Women Honor Their Country
Laura F. • Sylvania, OH • Big K Cola Craver
Who helped you cope with relocations and/or deployments?
Family, friends, the USO and fellow soldiers. The USO provided phone cards, games, drinks and more…whatever we needed in a certain situation. Also, my manager at Kroger…he always checked in with my mother to ensure she was okay. He assured me that if anything came up that couldn’t be handled while I was gone, he would step in and help my family.
What did you learn about yourself through your military experience?
I could handle just about anything that was thrown at me. I have discipline, strength, compassion and a will that is stronger than I ever thought it was.
What did you miss most from home?
I missed animals. There were feral cats in Iraq, and I became friends with one of them. I would get cat food sent from home! When I was stationed in Cuba, there was a veterinarian office. There, I fell in love with the most adorable cat, and he was allowed to come home with me!
What are your thoughts on women in the military?
Women do a fabulous honor to their country with what they’re able to do in whatever situation they’re put in. When I first enlisted in ’84, you had those who asked, “What are you doing here?” But it really depends on how you carry and handle yourself as far as the kind of respect you get back in return. So I really never had an issue being a woman in the military. I became close with and mentored other women. I was always looked at as the mother figure, and I took that on wholeheartedly.
We often hear after friends and family, a taste of home is what our servicemembers miss the most. What home-cooked meal did you crave when you were away?
It’s gonna sound silly, but it was Big K Diet Cola. It’s so refreshing and was often all I could think about in the 140°F heat. And I wanted big ice cubes because I could only get crushed ice. When I got home, my husband was at my unit with my Kroger coffee cup, big ice and a Big K pop. It was awesome. Food feeds the human spirit for sure.