AUSA Releases 2 New Podcasts in December

AUSA Releases 2 New Podcasts in December

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Photo by: AUSA

The Association of the U.S. Army is releasing two new podcasts in December, following a major relaunch of its “Army Matters” series.

First up in December is an episode titled “Twenty-four Hours’ Notice to Deploy to Afghanistan,” featuring Lt. Col. Jacob Helgestad, executive officer for the Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.

Last August, Helgestad was fast asleep in Kuwait when he heard a knock on his door. “Hey, sir, we gotta go to Afghanistan.” Within 24 hours, Helgestad, who at the time commanded the 1st Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment, and his 625 soldiers arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul and immediately were thrown into a chaotic and dangerous evacuation mission.

During the podcast, Helgestad will talk about how he and his team prepared for that very moment, the role his soldiers played in helping to evacuate more than 124,000 people, and how science fiction military novels are a great escape.

The episode is available Dec. 5.

Next, on Dec. 19, the podcast will feature Amanda Tomasura, whose family is AUSA's 2022 Volunteer Family of the Year.

Tomasura, her husband, Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Tomasura, and their three children, Timothy Jr., Zoey and Mackenzie, were recognized for their volunteer efforts while stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. 

At Fort Jackson, Timothy Tomasura was a senior drill sergeant with the 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment. The family is now stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. 

During their time at Fort Jackson, Amanda Tomasura led the battalion’s Soldier and Family Readiness Group and organized fundraising events every 10 weeks, raising $10,000 each year, with the money being used on events such as a Christmas dinner for 300 families in the battalion and free admission to a South Carolina amusement park for 35 drill sergeants and their families. 

The family also hosted a Gold Star Adventure event, where 23 teenagers who had lost a parent in combat were given a chance to see what their loved one experienced during basic training. The Tomasuras coordinated and conducted activities such as land navigation and marching. 

Amanda Tomasura also has dedicated more than 500 volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity and more than 700 hours with the American Red Cross. 

First launched in February 2019, AUSA’s podcast underwent some major changes, with a new show design, increased storytelling chops and a focus on leadership lessons across the total Army. The new version of “Army Matters” was officially introduced Oct. 10.

Additionally, the series has moved from weekly releases to every other Monday and will feature inspirational leadership stories, current issues for NCOs, military families’ journeys and in-depth discussions on the Army’s past and future.

Full details on the podcasts are available at Listeners also can subscribe to “Army Matters” for updates.