Veteran Article Written by Female Veteran of the Quarter Deborah A. Sides…

When you are part of a military family no one ever asks what will you do when you grow up; the assumption is you will follow in the family’s footsteps and become a soldier too. As an Army Brat, we lived by the rules of Duty, Honor, Country. I graduated high school I was going to college. I had dreams of becoming a chef. I realized I didn’t have a way to pay for the dream, so I joined the Army in August 1983. I went to Basic A 5/1 at Ft. Jackson, SC. I attended Advance Individual training as 31D Radio Communications Operator Training at Fort Gordon, GA.

My first duty was Kaiserslautern Germany. My job required me to go to remote stations and install antennas to send and receive radio communications. We continuously moved throughout the field exercise; breaking down antennas and reinstalling them. Often times during my enlistment I was the only female on site. My second duty assignment was: D 313th Signal Company, 16th Signal Bn, on Ft Hood Texas. While assigned on Ft Hood, I was married and had two daughters. I was injured during my units deployment preparations, and worked with rear detachment during the deployment. I ETSed November 1990 I was honorably discharged.

I decided to use my military leadership skills ad GI Bill to become a teacher. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Mary Hardin Baylor, Belton, Texas, June 1997. I majored in education, minored in reading. I have been teaching in a public school environment for 25 years. I have taught middle school math.

Throughout my 25 yrs of teaching I continued to challenge myself to achieve. July 2003 I graduated Sum Cum Laude from Jones International University Masters in Curriculum & Assessment with a minor in principles of Leadership. I became an Assistant Principal in 2010 and currently have 1 yr towards my Doctorate of Curriculum from Capella University. Urgently I am teaching Algebra I and 8th grade Math. I am a Team Leader and the math department Chair person. I will be retiring next year and I’m looking forward to a new adventure.

I love teaching and know that the skills I learned in the Army helped to shape me into the strong teacher I am today. I look back at my military training and teaching career, and I’m reminded of my family’s most important lesson: service to community and country. I feel I have done both with Courage, Pride and Grace.

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