Volunteer to Serve Those Who Serve Us

Lea, Natasha and Julie

Most Americans associate July 4 as the day when the original 13 British colonies declared their independence from Britain.  Fourth of July parades and community celebrations often honor those, who have provided military service throughout the years and have fought to protect our freedoms including the freedom of religion and freedom of speech.  But, July 4 is also a fitting time to honor those who are still serving our country a half a world away.

Today we’re honoring a local military family, Latham Customer Support Specialist, Julie Kaduce and her husband Jonathan. They are the proud parents of three:  Natasha is a member of the Army Reserves;  Christopher is employed by Fareway in Belmond and has blessed them with their first grandson, Drake, who is 18 month old; and their youngest daughter, Lea, will be a junior this fall at West Fork High School in Sheffield.

Christopher and his son, Drake

“While we didn’t talk much about military service as she was growing up, Natasha seemed always to have an interest,” says Julie. “She frequently visited goarmy.com, and when she was in junior high, she was excited to get the t-shirt she’d ordered from that site.”

Upon graduating from high school in 2007, Natasha earned a cosmetology degree from the Salon Professional Academy in Ames, Iowa.  She then joined the Army after receiving her cosmetology license.  She also wanted to return to college to further her education and finished her first year at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) one month early to start basic training.  She graduated basic training in 2010 with honors in Fort Sill, OK.

Deployment affects family members of all shapes and sizes. Meet Mya, Natasha’s 5-year-old Yellow Lab / Springer Spaniel mix.

Natasha was deployed on a special mission to Botswana, Africa, for one month last summer.  She is serving now through next summer with her unit in the Middle East.  Her current mission involves providing medical support in the area of approved food sources, facility sanitation, procurement and surveillance inspection of food and environmental zoonotic disease hazards.  She’s also providing support for veterinary services for military working dogs (MWDs) on duty.

Volunteer to Serve

Military members feel called to serve, and civilians can express appreciation for their service by assisting on the home front.  When servicemen and women are deployed for long periods of time, Julie says life is very different for their families.  Life can become downright challenging for husbands, wives, parents, children and even extended family members.

“One way to support our troops is to get involved with programs that benefit their families. Sometimes just being available to their families is enough.  You can help make life changing differences for military families through organizations like the National Military Family Association and Our Military Kids.

It’s also important to make sure young Americans know the significance of Independence Day and understand the important role the U.S. military plays in protecting our freedoms still today.  Teach patriotism to your children and grandchildren.  Click here for related holiday activities and crafts.

You can also celebrate your freedom with patriotic foods and holiday potlucks.  Today Julie is sharing one of her family’s favorite salads.  She says it’s great for summer potlucks because it doesn’t contain mayonnaise.  This salad was served in early May when family and friends gathered for Natasha’s sendoff party.  We’re especially honored to post this recipe today as Julie rarely grants requests for it.  She says, “This recipe is special, just like my daughter.”

Does your family have a recipe that has special meaning?  If so, we hope you’ll share it on TheFieldPosition!  Feel free to email it to me at shannonl@lathamseeds.com.

Natasha's Graduation Salad



  • 16 oz. pkg. pre-mix coleslaw
  • 18 oz. can water chestnuts
  • 1 small pkg. sliced almonds
  • 5 chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped green and/or red peppers (using both gives the salad more color)
  • 3 oz. pkg. chow mein noodles
  • ½ cup salad oil (I use olive oil)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbls. vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. Accent Seasoning Salt



  1. Roast almonds in oven at 350° for 8 minutes or until golden brown
  2. Combine all ingredients except chow mein noodles.
  3. Add the chow mein noodles when ready to serve.