I was born in Abilene, Texas in 1983. I was the second child of five children. This was a time of peace in our country. I grew up in a community that had recreation centers, basketball courts, pools, tennis courts, tracks, and parks easily accessible for everyone in the city no matter what class you were. Growing up in the public school system I was lied to constantly in history class. Being an open minded free thinker was frowned upon in school. At the age of 15 I was pregnant with my first child, I was thrown out of the public school and put into an alternative school for pregnant teens. The only thing I was allowed to do was finish modules, no PE, no extra curricular activities, and little to no talking with my peers. My son was born in 1999 after I finished middle school and proceeded to high school. I graduated high school in 2003 from Abilene High School. I was in a program in High School that allowed me to get a job at Hendrick Medical Center were I was a Rehabilitation Specialist an assistant to the Physical Therapist. I worked with patients from every age range I did physical therapy exercises with them and even taught water aerobics for the mature population.
I joined the military in 2010 and left for basic training in August and was stationed at Fort Sill Oklahoma. This is where the culture shock started and I quickly learned how to work with multiple personalities and races in a group as a team and to finish our missions. We had to looked passed our differences to become an unstoppable force. I was twenty seven years old with three children which made me the mother hen of the platoon. Young soldiers would look to me for guidance and counseling and I would sit patiently listening to what was happening in their lives. Not being able to use the phone and call my husband and children was torture, I cried myself to sleep a few times while I was away. I understood the time away from my children would be the best thing for their future. I would go on to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Benning Georgia.
I was done with training and I went home to pack up my family and our belongings in a U-Haul attached to a mini van and drove from Abilene, Tx to my first duty station at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. We lived on base for the first few years and then decided to buy a home. When I asked soldiers on base about Lakewood, the would call it Lakehood. I drove around Lakewood and saw the beauty in the community and found the perfect home for my family. I fell in love with Washington's smell, the tall evergreen trees, and yes I even saw the beauty in the rain after a few years living here. I fell in love with it's beaches, lakes, trails, that would become apart of our my life.
I was pregnant with my son Kyng in this picture., my fourth child. My husband Christopher and I were the coaches of my daughters' soccer team. It was amazing to watch all the children progressively get better every week while having fun. Some kids started out scared and in the end they were the toughest players, overcoming their fear. My husband and I taught the children the basics of soccer we were undefeated for a few seasons. On base they would try to take away the competition of the sport, but that is not how we saw it. To us hard work and determination leads to winning, winning because of hard work deserves appreciation and acknowledgement. In 2013 I was deployed in Afghanistan for eight months, the hardest part was leaving my nearly one year old, who I had to stop breastfeeding due to my deployment.
During my deployment I met soldiers from all parts of the world. It was amazing to see such a diverse group of individuals working as one solid unit. Another soldier and I thought we would bring Christmas cheer to our platoon so we printed out a fireplace and hung stalking's for the soldiers we even went around singing Christmas carols to people in different offices. We stuffed stalking's and even did a secret Santa gifts. During my deployment I felt a sense of loss and like something was missing from my life. I started going to church every Sunday I loved meditating in prayer and singing hems. During my deployment soldiers in my Platoon were asked to pay our respects to fallen soldiers. A group of soldiers from every platoon from different countries would come together on the flight line and solute the casket of our fallen comrade when it passed us. All the way I would sit in prayer for his family and my own. I stood in silence not speaking to anyone, praying that I would make it back home to my own family.
In March 2018 I got hurt during an Airborne Exercise, long story short I hit the ground so hard that I saw stars like the movies, I had shooting pain from the base of my neck to the bottom of my spine, it felt like a lightning strike. I laid there mentally checking what I felt my arms are good, my legs are good, my back and neck are in pain. I try to stand and everything is spinning so I get back down on all fours. I finally could get up and I slowly packed up my parachute into the bag and I did not feel ok. I threw the heavy bag over my shoulders and onto my back I could feel pain but adrenaline was still coursing through my body. I walk about a mile and get on the bus and tell a soldier from my company I am not ok, my back is killing me and I do not feel well. The bus ride was excruciating, every bump was hell, we have a 30 minute ride to get back to the base from the drop zone. We finally get on base and I tell the soldier to tell my Commander that I am hurt and need to go to the hospital. I wait in pain in the emergency room for hours. I finally get taken back and I find out that a concussion, torn carotid artery, and was just in pain from my neck to the base of my spine, and my hip. After getting hurt I was expected to get taped and measured and take a physical fitness test 60 days after I got our of the hospital. It was impossible because my body was broken, I got honorably discharged instead of medically boarded. It took me years to get my disability and even now I have to wait for care.