Thursday, March 8, 2012

Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales : The long road from homeless to service

Once homeless, Army Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales often shares her story with young soldiers at Natick Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. U.S. Army photo by David Kamm

Face of Defense: Soldier Calls Army Home

By Bob Reinert
U.S. Army Garrison Natick

NATICK, Mass., March 7, 2012 – Many soldiers have called the Army their home over the years. Few have meant it more than Army Staff Sgt. Sharalis Canales of the Natick Soldier Systems Center here.

When Canales enlisted in late 2005, she had no home. She was living in a New York City shelter and facing an uncertain future.

"I didn't have a place to live," Canales recalled. "I went to the Covenant House, which is a shelter in Times Square, and I stayed there for six months."

Canales, 26, has come a long way in six years. She serves as training noncommissioned officer for the Headquarters Research and Development Detachment and as Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers president. Soon, she will represent the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command NCO of the Year competition.

"The Army has not failed me since I've been in," said Canales, who earned staff sergeant rank in five years. "The Army gives me everything that I need. This is my family."

None of this could have seemed possible to Canales at age 14, when her divorced mother gave her up to foster care. She was placed at the St. Cabrini Home in the Bronx....

Staff Sgt Sharalis Canales is truly an Every Day Hero. Go read the rest of this woman's remarkable journey here.

Thank you for your service, Staff Sgt.

No comments: