By SGT Maiya LeBron
Battalion Medical Team
When you’re 17 years old and
a junior in high school, you’re
constantly being bombarded
with questions of what you’re going to do
when you graduate, “Are you going to
college?”, “What do you want to do for the
rest of your life?”, “You must pick a career
path that makes good money or else you
won’t be happy or successful”. At 17 years
old, the world is almost in your grasp yet so
many questions and crucial decisions
must be made at such a fragile age. I was
a good student in school; I had straight A’s,
played sports, participated in school clubs.
I was in the National Honor Society,
student council, and was even class
president. With a resume like this, it
seemed as though going to a four-year
university was the only option. However,
the price tag of the university option is
Latina Letters From the Front
daunting, to say the least.
Coming from a hardworking, middle-class family,
having my parents pay for my tuition was never the
plan, nor was it expected. Joining the military was
never an idea I had entertained because growing up,
going to college seemed like the only option. It wasn’t
until I talked to teachers and recruiters that I realized
that so many doors could open and opportunities
would arise by joining the military; and indeed,
In all honesty, being the impressionable
17-year-old that I was, in a very spur of the
moment, I joined the Ohio Army National Guard on 23
(L-R) Joseph Hartry, Brittany Smith, Maiya LeBron, Christian Langwasser, Maya Dayhuff,
and Nicholas Moreland, Kuwait.
February 2016, two days after my 17th birthday with
the love and support of my incredible family. This
decision came with intentions of both going to
college to pursue a career in the medical field while
simultaneously exploring an experience entirely out of
my comfort zone.
In between my junior and senior year of high
school, I completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill,
Oklahoma, then returned home to graduate high
school. Soon after graduating in May 2017, I departed
for Combat Medic School at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
I was the first in my family to attend a University and
am currently attending the Ohio State University
majoring in Biology Pre-Med with goals to attend
Physician Assistant school.
Fast forward to January 2021, I am seven months
into a deployment in the Middle East with great
gratitude to have the opportunity to reflect on my
military career in its entirety. I have had the pleasure to
work with so many knowledgeable, inspirational, and
strong-willed individuals from all walks of life. During
my time in the Army, I’ve gained valuable experience in
the medical field which has enforced my love and
eagerness to continue my venture within the field.
Although signing the dotted line was at most a random
decision, it was probably the smartest thing I could’ve
done for myself. There are not many things I can
thank the 17-year-old me for, but joining the Army
is definitely something I’ll always be thankful for.
Joining has allotted me opportunities to grow as an
individual and as a leader. I have been able to learn
from fellow soldiers and lead, all while learning about
myself, my limits, and what I am truly capable of
along the way. LS
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(L-R) Nicholas Moreland, Joseph Hartry, Maiya LeBron, and Maya
Dayhuff. Fort Hood, TX.
Christian Langwasser, Joseph Hartry, Maya Dayhuff, Maiya
LeBron, Nicholas Moreland, and Brittany Smith. Fort Hood, TX.
36 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle V ol. 27, No. 1, 2021