reconstruction Team's the military has in place in Iraq do a great job of helping poverty in Iraq. They go out, meet the people in person, and give back in a real way to these local communities. The PRT at Camp Echo has a program here to rebuild schools, the local infrastructure, while also giving school children brand new laptops," said Roy.

    For the lives that Roy has touched, he is a one-man PRT going above and beyond the call of duty, making sacrifices and fulfilling his duties, not only to his country but also a deep, personal duty to help out the needy whenever he can.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.19.2008
    Date Posted: 08.24.2008 12:38
    Story ID: 22821
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

    Web Views: 570
    Downloads: 532

    PUBLIC DOMAIN