A Look at America’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women
Spc. Tonya Meagher is America's Military for Jan. 8

Name:  Spc. Tonya R. Meagher

Unit:  109th Quartermaster Company, 240th QM Battalion, 49th QM Group

MOS:  92F – petroleum supply specialist

Time in service:  23 months

Age:  21

Hometown:  Rochester, N.Y.

Family:  husband, Steven; parents Roger Newbould and Suzanne Fugate

Pastimes:  “I go to college pretty much full time, and I play soccer when I can.”

Recent accomplishments:  “I ended up getting two awards for college – one for having good grades and one for being a new student and completing the semester.  I also made the rank of specialist in November.”

How do you like your new rank?:  “I like it; it’s not bad.”

Do you have anything bad to say about the PFCs and below in your unit?:  “No, because I’ve been there.  My goal is to make sergeant.”

How you would describe yourself:  “I’m a pretty laid back person, and I get along with most people, but it’s not good when you make me mad.”

Pet peeve: “My house is a mess.  I was brought up to pick up stuff or it would get thrown away.  My husband leaves stuff around, and that bugs me quite a bit.”

Biggest regret: “I don’t usually regret things.  I just learn from them, live to see another day.”

The celebrity or historical figure you would like to be: “I don’t even know.”

The one person you most admire: “My sister (Tiara Fugate).  She passed away when I was 16.  She was handicapped but could always put a smile on someone’s face.”

One life-changing event:  “My grandfather (Donald Newbould) passed away in 2006.  He had cancer around his heart and lung cancer.  He died of a regular heart attack.  My grandparents held my Family together.  I spent most of my time growing up in their house.  I was really close to my grandfather.  To just wake up one day and hear that he was gone … it killed me inside, but it became my motivation to join the Army because he was in the Army, too.  I’m the only one of 10 grandchildren in the military.”

Your decision to sign up didn’t sit well with your father.  Why?:  “My father wanted me to go to college, and when I didn’t, he was pretty upset.  But it was something I wanted to do, to follow in his (her grandfather’s) footsteps.”

How does your father feel now?:  “He’s proud, because I accomplished more than he thought I would.  And the fact that I’m going to school makes him even happier.”

Best thing about the Army:  “The fact that you meet so many people and can learn so much from them.”

If I wasn’t in the Army:  “I’d be going to school for criminal justice, so I could be a state trooper or a corrections officer.”

What makes a good Soldier:  “Someone who can work well with others; someone who’s disciplined, but can have fun; someone who is ready to do the job no matter what it is; and someone you can always count on.”

Why you want to be a leader:   “I like to be in charge, and I like to be able to share what I know.”

The Army Value that’s most important to you: “Loyalty.  You have to be able to depend and rely on the people around you.  It’s comforting to know that somebody has your back.” 

Motivations to serve: “My family.  If I have to take a bullet (while serving), it’s because I obviously care.  I always think about my grandfather.  If he would do it, I would, too.”

Goals: “I’m out of the Army in a year and six months.  It’s not that I don’t like the Army, but I want to do more and my Family is too far away.  I want to get a degree in criminal justice, move back to New York and retire as a cop or corrections officer.”

Compiled by T. Anthony Bell

  Editor’s note:  America’s Military is a weekly column featuring military members who are committed to their profession and serve with pride.  If you know a military member deserving of this recognition, call (804) 734-6948 or e-mail terrance.bell@us.army.mil