Age: 28 | Gaithersburg, Maryland
U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, 2004-2007
Jennifer Hunt patrolled the streets of Afghanistan and Iraq on foot and in armored vehicles in 2004 and 2007—her mission as a civil affairs specialist was to identify the needs of the locals and work to solidify a relationship between soldiers and the civilian population. While out on a mission in Iraq, Jenn’s vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb. Shrapnel from the blast tore through the vehicle and peppered Jenn in the face and body—she was awarded a Purple Heart for her injuries. Years later she can still feel the metal in her chin.
When Jenn returned to the states, she continued her service in the Reserves—always keeping one boot out the door in anticipation of the next deployment. It wasn’t until Jenn became pregnant with her daughter, Katharine, more than three years later, that she realized she hadn’t fully reintegrated.
“My mind was always on the next deployment and because of that I never fully transitioned back to civilian life,” said Jenn. “Having Katharine in my life and watching her grow up has really forced me to focus on the here and now—I have to live in the moment.”
Watch Jenn's video