Joining the armed services is a calling. Service members sacrifice their time, freedom and families to defend our freedom, protect our rights and ensure our safety. Those who join do not join for the glory, rather they join from a deep sense, almost an obligation, to defend what they hold so dear; our nation. For Staff Sergeant Melissa Smith the Army is a choice, a career, a lifestyle, one she pursues with passion, dedication, tenacity and grit.
Growing up, her parents did not see Melissa in the military, but upon graduation at the young age of 17, her parents signed her into the US Army. Nine years later, she continues to serve knowing she made the right decision. A mother of two, she sacrifices time with her children to serve our country. What most of us take for granted the ability to make our children’s lunches, tuck them in at night, and walk them to school she counts as a luxury. Her choice, her calling has led her to a career of long hours, challenging decisions and cruel compromises.