In the pre-dawn drizzle of an early fall day, commuters in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago, watch an inbound Metra train pull into the station at precisely 6:13 a.m. They line up where they know doors will most likely open and sort themselves out, some heading to the upper deck for the tree-top view.
Meet Matt Wallace. An avid rock climber and a decent skier, Wallace graduated from Temple University last May with a bachelor's degree in journalism. The 25-year-old go-getter is optimistic about an upcoming job interview. Later this month he's looking forward to moving out of his parents' house to live with a roommate.
In a few weeks, four much needed ambulances will begin their journey to Xalapa, Mexico, in specially modified uni-level rail cars.
They call them citizen soldiers. The term goes back to when the National Guard was first formed as an essential element of the U.S. military, to protect families and towns from hostile attacks. Today, the National Guard plays an even broader role in protecting our country. But what helps make the Guard work is the ability for these citizen soldiers to live and work in our communities until service calls.
The crowd inside New York City’s famous Carnegie Hall sits in hushed anticipation. Inside the jewel box of a performance space, two dozen musicians wait their turn to step onto the stage, sit at a gleaming black grand piano, and dazzle the audience with a piece of original music. Among the performers is someone you may not expect to see: Attila Gibson, a Union Pacific foreman general in the West Colton, California, locomotive shop.
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