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Why did you join the military?

I joined the military as something positive to do. When I first joined I was 17 years old and a junior in high school, it was a delayed entry program called "split option." My recruiter told me I was going to summer camp and I will get paid. It seemed simple enough, according to what he told me. Two other girlfriends that were seniors and I made a pact that we were going to make it to basic training together. When it was time to ship out they both were pregnant and I was off to basic training by myself. That day I learned a valuable lesson. I am glad because I would not be the person I am today, which is a leader.

Which woman in history inspires you the most, and why?

Oprah Winfrey inspires me the most in women’s history. She has inspired me not to make my past determine my future. I look at what her past life experience was and she could have chosen many different paths. She was determined to be successful in life and now she is.

What does it mean to you to be a mother and wife?

Being a mother and a wife means that I have to be accountable for all my actions. I'll be married to my husband Steve for 14 years in April and I also have a four-year old beautiful daughter Sidney. I represent my family everyday so at all times I conduct myself in a respectful manner. Most importantly, I want to be a role model to my daughter. I want to make her proud of who I am. I consider my family a team and my role is the head coach; I ensure that we make the right moves so we can have victories in life.

What is your best military memory?

My best military experience was being deployed to Afghanistan. Being away from family, friends and daily comforts made me appreciate the small things. I shared common bonds and experiences with my fellow comrades that will stay with me for the rest of my life.