The Protector

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.

Currently serving as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Sill, Smith enjoys her time with new recruits. Many came from broken homes or lacked parents, some had no one to teach them simple life skills. Under her care and tutelage, not only does she train good soldiers, she creates a family, lets them know there are people who care and teaches them the skills so many overlooked. Once a young recruit herself, Smith understands the power a Drill Sergeant has, the ability they have to invest, instill and pour themselves into recruits.

The military and service members do what no one else will do, serve when no one else will, protect and defend no matter the cost. Because of their sacrifices we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Next: The Investor