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Letter: Military career was right choice

4:27 PM, May 3, 2013  |  Comments
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Over 15 years ago, I embarked on a journey. Saying farewell to Stevens Point and hello to West Point, I began a new adventure in the military. New to the military, I did not know what to expect. As a high school student, I felt support from faculty at school was mixed at best, and overall discouraging. Reflecting back, I believe the military in central Wisconsin, is largely unknown. Less than 1 percent of Americans volunteer and provide service to our country. Most of the time, stories of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are left untold.

My story, full of excitement and adventure, continues to evolve. At the military academy, I studied engineering psychology, similar to human factors engineering. In addition to a quality education and superb military training, I participated in unique extracurricular activities from rock climbing to working backstage for concerts and Broadway musicals on tour. Following graduation, I accessioned into the Army medical department and attended medical school. Medical school offered unique opportunities and exchanges including rotations at the Johnson Space Center and a medical exchange with the Mexican Military Hospital in Mexico City.

I am a family medicine physician and an officer in the United States Army. In addition to awesome assignments in Hawaii and Europe, I have deployed and experienced the atrocities of war. Nonetheless, my most rewarding experience remains my deployment in Afghanistan. The military enabled me to travel and experience other cultures, opening my eyes on how truly blessed I am to be an American. My adventure is far from over and I look forward to the future.

Every soldier, sailor, airman and marine holds a different story. I am proud of mine. My decision to apply for the military academy and join the Army opened up a world of opportunity I never dreamed of growing up. I have learned a lot about myself and how much difference one person can make. While I have traveled the world, I am a still Wisconsinite and Packer-Backer at heart. I owe much of my success to my family and community, who prepared me for my adventure with strong values, outstanding education, and passionate pride.

Anastasia McKay

Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

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