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Memorial Day: Young soldier recounts enlistment day and reasons for service

MEMORIAL DAY SPEAKERS — Tana McMillan, l., served as director of ceremonies and Alexa Nelson, r., was guest speaker at Albion Memorial Day ceremonies.

Signing on for eight years of military service and taking the oath of enlistment was a traumatic experience, but Army National Guard medic trainee Alexa Nelson said she has already grown from the experience.

The 2017 Boone Central graduate said she has grown up a lot since her enlistment day on Oct. 28, 2017, when she arrived “with my nerves seeming like shocks of electricity in my body.”

After being processed and taking the oath, she said, “all the stress of the morning’s events dissipated into thin air. My family rejoiced and accepted the fact that I can’t turn back now, and that I am off to big adventures that average teenage girls don’t pursue.”
Nelson, who now serves with the 189th Transportation Co. in Columbus, said she has come to realize there are greater things beyond high school.
She spoke during the annual Memorial Day ceremonies Monday, May 28, on the Boone County Courthouse grounds.
“I am now part of something that far outweighs (high school) honors,” she said. “I find humor in how life changes, and throws unexpected curves in our roads.”

In her younger years, she dreamed of being a princess, she said. “I no longer want to be a proper and perfect princess, because I know that perfection does not exist. We are our own definition of perfection, and we are our own definition of successful. My new definition of a princess is a strong, successful woman — a woman clothed in Army green ACUs and combat boots, not in heels and a ball gown.”

Read the complete story in the May 30 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.