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6
The Woods
She also said, “The chow hall (dining facility) was shut down at
various times because of fear of explosives.”
She said her “battle buddy” and she wrote letters and gave
each other contact information in case something were to
happen.
“You don’t think about it; you’re performing at a higher sensitiv-
ity. I did call home a lot. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.”
Wooley developed an illness in Iraq and in March 2006, was
medically discharged from the National Guard. She moved
to Jefferson City when she got out of the military and married
Brandon Wooley in March 2008. He’s a mortgage broker in
Jefferson City.
“Before I got sick, I planned on going active duty,” she said.
“I got so much out of the military. We had a purpose.”
Now she’s found another purpose—helping soldiers and
their families.
“There is a huge need to help soldiers integrate—especially
the National Guard—because they are spread out—not on
base—so there is no support mechanism,” she said. “They are
alienated.”
During her internship at the Missouri National Guard Family
Assistance Center, she is working on a number of projects—
SRP or Soldier Readiness Processing, letting them know we’re
available for them and their families; outreach calls to families
of deployed soldiers; family relief fund, which provides fnancial
assistance in an emergency, and life consultants, making visits
throughout the state.
She also will be assisting in the psychological mental
health area.
“I’m really excited to do shadowing in this area, to help soldiers
transition back,” she said.
“I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I feel like
I’m where I’m supposed to be. Being a soldier is important, but
the support we provide is just as important. I feel part of a team
again. My role is different, but it was an easy transition for me
because I understand the culture and can relate to
the soldiers.”
Wooley, outside a trading post, with
a camel that transports local goods.