The year I went to the army, I had made it through business school and was doing some temporary assignments. Since I had gone to school to be a legal or medical secretary, my Aunt Ruth wanted more for me.

Ruth and my mom had worked at a steel mill. They were union workers. Ever since the age of 16, I had been doing some kind of afterschool work – even after I had graduated from high school to Bradford Business School and Blue Cross.

When it came time to do temp work, I was satisfied. But Ruth thought I could do better than that. One early morning she said “look for something with a future to it.” It was winter. I ended up going to the Army reserves’ office. Even though I had really wanted to join the Air Force, because their uniforms were nice and blue.

Today blue is still my favorite color. The recruiter talked me into joining the Army. “You will have to lose 10 pounds,” he said. So I started jogging. When test time came, I scored high. Next thing I knew, I was saying goodbye to my family and in the army.