© St. Petersburg Times, published October 23, 2002
Chris Smith, son of Marcia Y. and Michael J. Smith of St. Petersburg, has returned from Oregon where he was fighting wildfires. The Department of Defense recognized him several times for outstanding photography while he was stationed with Task Force Destroyer in Umpguy National Forest.
He received staff writer awards in September for his work on the Desert Voice while stationed in Kuwait from December 2000 and June 2001, including a first-place Fourth Estate Award (Army Forces Command), a first-place Keith L. Ware Award (Department of the Army), and a first-place Thomas Jefferson Award (Department of Defense), all in the small military-funded newspaper category; and a third-place Fourth Estate Award (Army Forces Command) in the single photograph category.
Additionally, he received an Army Commendation Medal and an Army Achievement Medal for his performance in Kuwait and multiple certificates of commendation for his work in Oregon.
Smith serves as Operations Noncommissioned Officer in Charge for the 14th Public Affairs Detachment, Fort Carson, Colo. He received journalism training at Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Md. He attended St. Petersburg High School and St. Petersburg Junior College before joining the Army in 1998.
Fire Control Electronics Technician William M. Cullen Jr., son of Lee Bett and William M. Cullen Sr. of St. Petersburg, was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy. A 1989 graduate of Lakewood High School, he serves as an instructor at Naval Submarine School in Groton, Conn.
Justin Cole, son of Barbi Brubaker Cole and Tim Cole of St. Petersburg, has graduated from Army basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. A 2002 graduate of Lakewood High School, he is undergoing training as a uniform signal support specialist at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Marine Corps Pfc. Michael Williams, son of Daniela O. and Leonard S. Williams of St. Petersburg, has completed basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. He is a 1999 graduate of St. Petersburg Catholic High School.
John Maddalena, son of Debra and Mark Maddalena of St. Petersburg, has completed Army basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. A 2002 graduate of Boca Ciega High School, he will continue his training at Fort Gordon, Ga.
Navy Airman Benjamin A. Smet, son of Linda C. Smet of Pinellas Park and Kenneth H. Smet of St. Petersburg, has reported for duty at Naval Station, Rota, Spain. Smet joined the Navy in July 2001.
-- Send Military News to Donna Winchester, St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo if available and your return address and phone number.