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NEWS | June 26, 2018

A grain of sand: Army Reserve Soldier returns to roots for Beyond the Horizon 2018

By Angel D. Martinez 113th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Pvt. Sair Silverio, an U.S. Army Reserve interior electrician with the 926th Engineer Brigade, 844th Engineer Battalion, 390th Engineer Company out of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has returned to El Salvador to literally put in his grain of sand alongside his Salvadoran and U.S. peers in what will be El Amate School Center in the La Paz Department as part of Beyond the Horizon 2018

As long as Sair can remember, his mom wanted him to get in touch with his roots, spend some time with his family and learn about El Salvador, so she sent him there in 2015, but only to receive him back no more than a year later in his hometown Atlanta, Georgia.  

And even though he had to change his plans to study here, learn more Spanish and other things, his challenges could not diminish his desire to better himself. 

Since that last time he visited El Salvador, Silverio completed high school, joined the U.S. Army Reserve and enrolled in Georgia Highlands College where he is aiming for a degree in Automation Engineering. 

"I couldn’t have done any of this without my mom," said Silverio as his eyes lighted up. "I quit high school, but she kept pushing me. She's the hardest working woman I know." 

Silverio had no intentions of returning to El Salvador, but that was until he heard about Beyond the Horizon 2018. 

The original plan was to do his annual training in Fort Dix, New Jersey, but less than three months ago, his first sergeant told him to switch bags, they were going to El Salvador. 

"I was happy when I found out because I wanted to come back," said a smiling Silverio. "I wanted to see the people, the country, everything. This is my home, too." 

He was so eager to come, he started doing online research about what kind of mission was BTH and found out he could help make a difference for someone. 

"Helping in a humanitarian mission and knowing kids will have a school to go to is a great feeling." 

Not only has Silverio contributed to his ancestral home’s well-being, but he also had the opportunity to reunite with his family during BTH’s opening ceremony on May 31.

Beyond the Horizon 2018 is a combined readiness exercise between U.S. Army South and El Salvador providing medical campaigns and construction projects for communities throughout the La Paz Department in the Central American country. It brings together Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard service members from across the U.S. alongside host nation partners all working together on this humanitarian effort.