A Soldier Stays Behind to Defend Her Country

I’m a proud veteran of the United States Army Reserve. In 2004-2005, my unit was preparing to deploy to Iraq. Most of us were pumped; others were scared. We made preparations to leave, putting our personal lives on hold. Those of us who were students withdrew from classes, and those of us with civilian jobs notified our employers we were being deployed.

Only then did we learn that our orders had been revoked.

It turned out that due to our highly-specialized hazardous materials training, we were the only unit in the Army that was qualified to take on the homeland defense mission that would be assigned to us for the next three years.

Even so, some soldiers from our unit volunteered for duty in Iraq. Thankfully, they all made it home safely after serving their tours. Unfortunately, some of them have found it difficult to readjust to civilian life. The stress of living in a battle zone, the sleepless nights, and the constant vigilance took a toll — but they’re soldiers, they’re strong, and each one is surviving day by day.

For others, however, coming home has been easy. They’re still the same kooky people they were when they left!

If not for the medical issues that brought about my honorable discharge, I would be serving my country to this day. Leaving the Reserves was devastating for me, and I’ll always miss it. But I’m still a proud soldier, and always will be. During my time in the service, I experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly! All in all, it was a life-changing experience that I would’t trade for anything. The military made me a stronger, more determined, more dedicated, more honorable human being.

I will always support my troops in all branches and will always defend them!

ARMY STRONG! HOOAH!!!

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