"Many of my relatives have served or are serving in various branches. One of my proudest moments came after an IED blast on a vehicle. The photos showed a completely destroyed vehicle. Miraculously, none of the occupants were seriously injured.
"One soldier called home to let his family know he was OK. His mother was having difficulty believing him, so he asked me to talk to her. I was able to assure her that medically, he was fine. Not convinced, she wanted to see him to be sure. I knew where his first stop in the States would be, but it would be so brief that at most, she could wave to him from a distance. She was willing to drive a few hours just to see him get on another plane, so I called in the favor. It was a small thing for me to do, but she was so grateful for the opportunity to see her son.
"My service helped me learn to separate people from their past. Some of the best people I served with had criminal histories. Military service was their best way of getting out of their neighborhoods and getting a fresh start."
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