News: Army footsteps
Story by Spc. Hannah Fulcher
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - Some join the military for world travel, for others, money to go to college, and still for others, they join just because they love their country and serving in the Army.
For Spc. Brittny Palmerston, paralegal specialist with the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, it is because she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps.
“My father is an instructor at the sergeant major’s academy in Fort Bliss,” says Palmerston. “Growing up, I watched him take care of everyone around him, especially his soldiers, and I knew, when I grew up, I wanted to be like that.”
Only being in the military for two short years, Palmerston is leaving her job as a FedEx consultant, her husband of two years and their 4-year-old daughter, Sarai, for her first deployment to Afghanistan.
“I volunteered for this deployment as a career opportunity, because I want to serve 20 years and a deployment will open up many doors, but that does not make leaving my daughter any easier,” explains Palmerston. “I have only left her one other time and that was when I went to basic training for six months. It was harder then, because she was still having [baby] firsts and I did not want to miss any of them and I was scared she was going to forget me. But this time she understands that mommy has to go fight the bad guys so they do not come here again and hurt her and daddy.”
Deploying as a Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System operator, Palmerston said her biggest worry is that her husband only knows two ways of doing their daughter’s hair: ponytail or down. To him, down has nothing to it, but being brushed.
“You know men do not know how to do hair,” laughed Palmerston, reminiscing fondly of her family. “She is finally old enough that she thinks her hair looks cute down and that is how she wants to wear it all the time. So when I talk to my husband or receive pictures; I am just like baby, just take her to mom’s house and let her do her hair before you go out.”
Thankful that her mom lives right around the corner, Palmerston said she has no worries regarding her family being taken care of.
“My mom lives right down the way,” explained Palmerston. “She watches Sarai while my husband is at work. Her birthday is late so we could not enroll her in Pre-K yet. I am thankful that my mom is so willing to help, and that Pizza Hut, where Anthony is a general manager, is understanding to our situation and him needing to adjust.”
Looking over the next year being in Afghanistan, Palmerston said what keeps her driving forward and what she is looking forward to is coming home and taking Sarai to either New Orleans, where the Princess Frog (her favorite Disney princess) is from, or up North to see snow for the first time next Christmas.