I am from Birmingham, Alabama. I have served as a Paralegal Specialist in the Army for the past nine and a half years. I am the first person and only woman in my family to serve. I have a younger brother who followed my lead and has been serving for 6 years. I initially joined to get schooling and travel the world. I was working at a fast food restaurant when a man walked in one day and told me about this great job opportunity that would take me around the world, give me free college and even free housing. I was sold! But little did I know, this man, was the Master Trainer for the Montgomery Alabama Recruiting Battalion. I knew absolutely nothing about the Army, other than what I saw television. I quit my job that day, signed up and haven’t looked back since.
I am the mother of a handsome and very active/energetic six year old son. I enjoy spending all of my free time with my son, when he is home. Through resources provided by the Army, I am able to provide my son with better opportunities than I had growing up in the urban areas of Birmingham. I have endured many challenges in life but being a single mother in the Army is by far the toughest battle I have had to combat. In the past three years, my son has been in my physical custody for less than a year due to mission requirements, training and formal education required by the Army. I am very thankful to have a supportive chain of command and for the opportunities provided by the Army but family is also an important factor to me. Military family members sacrifice just as much, if not more, as their Service member. I commend my son for being as strong as he is at such a young age and understanding that mommy, the superhero in his words, is serving selflessly in a profession that most civilians wouldn’t dream of doing. His strength is why I have continued to serve for as long as I have.
Being in the Army has allowed me opportunities that I do not believe I would have gotten otherwise. I absolutely love being a Paralegal in the Army. I take great pride in being a Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). There is nothing more rewarding than taking a young, impressionable junior enlisted Soldier and equipping them with the tools they need, to not only excel in the military but to also in life. Being able to be directly involved in someone’s personal and professional growth is really a gift in itself. I have meet many outstanding people while serving, some who are closer than my biological family. It’s a great feeling to serve next to someone who can say they will die for you and actually mean it.
I undoubtingly serve for my country, my biological and military family but most importantly for my son. I want to be remembered as the Leader that always lead from the front, never complained and always put her Soldiers’ needs above her own. I also want to show to other women serving as single parents, that through perseverance, prayer and resiliency it is possible to not only succeed in the Army but to far exceed the standards set before them.