I’m in the Army Reserve. I left for basic training about a year ago. I went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Right after we finished with basic, we headed straight out to AIT. That stands for advanced individual training. It’s your first round of specialized schooling. I studied for 13 weeks in Fort Lee, Virginia, to be a water-treatment specialist. I never really planned on joining the military. I thought about it seriously for the first time for just about two weeks before I went ahead and enlisted. I was in school before I joined up, but I elected not to finish school so that I could get started. When I was signing up, the recruitment officers all told me that my chances of going to Iraq were very high. I don’t think about it that much, but when the time comes, I am willing to go. Actually, this coming week they are going to begin training us with heading over to Iraq more in mind. They are saying that by June, we should be deployed. Initially, going into basic training as a Native American was a very different experience from what other soldiers go through. It seemed that way to me at least. I wasn’t used to being away from my culture at all. It was a big change for me. But people were very understanding. Everybody was always really interested to learn more about me and about being Blackfeet. I didn’t even meet another Native American soldier until after training, but now I have three other Natives right in my own unit. My first three weeks away, I missed home. Then, after nine months of active duty, I got to come home and I didn’t want to be here. You get used to being in that military environment. I guess my family was pretty surprised when I enlisted. But they shouldn’t have been. We come from one of the biggest military families here on the reservation. My great-grandmother received an award from the government since all of her boys served in the military. I kind of have some big shoes to fill. I’m looking into going into administration and supply as a specialty. Hopefully I’ll get my schooling soon. But the best thing about being in the military has been traveling and getting to meet so many people. It also got me into great shape. I am so healthy now. I’ve been up since 4 AM with no problem. HEIDI RUNNING WOLF
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I'm in the Army Reserve. I left for basic training about a year ago. I went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Right after we finished with basic, we headed straight out to AIT. That stands for advanced individual training.