A Northern Michigan University surgical technology student is missing the winter semester to serve alongside her dad in Washington, D.C. with Marquette's Forward Support Company, 107th Engineer Battalion of the Michigan National Guard. Spc. Carlie Mattonen and Sgt. 1st Class Carl Mattonen initially provided support during the presidential inauguration. They returned later as part of the follow-up mission helping the U.S. Capitol Police.
“This is what I signed up for,” said Carlie in a U.S. National Guard press release. "Yes, it's not the most convenient timing, but I'm grateful to serve together with my dad, and I can just go right back to school once the mission is complete. It's easier when there's family here. If I feel lonely or I need to talk to someone, my dad is nearby. I can just go right down the hall, spend some time with him and it feels a bit like home.”
The father-daughter duo travel in the same truck delivering food to thousands of troops in the Washington area as part of Joint Task Force Independence, consisting of National Guard soldiers and airmen from multiple states and territories.
Carlie joined the Michigan Guard two years ago as a senior in high school and received training as a unit supply specialist. After serving in a different unit, she transferred to the FSC, 107th, to be closer to her dad.
“When I joined, I needed work experience and I really wanted the chance to travel,” said Carlie. “I had never been to Washington before, so this mission is a great opportunity. I'm not sure if I'll stay in the Guard as long as my dad, but I will definitely shoot for 20 years.”
Read the full story on the Mattonens' experience working together in the nation's capital here.