"Yahoo!" Internet site chooses winners of fantasy career contest;

9 Aug 2000 | Jim Garamone

"Five lucky individuals will receive an immersion in the military after winning the ?Yahoo! Fantasy Careers in Today's Military Contest," Defense Department officials said Aug. 8.The winners had to go to the Yahoo! site on the Internet and submit essays explaining why they should be selected. The services selected the winners from among 3,355 essays submitted. Yahoo! and DoD collaborated on Fantasy Careers to help civilians understand the range of missions the military performs."This contest is about the public meeting military service members, getting to know who they are, and experience firsthand their maturity, dedication and professionalism," said Navy Cmdr. Yvette Brown-Wahler, DoD's assistant director for recruiting plans, when she announced the contest in May. "This is a way for ordinary people from Main Street USA to connect with extraordinary people doing exciting, thrilling and challenging jobs while serving their country."Richard A. Castanet, 47, of Richmond, VA, will attend several days of the Marine Basic School in Quantico, VA, to experience how Marines translate leadership instincts into action. To follow this, he will visit Parris Island to witness the aspects of the Crucible, a basic training final exam for enlisted personnel, a Marine Air Station orientation, and finally, a tour of the Officer Candidate School, according to Cmdr. Yvette Brown-Wahler. Castanet is an engineer with General Electric.Joseph W. Blondo of Budd Lake, NJ, won the Navy dream career. Blondo will fly to an aircraft carrier and observe carrier operations. He is a 31-year-old 8th grade teacher in South Plainfield, NJ.Rosalyn S. Smith, 18, of Marietta, GA, won the Army contest. She will fly aboard an Apache attack helicopter and parachute with the Army's Golden Knights. Smith is a student at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.Dale E. Zimmerman of Junction City, OR, will shadow Air Force F-15 pilots and fly aboard an F-15. Zimmerman, 22, is a United Airlines customer service representative.Stephanie Kelley of Stow, MA, will participate in search and rescue training with the Coast Guard. Kelley, 22, is a recent graduate of Duke University in North Carolina."We're pleased with the response in using this new technology," said Army Lt. Col. Catherine Abbott, a DoD spokesperson. The services and Yahoo! announced the contest May 18. It ended July 4. The services had 13,294 visits to their Web sites via this contest. The links remain live through Sept. 30.
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