WATERVILLE — Spc. Charilyn Campbell celebrated her birthday Sunday with family and members of the Maine Army National Guard’s 488th Military Police Company at the Waterville Armory.

Campbell enjoyed barbecue chicken and homemade desserts at VFW Post 1285’s annual summer celebration to thank company members for their service.

At age 25, Campbell already has logged plenty of service to her country.

As an active-duty soldier for more than five years, Campbell deployed twice to Iraq.

Now a Guard member, she’ll be deployed soon to Afghanistan for a year with the 488th Military Police Company.

The 2005 graduate of Medomak Valley High School said the military has given her structure and purpose.

“She’s made a career for herself,” said Marissa Nash, Campbell’s sister.

First Sgt. Michael Peacock said the company’s mission will be to act as mentors to law enforcement personnel in Afghanistan.

In 2007-08, Peacock was deployed to Iraq for the same purpose.

“The best part was most people were happy to see us,” said Peacock, a patrol officer for the Yarmouth Police Department.

Sgt. Travis Young said while it will be difficult to leave his wife, Melissa, and sons TJ, 3, and Tristan, 1, the cumulative effect of the U.S. military serving abroad will make a positive difference.

This will be Young’s second deployment; the 23-year-old served in Iraq in 2008-09.

Young said time abroad goes quickly because he stays busy.

He said he’s thankful that his wife will stay with her parents in Auburn while he’s gone.

Kyra Darling and Michelle Ouellette, with the Military Family Assistance Center in Augusta, set up a booth Sunday to make sure families of servicemen and servicewomen know they have somewhere to turn for help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The women said the center provides referrals and information about crisis intervention, as well as helping with child care and educational, medical and financial needs.

“We want to make sure they get the services they need,” Darling said.

VFW Post 1285 Commander Richard Willette and Quartermaster John Plummer said it’s rewarding to see the public’s support of veterans.

Willette served from 1962 to 1965 in South Korea and Plummer served from 1969 to 1972 in the Vietnam War.

“It’s nice to give them what we didn’t have,” said Willette, referring to hero send-offs and welcome-home celebrations.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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