Army Veteran Lexy April Jaralba served for 7 years in Virginia, California, and Iraq as a Medic, earning the rank of Sergeant. She looks back on her military service as a character and confidence-building time of her life.
“The food was terrible, but overall I loved the military!” Lexy told us. “I got so much valuable experience with helicopters, being a medic, and just a lot of fun things I could do, see, and experience! In the Army you are always learning and pushing yourself to the total limit.”
Lexy says that the military taught her to be patient; that everything passes with time and even the worst situation is only temporary. When things were tough, she would pray, keep her head up, and fake a smile until it passed.
“God had my back in many many ways,” Lexy says. “I learned how strong my body was and how caring people really can be in a group like that. Always, always keep your thoughts positive, because it's really easy to get sucked into a negative suck hole. Positivity made me be able to laugh at the worst things. Like getting hit in the head with a dud grenade... one of my funniest stories!”
Lexy also told us that her time in the military taught her how to stay awake during boring classes! She became EMT certified and was sent to med school, where the Army paid for 100% of her Bachelor Degree while she was serving. Her military experience helped her get that degree and also land an amazing job in healthcare after she left the military.
“It was harder than I expected to transition to civilian work, because no one understood what I did.” Lexy says. “It's difficult to translate the duties even though they're similar. Before I left the Army, my Commander was trying to convince me to stay longer. I just so happened to be teaching a medical class on catheters, and he walked in. He asked if I would sign a new contract for 3 years if he volunteered to be a live demonstration. I said “absolutely!” He never came back so, needless to say, I didn't end up staying longer!”
When we asked Lexy what advice she has for incoming recruits, she said to never settle on an Military Occupational Specialty (MOS).
“Sign the contract for something you WANT to do, not what the recruiter tells you you should do,” she added. “Medic was the best MOS and a lot of people were jealous of that one. It's hard. But choose an MOS that suits you.”
Thanks to Lexy for her service and for telling us about her experiences in the Army!
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