SSGT Peter Mathew Ekola, son of Elaine Bridges of Cortez and Bill Ekola of Arizona, is currently serving in the U.S. Army in Bamberg, Germany, as an Electronics Maintenance Supervisor in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. Pete has been in active duty for more than nine years. He's been deployed twice to Iraq (one during which he had the opportunity to rendezvous with his sister, Lisa, who is serving in the Army in Iraq at the time) and once to Afghanistan for a total deployment time of three years six months. During his service thus far, Pete has been awarded a Bronze Star medal, three Army Commendation medals, four Army Achievement medals, and two Good Conduct medals. Pete has a wife, Sandra, and 3-year-old daughter, Brianna. This year, his service will likely take him to Vicenza, Italy.