The Ben Jackson Foundation is excited to introduce Travel Award Recipient Reagan Anderson.  Anderson is a 2018 graduate of Portage High School.  

She left for Basic Training in Paris Island, SC in September 2018.  After completing Basic Training, she traveled to California for combat training, then she traveled to Fort Meade.  Although Anderson had intended on participating in the Language Defense Program, she ended up going to Fort Meade for Combat Videography. Afterwards, she received orders to the Media Center in Okinawa.  After subbing on the radio with the Armed Forces Network, she landed a permanent position with an afternoon radio show.  

Anderson, a Marine, has been stationed at Kadena Air Force Base on the Island of Okinawa since August of last year.  Her mother, Wendy Gavinski, thinks that after 5 year commitment in the Marines, she might pursue a career in media. 

She had the opportunity to play taps with the Portage American Legion Honor Guard as a Junior and Senior in high school.  This experience had a profound impact on her.  She felt drawn to the members of the Honor Guard, which lead to her enlisting.  The impact of this experience was so great, not only for Anderson, but also for the Honor Guard members, that the Honor Guard paid Anderson’s admission fee to the American Legion Post in Portage, WI.  

Wendy misses being able to talk with Reagan.  She especially misses their daily chats and hugs (Anderson is a great hugger!).  Wendy feels that becoming a Marine has resulted in Anderson gaining self confidence and believing in her ability to achieve her goals.  She describes her daughter as a very ‘up beat’ person with an infectious personality, and as a genuine young woman who loves her country, God and family.  She is immensely proud of her daughter!

Anderson learned about the Ben Jackson Foundation through a family friend, Holly Carns.  Holly knew of the foundation and of Anderson’s enlistment, so she shared the link to the Ben Jackson Foundation website.  Anderson and her family really appreciate the work the foundation does.  She is planning on being home for Christmas for the first time since leaving for Japan.  

Thank you for your service and good luck!