“I am thankful for my family for supporting me, even if they aren’t here,” said Spc. Teodolfo Talaro, a Soldier with 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment “Tomahawks”. “I’m thankful for the motivation they give me and for giving me strength.”

Originally from the Philippines, Talaro sends his Thanksgiving wishes home to his family. Their motivation and support led him to join the Army, a choice that significantly impacted his life and future goals.

“My dad was in the Navy, and he told me if I join the Army, it’ll be good for my future and gaining U.S. citizenship,” Talaro said. “After joining, I realized the Army is not a bad career to be in, so I’ve decided to reenlist. The people and the unit are great, and there are a lot of travel opportunities.”

Currently, Talaro works as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. He chose to be a mechanic in the Army to have skills that are useful in his day-to-day life.

“Since I learned how to work on vehicles, I can apply it to my car and my friend’s car,” he said. “One time, my friend and I went to Leavenworth, Washington, and her car overheated. So, I already knew what to do and fixed her car fast.”

Talaro’s next step in his career is to become a leader through promotion to a noncommissioned officer. However, he does not take this next step lightly.

“Sometimes, I feel like I’m not ready to be a leader,” Talaro said. “I want to better myself, so I’m ready to take on that responsibility. I want to fully understand the role of being a leader.”

While Talaro wants to continue growing in his Army career, his restraint demonstrates his awareness of the responsibility that will fall on him as an NCO. Talaro is preparing himself through school, as he currently works on his nursing degree. As a nurse and a mechanic, he will have a very diverse and useful set of skills.