She Wears Dog Tags
This website was established to celebrate the contributions that women make to military and veteran communities. These contributions are the primary focus of my blog, but from time to time, I like to cover broad spectrum veteran issues.
I want to inspire female service members and veterans to express their stories creatively with the world and also shed light on some of the inequality issues that still linger. Each day we can create change, but that change requires a collective effort to produce sustainable results.
I hold a Master’s of Arts degree in Social and Cultural Pedagogy from Arizona State University and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Wyoming. In October 2017, I started a Master of Public Administration with Grand Canyon University.
I served four years as a United States Marine. My dad served in the Navy for 15 years but I did not anticipate serving my country, even after 9/11. I followed this path after my friend, Barton Joseph Carroll, who had become a Marine, was murdered on July 4, 2002. He wanted to serve overseas in Iraq and never had the opportunity to do so. I picked up his goal in 2003 when I made the choice to become a Marine.
I was blessed with the opportunity to serve two tours in Iraq. The first time I deployed to Camp Blue Diamond (outside of Ramadi, Iraq) from August 2004 to February 2005 with 1st Marine Division. The second time, and under a much different op tempo, I served under 3rd Marine Air Wing with Marine Aircraft Group-16 from July 2006 to February 2007. The deployments were drastically different and in 2007, I made the decision to leave the Marine Corps.
When the time came to leave the Marine Corps, I was very eager to part ways. I was tired of some issues that needed changing and feeling as though my voice was unimportant, I decided it was time to go back and complete my college education. There were, and always will be, things I miss about being an active duty Marine. Serving my country has helped me in numerous ways and I appreciate the fact I was able to contribute my time to the Marine Corps. I hope many veterans, especially female veterans, feel that way about the time they spent in their respective service branches.