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    Harmonizing love of service and country DA civilian sings National Anthem at Family Fest Day, opens up stage toward better mental health

    Harmonizing love of service and countryDA civilian sings National Anthem at Family Fest Day, opens up stage toward better mental health

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Dalton Smith | U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Charles Stoddard, a combat medic with the 316th...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. John Irish 

    354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Army Reserve Soldiers often have to go to the field as part of their weekend military training, but rarely is it a professional football field.
    Heinz Field, the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, acted as the backdrop to one Soldier’s journey from first singing in a choir in middle school to helping kick off the pre-season Open Practice and Family Fest Day August 19 with his rendition of the National Anthem from center field.
    Charles G. Stoddard, a native of East Liverpool, Ohio, and fulltime Department of the Army civilian and Army Reserve combat medic staff sergeant with the 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), serenaded the fans just after the football players were introduced on the field.
    He belted out the “Star-Spangled Banner” to the cheering crowd, but admitted he never saw himself performing in professional arenas. As a young crooner, Stoddard said he initially went into singing because choir seemed like a good class where the “girls” would also be. His voice carried him above the dating scene and now he continues to share his skill at public events for fun.
    The first major event Stoddard sang at was in 2014 for the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team at the season opening game at PNC Park. He said he only expected it to be a one-time thing, which was not the case. He has since sang the National Anthem multiple times for command ceremonies and military balls. Though he said has no aspiration of fame, it is a neat perk.
    “It’s my opportunity to show my pride in being here and share that with people,” said Stoddard.
    But dedication to country does not stop on the stage – Stoddard is also passionate about helping and developing Soldiers through mental health support. That passion led him to his current position as the suicide prevention program manager as well as the resiliency program manager for the 316th ESC.
    Stoddard took that passion to heart and decided to focus his university studies toward that support. Shortly thereafter he took the position as the suicide prevention program manager, which aligned perfectly with his goals. “It’s been an opportunity for me to find a passion that I can excel at,” he said.
    Stoddard said he feels his work can impact Soldier’s lives, as there is a lot of room for growth in the medical field in regard to mental health treatment. Plus, he said the master resiliency program provided him personal insight into his own shortcomings, as well provided him with the tools to overcome them. He wanted to share that same enlightenment with others, which inspired him to switch from majoring in biochemistry to psychology.
    “I wanted to find out more about myself,” Stoddard said, “and now my passion is trying to help other people figure out how to be the best version of themselves.”
    As his 14 years of military service, passion for Soldiers’ mental health and willingness to perform at events harmonizes, Stoddard said he is just happy to be able to support when and where he can.
    “It not so much a personal thing, as it is just an opportunity to share a passion for being here in this country and serve,” Stoddard said.



    Date Taken: 08.19.2018
    Date Posted: 08.21.2018 13:58
    Story ID: 289666
    Location: PITTSBURGH, PA, US 
    Hometown: CORAOPOLIS, PA, US
    Hometown: EAST LIVERPOOL, OH, US
    Hometown: PITTSBURGH, PA, US

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