In the Army I grew up in West Virginia, and I joined the Army specifically to get away from there. I spent 15 months in Kuwait, from 2007 to 2008. People say Kuwait is extremely hot, but that's an …
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In the Army
I grew up in West Virginia, and I joined the Army specifically to get away from there. I spent 15 months in Kuwait, from 2007 to 2008. People say Kuwait is extremely hot, but that's an understatement. It's like the surface of the sun.
The Army hired locals to do jobs around the base. There was a group of Iraqi women who cleaned and maintained our shower trailers. One day, I passed out from the heat, and they pulled me inside and poured water on me and fanned me until I woke up.
Later, one was crying and I asked what happened. Her son was robbed of $20 — she was devastated. It was so much money to them. I said “Hey, I've got 20 bucks,” and I gave it to her. The next day, I got hauled in and reprimanded. I was told that we weren't allowed to inject money into their economy.
The Army gave us these cardboard tokens to use in the store on base, and we didn't like being told what to do, so we would leave tokens in the shower trailer for the women.
After the army, I went to New Zealand for college and ended up with a bachelor's in psychology. Later, I spent time teaching English in Cambodia, and spent a few months in Costa Rica.
I wound up in Colorado, and now I'm the editor in chief of the Arapahoe Pinnacle, ACC's student newspaper. We've got some great reporters, and we're focusing more on local news these days. I also write for Westword.
'I have so much autonomy'
I love the Pinnacle because I have so much autonomy. I get to do stories I find interesting.
My favorite piece for the Pinnacle was about the “green burial” movement, which seeks to bury people in a more environmentally friendly way. I got to speak to the pioneers of the green funeral business. They “plant” people in the ground without headstones or caskets.
I've learned so much more as a journalist than you could ever learn in a classroom. I love that I get to experience people — their wants and needs and lives. It really suits me.
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