Story of the Week: ‘I Get My Energy From Helping Others’

Ep. 3: My Fourth Life

Tonia Russell moved out of her parents’ house when she was 17.

“That 17 year-old girl would have never saw this woman,” Russell says in our Finding America story of the week.

Russell calls her role as the director of the Feed our Vets food pantry in Watertown, New York, her “third life.” Follow a day in that life running the pantry on our Finding America open-notebook documentary site with Homefront: Fort Drum.

One percent of America’s population bears a large burden: military service. Who is in the military? How do their families cope and connect? At Fort Drum, the stronghold of the 10th Mountain Division, thousands are actively serving. In the communities that surround Fort Drum, thousands more are military retirees. Homefront: Fort Drum and NCPR tell the stories of their lives, portrait by portrait.