In The Beginning

People always assume that my husband is in the military. When I indicate that he is in fact NOT in the military, inevitably people ask when my father served.  When I tell folks that I do not have family that serves in the military (my grandfather flew in the Korean War), confusion sets in and they curiously ask, “So….how DID you get involved?”

Sometimes I ask myself that same question.  At times my story seems surreal. However, I tell folks that there really is not a logical explanation.  The way I became involved is divine.  Simply the way god intended it to be.  

When I served as the Executive Director of the National Infantry Association I created the Infantry Bugler in its modern news magazine form.  I was always looking for stories, articles, and photos to use in the Infantry Bugler. At the time, the Ranger Training Brigade (RTB) was a chapter of the National Infantry Association. The RTB took me in under their wing.  They toured me around, taught me about RANGER school and they promised that if I ever needed articles, stories or photographs that they would provide me whatever was needed. Needless to say, I placed lots of articles about RANGER school in the early years of the Infantry Bugler.

I received a call from the Ranger Training Brigade Commander, Colonel Hazen Baron, soon after I left the National Infantry Association (NIA). Baron told me that he was impressed with my work at the National Infantry Association and confided that if I could sell him on a lifetime membership to the NIA that I could probably sell anyone on anything!!! 

Colonel Baron proceeded to tell me about the Best Ranger Competition.  He shared the competition’s history, his vision for the near future and the obstacles that were transparent. He told me that the road may be difficult.  He instructed me that folks were not used to working with a woman in the role he was asking me to tackle.  He promised there would be challenges. 

I was 23 at the time and all of about a buck fifteen.  I had no idea what to think and definitely did not understand what I was getting myself into.  However, I did know that I had never before felt so much pride.  I was honored to have been chosen.  That is exactly the way I felt – CHOSEN.   Sort of like being plucked from the sky.

I heard the warning of Colonel Baron that day, but the challenge was too much for me to decline.  I was a little fiesty back in those days and the offer was one I could not refuse. I can’t say the rest is history….because I am still writing the script.  Yet, that one meeting with a great Army leader changed my life and started the ripple.