CPT Leslie Gotkin, U.S. Army
Now U.S. Army Major
I grew up in the small town of Apex, North Carolina. I can remember getting my first pair of black jungle boots at a surplus store at age thirteen. I wore them everywhere. Some things never go out of style, right? I am 32 now and still wearing those boots as a woman in the military. As I reflect on why I serve my country, I realize that the reasons for which I serve are varied, and virtually endless. However, I would like to share with you the reason why I joined the Army, some of the reasons why I continue to serve and what it means to me to serve. I joined the Army simply out of patriotism.
My parents believed that anyone could achieve their goals through hard work and dedication. At a very young age, my parents taught me to be grateful for all the opportunities this great nation offered. I have been very fortunate to have many different opportunities that I had never dreamed I could experience.
My grandfather’s war stories were just stories growing up, until I put on the uniform myself. Serving my country means carrying on a family tradition that dates back to the revolutionary war and honoring those who defend our freedom, past and present.
I would like to pay tribute to all those who have served before me, as well as to their families. Whether they served because of pride, the experience, family, or any other reason, they played a significant role in making the United States a better and safer place. That is my goal, whether in the military or not, to contribute to making our nation a better place for generations to come.
I am proud to be an American and I am proud to serve my country.