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Why I Serve: Giving Back to 'My Country'

By Tam Cummings
Special to American Forces Press Service

FORT HOOD, Texas, Jan. 6, 2005 – "I'm in the Army because this is a way I can give something back to my country. I have an appreciation for the freedoms and values we share, and this is the way I serve," Lt. Col. Jaimy S. Rand explained.

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Army Lt. Col. Jaimy S. Rand heads the Fort Hood Contracting Command, Army Contracting Agency.

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

"I grew up with those values of freedom and an appreciation of our country and what we stand for, but I didn't realize the impact of Army values, because I didn't have a family member who served," said Rand, who heads Fort Hood Contracting Command, Army Contracting Agency.

The second youngest of seven children, she grew up in rural Brimfield, Ohio. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Rand became the first member of her family to join the military.

"My service has made my family very proud and has given them a greater appreciation for the sacrifices and commitments soldiers make," she said. "Unless you have someone in your family or someone you are close to who has served, I don't think you have an appreciation of the service and sacrifice our military people make."

Rand, 39, said she was in high school looking for a college when West Point contacted her. "They asked me to open an admission's folder and then I got a nomination from a congressman. I saw the opportunity for a great education. I thought I'd serve five years and get out," the 18-year-veteran explained. "But once I got in, I couldn't see myself leaving. I've had great people to work with from my first assignment forward. It's the people who have made all the difference. I've got the best job in the Army."

(Tam Cummings is news editor of the Fort Hood Sentinel.)

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