Rachelle Vidal, a School Records Counselor at Omaha South High Magnet, served as a Specialist in the Army National Guard from 2000-2008.
When she joined the Army, she says she didn’t worry too much about what type of job she would get.
Vidal says she became a medic and though she wasn’t initially excited about the position, Vidal ended up loving it after a deployment to Iraq.
Vidal explains she joined the guard because she just felt it was something she was supposed to do and her grandfather had been in the military.
During her military career, Vidal’s unit was once mobilized to Iraq where they went all over the country helping the wounded.
It’s an experience Vidal says she will never forget.
After she was injured, Vidal says it took her a long time to get back to her normal, not just physically but mentally. It was a huge obstacle she had to get past.
"I didn’t want to let I bother me but it also became the one thing – I had a couple friends who said ‘that’s all you ever talk about, when you were in Iraq, when you were in Iraq’ and it’s because I learned so much about myself there and I learned how to react to things. I learned what was important to life. Before that I hated my family and now I love them. So it did change the way I thought about virtually everything.”
She says serving in the guard made her a more compassionate person.
And she realized the hardest thing she has ever encountered is comparable to the hardest thing any student has come up against.
Vidal says that helps her when working with students. It brings a certain level of understanding to the situation.
Vidal served her weekends and two weeks each summer with the 313th Medical Company, stationed in Lincoln, Nebraska.