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Specialist Nelly Medel

Medel joined the Army for an opportunity to succeed "I wanted to do something more, where I could get out and reach out to my community and help people in the Army," she says. The Army showed her new perspectives. She feels great pride when...

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Specialist Nelly Medel

Medel joined the Army for an opportunity to succeed "I wanted to do something more, where I could get out and reach out to my community and help people in the Army," she says. The Army showed her new perspectives. She feels great pride when...

I'm Specialist Nelly Medel, I'm 21 years old, I'm a 31 Bravo, military police officer and I'm from Corona, California.
I joined the Army because I was a senior in high school and I noticed that all my friends that had graduated the year prior, they we either going to college and not working or a lot of them were lost in drugs and I didn't want to end up like them. I wanted to do something more where I can get out and reach out to my community and help people in the Army. So I decided to join the Army.
I actually walked into my recruiter's office and I wanted to be an accountant. They didn't offer the program. And there was a cutout of a military police paratrooper, I looked at it and I was like, ‘I'll do that.' And that's how I ended up with my MOS. There's five functions to being an MP. It can be anywhere from providing support for a convoy out in Afghanistan to the law enforcement side here on garrison.
On the combat side we do provide physical security, interment and resettlement, which is mostly detainee ops.
I've deployed to Kandahar City, Afghanistan. It was shocking to see how they lived, their way of life, the way they think, their system, their justice system. It was hard as an American to see people living like that.
We trained their police force and their Soldiers how to police and actually be Soldiers. We helped them win back their place as the authority for Afghanistan.
As a female MP, I got to interact with a lot of their females. Where in Afghanistan the other females are, basically nothing out there. And I got to reach out and help them. I gave them a lot of my clothes like my shirts and stuff like that. And just the look on their faces, like that was one of the best, like moments, in the Army I've had so far.
When I first joined I was, I was weak minded. I didn't really know too much about anything. The Army matured me and made me grown up. It made me a stronger person. It definitely changed my attitude towards a lot of things. I was very naïve, and I think I was very one-sided. One-sided to everything and the Army taught me how to look at everything from multiple sides, from different perspectives as a whole. And that made me realize that there is so much more out there. It just matured me and it really changed my perspective on life and it made me a stronger person.
When I put this uniform on, I feel like I deserve it. I feel like I did everything to standard, and exceeded the standard in some points. And I deserve to wear this uniform and I'm glad to wear this uniform because great people before me wore this uniform. They died for this uniform and I'm extremely proud to wear this uniform, to wear this flag right here on my right shoulder.
When I came home for the first time after about a year-and-a-half, I saw my dad. He's always been that hard, that tough loving individual. Never really hug. Never really kiss. Never really cry. Never really told you that I love you or anything. When I first came home for the first time he saw me and I didn't even make it to the door and he ran out, he was bursting in tears and he held on to me and he was like ‘I love you and I'm proud of you.' And that was the most rewarding, the rewarding thing I've ever heard from my father. For him to tell me he was proud of me.
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