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U.S. Army Sgt. Marcus Peden, left foreground, participates in ceremonies bringing home a fallen military hero.
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Peden was born and raised in Alton.
Service to our country through military duty not only protects our civilian population and maintains our way of life; it benefits those who serve through the discipline and leadership skills they learn during their military careers.
U.S. Army Sgt. Marcus Peden takes pride in the role he plays in defending our nation and expresses appreciation for the benefits he has realized through his military duty.
Peden was born and raised in Alton, graduating from Alton High School in 2006. He comes from a family with a history of military service. Both his father, Lester Peden Jr. of Springfield, Ill., and his grandfather, Terry Bratton of Alton, served in the military. Peden visits family members back in Alton regularly.
Peden says after a year out of high school trying college and other things, he decided to do something better with his life and enlisted in the Army in 2007. He completed his basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, then completed Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga.
He was assigned to his home base at Fort Drum in New York in March of 2008 in the 10th Mountain Division. Working there as a Satellite Operator, he provided communications from overseas back to the states. Peden emphasizes one of the benefits of military service is learning skills you can take back to civilian life with you and use as a stepping stone in employment and in life.
In May 2008, Peden was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, where he served through May of the following year. In Iraq he worked as a satellite operator providing communications between the war zone and the United States.
After redeployment back to Fort Drum at the end of his tour in Iraq, Peden was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 2010. He served there until September 2011. He had been promoted to Senior SATCOM Operator and worked in Afghanistan, again supporting vital communications for military operations.
After returning to Fort Drum after his tour in Afghanistan, he was relocated to Fort Hood in Texas, where he now serves. He currently trains soldiers in satellite communications. He has been promoted several times and is currently at the rank of Sergeant E5.
Peden was one of a select group of military personnel chosen to render honors to fallen military personnel on their return home. He participated in ceremonies honoring heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Peden says the Army is a humbling experience and one he is proud to be a part of. He notes it has helped him develop people and organizational skills and has fostered discipline in him. He explains that military service is an experience everyone can benefit from because it increases the chances of being successful in life.
“I’ve done things I never thought I would do,” he says.
Peden says he has had a broad range of experiences in the military but has always served willingly and with the intent of providing security to the United States as well as aid to countries in need.
The actions of those who serve in our military afford the rest of us the luxury of waking up every day and living life in a free country. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude and appreciation to everyone performing this role. Sgt. Marcus Peden exemplifies the excellence and professionalism of those in military service and the protection they provide a grateful nation.