Age: 31 | Fairfax, Virginia
U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 2004-2007
In 2001, Heather enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve as a civil affairs specialist. But Heather couldn’t just join the Army—she had to become a paratrooper—a drive that has propelled her through three deployments.
Shortly after her enlistment, Heather found herself weaving in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. During each deployment, she worked to recognize the needs of locals and to promote security and reconstruction efforts. The same tenacity she showed at airborne school helped her unit meet its civil affairs mission in both theaters.
For Heather, being in the Reserves has its consequences—a constant balance between soldiering and civilian life. As she watches the world move around her, Heather has grounded herself with the help of running.
“Coming home from three deployments has had its high and low points,” Heather said. “The one thing that has helped me is running. It’s a challenge and I get to push myself...and no one can beat me at it.”
Watch Heather's video