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Little values volunteering, community commitment

Janet Little and her family recently enjoyed a visit to Tate Farms. CONTRIBUTED
Janet Little and her family recently enjoyed a visit to Tate Farms. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – “Madison is vibrant and growing. That makes it such an exciting place to live. You can feel the energy,” Janet Little said.
In 2007, the U.S. Army moved the Littles from Fort Drum, N.Y. to Redstone Arsenal. “Since we had two children, schools were a top priority and narrowed our search to Madison. The more we met people, we were convinced Madison was perfect,” Janet said.
She found an alliance they had experienced among military families. “I was afraid I’d never find that closeness with neighbors and community again,” Janet said. “Madison, even though it’s small in space, packs a lot in. Cultural diversity in our community enhances our life and our children’s lives.”
A native of Henderson, Tenn., Janet knew most classmates throughout school. Henderson and Madison were both farming communities, but Madison’s “dynamics have drastically changed (with) a huge focus on education and ensuring children can be their best,” she said.
Janet served 20 years in the U.S. Army. She attended several colleges, including classes in Germany, to earn a business management degree through University of Maryland. In 2004 after returning from Afghanistan, she retired from the Army as a Sergeant First Class.
Her husband retired CW4 Mark Little also served in the Army. Their son Staff Sgt. Nathan Oliver is stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Jacob Little is a senior at Bob Jones High School. Noah Little is a Rainbow Elementary School sixth-grader.
Janet took her home state’s nickname, the Volunteer State, to heart. She participates with Family Readiness Group (FRG) that befriends Army spouses and was FRG leader for Mark’s unit when he deployed to Afghanistan.
She attends Mount Zion Baptist Church, spearheads beautification at Rainbow and volunteers with Columbia Elementary School PTA. ” Being a PTA president can keep you pretty busy. Volunteers create a tremendous social network … (and) build a strong community.”
Their pets are Sunshine, a cat, and two dogs, Labrador-mix Rocket and six-month-old Buster who eats socks and shoes.
Music is popular at their house, with Janet enjoying 1980s’ rock, Jacob playing clarinet in Bob Jones bands and Noah practicing piano and trumpet for Rainbow’s honor band.
Uncle Maddio’s became an instant favorite. They often eat at Casa Blanca and then browse at Books-A-Million.
Jacob and Noah are Troop 350 Boy Scouts. Mark is an adult leader, and Janet is a merit badge counselor.

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