Hobbies can turn into businesses. That's how Christina Davis and husband, Spc. Jaron Davis of the 21st Signal Battalion, began Jaron and Christina Davis Creations (JCDC). 

A love of photography was a pivotal point in their relationship when they realized the passion for photography was a common bond between them.  Though they each had different backgrounds in the use of cameras, the passion to take photos to record people and events was strong with each of them.

Jaron studied journalism before entering the Army and continues to take photos as much as possible.  He has always enjoyed the opportunities to capture Mother Nature at her finest.

Christina began her almost earnest passion to capture people when she suffered a major loss with the death of a close friend.  Not having a lot of reminders of the time spent with her friend was the beginning of her desire to make sure no one else could become a forgotten face.

America's Credit Union (ACU) recently received four awards from the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC)-two silver awards in their asset category for their ‘Now Enlisting' billboard campaign and ‘Army Men' radio advertisements, and two bronze awards for a direct mail campaign and bus advertisements. The MAC awards competition is held annually to recognize outstanding marketing campaigns in the credit union industry. MAC entries are judged based on three criteria:  planning (30%), results (45%), and creativity (25%).

Two Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldiers received a flood of gifts from merchants representing the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce today during the chamber's monthly Military Affairs Committee.

"Listed below are some very special businesses, associations and individuals in our community," said Linda Smith, president and CEO of the Lakewod Chamber. 

SPC Lester and SGT Krzywonos are JBLM's 2012 Soldier & NCO of the Year.  They each received two bags and a cooler packed with trinkets and gift certificates.

The donors included:

When Army Ranger Nate Trodahl witnessed a female arguing with a male Soldier, he saw an opportunity to impress a pretty girl.

It was 1995 and they were at a party during a deployment to Cuba. But this wasn't just any pretty girl - it was Spc. Leighann Durke, and she stopped his intervention before it began.

"I got this," she said, and proceeded to "verbally crush the Soldier," said Nate.

It was love at first sight for the Ranger, who never had or wanted a steady girlfriend.

Two kids, two dogs, two houses, and 17 years later, the Trodahls are now a civilian family and proud owners of their own business.

They left the Army for the same reason - to begin a family.

However, "the transition to civilian life was hard," he said.

He belonged to Joint Base Lewis-McChord's special operations community.

"I missed my guys and the camaraderie and often wandered back on base to hang out."

The transition was harder when he landed his first job while attending college.

"My military mindset and training didn't transfer well into corporate America," he said. "I was used to negative reinforcement - embarrassment worked in the Army, but not in the civilian world, and not with human resources."

While working as a dealer in a local casino in 2002, Nate was recruited by a State Farm agent.

"I took a $15,000 pay cut," he said. "But I had other long-term goals, and the experience was invaluable."

State Farm paid for his master's degree from Saint Martin's college, and in 2010, he opened the Nathan Trodahl Insurance Agency in Puyallup. Of the 25 State Farm agents in the state, Nate - the youngest agent in the group - is rated number four in production and is ahead of others who have been in the business since 1983.

But he isn't in it for himself. "My greatest desire is to give back and pay it forward to the military community," he said. "I want to someday teach Soldiers at St. Martin's and mentor them through military life and in making that transition to civilian life. And if I can help them set up their own businesses, even better."

Nate said it's not about the money, but about helping Soldiers and comrades because he understands the life.

"I want to take care of them and their families," he said. "I want to be the one they talk to about their careers, their financial lives, their next steps. It's all about expectations - if Soldiers don't know their path, they can't manage expectations."

Nate's office offers auto, home and life insurance, mutual funds, 401K, investments, college funds, checking accounts, securities, budget planning - the whole gamut.

"Nate's the guy that'll look out for our Soldiers," said Leighann. "He'll tell you what the deal is and be straight up and honest."

For more information, visit
www.nathantrodahl.com, call (253) 693-2111 or email Nate at [email protected].