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Face of Defense

"Face of Defense," a news feature published Monday through Friday, highlights a personal story behind people who serve the nation.

Air Force Capt. Ramon Rosario, executive officer with the 4th Space Operations Squadron, prepares resin at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 17, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Tracy
Face of Defense: Airman Crafts Art Out of Fruit Leaning over a table with a sanding mask on, Air Force Capt. Ramon Rosario, the executive officer for the 4th Space Operations Squadron, smooths the edges of a coaster with a cornucopia of fruit laid out in front of him like a Thanksgiving dinner.

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nakisha Simon, 386th Expeditionary Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering noncommissioned officer in charge, has turned her previous battles with mental health into ways to help other airmen during her 15-year career. Simon is deployed from the 355th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz
Airman Transforms Trauma Into Triumph “Life comes in seasons,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nakisha Simon, the 386th Expeditionary Medical Group bioenvironmental engineering noncommissioned officer in charge. “If I didn’t get the help I needed, I don’t believe I would have seen the next one.”

From left, future International Space Station crew members Army Astronaut Lt. Col. Anne McClain, with U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command; Oleg Kononenko, with the Russian space agency Roscosmos; and David Saint-Jacques, with the Canadian Space Agency, pose for a picture as a Soyuz rocket arrives at the launch pad June 4, 2018, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Army photo
Army Astronaut Prepares for December Launch One soldier is proving childhood dreams can come true as she prepares to launch into space for the first time.

Air Force 2nd Lt. Sidney Peters, who just began her studies as a first-year medical student at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., is shown in her goalie gear as a member of the University of Minnesota women’s ice hockey team. Peters has been named as one of the NCAA's Top 30 Woman of the Year honorees. NCAA/University of Minnesota courtesy photo by Sarah E. Marshall
Goalie-Turned-Air Force Officer Earns NCAA Accolades Air Force 2nd Lt. Sidney Peters, the four-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association Scholar-Athlete, WCHA All-Academic, Academic All-Big Ten honoree and 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award recipient, has been named as one of the NCAA’s Top 30 Woman of the Year honorees for her excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard’s state air surgeon, Col. Victor Toraño, poses for a photo during Innovative Readiness Training Ola de Esperanza Sanadora in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Sept. 5, 2018. Toraño served as both a community partner and helped with logistics planning for the mission. Puerto Rico Air National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Francine St Laurent
Dual-Hatted Doctor Serves as Community Partner At every Innovative Readiness Training event there is a community partner: an agency or group that applies and asks for support in their area. IRT Ola de Esperanza Sanadora is unique in that its community partner is also a member of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

Army Sgt. Tyler Martin sets up a recruiting stand in Monson, Mass., July 4, 2018. Martin spent 30 days in Monson as part of the Special Recruiter Assistance Program. Courtesy photo
Soldier Leads Way in New Recruiter Program Army Sgt. Tyler Martin, a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear noncommissioned officer with the 24th Composite Transportation Company, was among the first wave of soldiers to participate in a Defense Department initiative -- the Special Recruiter Assistance Program.

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan – Military working dog Gage and Cpl. Alex Marquissee play with a tennis ball Aug. 31 at the kennels on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. The tradition of using dogs during war times dates back thousands of years, but the U.S. military did not officially have military working dogs until World War I. Since that time the partnership between the canines and their human has grown. Marquissee is a military working dog handler and military police officer with 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Kelcey Seymour)
Marines Enjoy Duty as Military Police Working Dog Handlers Military occupational specialties are the foundation of the Marine Corps. Each MOS is a cog, working with and relying on the others to keep the fighting machine that is the Marine Corps running. Military working dog handlers are one such cog.

Benny, a dog being fostered by the Hale family, rests on a couch in Vail, Ariz., May 6, 2017. Benny was fostered by the Hale family for three months before he was fully healed and adopted. Courtesy photo
Airman, Veterinarian Wife Support Foster Animals Whether they are kept for a few weeks or a lifetime, animals in shelters and foster homes around the nation rely on dedicated and caring individuals that can help them find a forever home.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jose Sotocora poses for a photo at a Navy Recruiting District Miami recruiting office in Brandon, Fla., July 18, 2018. Sotocora is recognized as one of the Navy’s outstanding recruiters. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Latrice Ames
Navy Recruiter Shares ‘Formula’ for Success Hard-driving enlisted recruiter Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jose Sotocora is among Navy Recruiting District Miami’s top producers.

Army Capt. Jennifer Hawkins, medical provider for 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, reviews paperwork with her soldiers at the Kandahar Air Field NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit in Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2018. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Neysa Canfield
Former Drill Sergeant Brings Leadership to Service Army Capt. Jennifer Hawkins works closely with enlisted health care specialists to ensure service members throughout Kandahar Air Field receive proper medical care.