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    Why I Serve

    Why I Serve

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Barlow | Staff Sgt. Melissa Tillison, a petroleum supply sergeant with the 310th Sustainment...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Elizabeth Barlow 

    350th Public Affairs Detachment

    “I went to college for two years for exercise science, and decided that it really wasn’t my thing,” said Staff Sgt. Melissa Tillison, a petroleum supply sergeant with the 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Indianapolis. “After two years my scholarship money ran out, and I had to pay for college somehow, so I joined the Reserve.”
    Now on her second enlistment in the Reserve, and with a bachelor’s degree and successful civilian career, Staff Sgt. Tillison realizes she received much more than college tuition.
    “I stay in the Reserve because I have met a lot of great people,” Tillison said. “I pretty much have friends in every state.”
    It is easy to see how Tillison, a native of Shelbyville, Indiana, has developed many relationships in the Reserves. She tries to meet as many new people as she can during her time in uniform, and credits networking as a key to reaching her goals.
    “Be flexible, have an open mindset, and stay positive.” Tillison said. “That’s all it is.”
    Tillison is on her way to reaching her goal of retiring from the Reserve after 20 years of service.
    “I serve for all of it!” Tillison said. “I serve for the opportunities, travel, education benefits, financial income, and to meet new people.”
    The future was not always as certain for Tillison, but she credits her service in the Reserve for helping her focus on her goals.
    “The Reserve forced me to be serious about college, and I was able to graduation in 2015.” she said.
    After earning her degree from the University of Indianapolis, Tillison became an Indianapolis Metro Police Officer, where the skills learned in the Reserve helped her standout amongst her peers during training.
    “The military helped me get ahead of everyone else in the academy by knowing the commands and drill and ceremony movements,” Tillison said.
    As a police officer, Tillison uses the tactics and skills from the Reserve during the demands of the job.
    Tillison transferred to the 310th ESC and expects to deploy.
    “I want to deploy so I can experience something new and make connections with new people,” Tillison said.



    Date Taken: 08.08.2020
    Date Posted: 08.14.2020 10:04
    Story ID: 375988
    Location: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US 
    Hometown: INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US

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