Editorial: Telling the Army's story

By: Melissa Tune Email
By: Melissa Tune Email

February 22, 2007

Right now, civilians are getting a taste of what life as a soldier is really like through a program called Augusta in Army Boots.

You may not know that I'm a major in the Army Reserve.

It was May of 1990 when I decided to try something I wasn't quite sure I was ready for. As a 19-year-old college freshman, I joined the U.S. Army Reserves.

Little did I know I would begin a life-changing journey--a journey that would not only take me to all parts of the U.S., but to Europe, Korea, Sweden, and most recently the Middle East.

In basic training, not only did I learn to shoot a rifle, read a map, and dig a foxhole, but I learned the true meaning of teamwork and camaraderie.

That experience is what shaped me to always help someone and never leave a buddy behind.

The principles I learned in basic training would carry me through officer candidate school after college in 1994.

The military has afforded me the opportunity to do things that I may have never had a chance to do. As a public affairs officer in 2004 I participated in an officer foreign exchange program in London. I met with the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence's public affairs team and even had a chance to be showcased on a British news show.

In 2005, I was deployed and spent Christmas Day that year in the Middle East. But I didn't spend it alone...I spent it with 2500 other service members from the Navy, Marines and Air Force. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to major...and those in the military know that getting a promotion in a war zone is like no other.

When I look back on my years in the Army, I must say it's not the places I've been but the people that I think of the most--people who I now consider family. I have met and served with some of the most caring and committed people, and they have changed my life.

Back in civilian mode, I take every opportunity to tell the Army's story, because it's the soldier's voice that's often not heard...and telling a soldier's story is far more interesting than telling mine any day.

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  • by Doris Clark Location: South Boston on Oct 21, 2008 at 08:52 PM
    Melissa I am so very proud of you. It is so nice to see you have done so well. I wish you more success.
  • by Tameka C. Vaden Location: Nathalie, Va. on Oct 11, 2008 at 07:39 PM
    Way to go Ms. Liz. we are all so proud of you and I know grandma would have been especially. Keep up the good work.
  • by Donnie Location: Gough, GA on Aug 27, 2007 at 10:06 AM
    I am very proud to have met you in person a few months ago Major Tune at the Evans branch Bank of America. I myself, am a retired MSG from the Air Force Reserve and enjoyed all my tour of duties stateside and overseas. Bless all the men and women who are serving our country, especially in the Iraqi war. If I wasn't too old and ailing I would be there with them.
  • by WILLIAM Location: MIDLOTHIAN, VA on Jun 21, 2007 at 10:03 AM
    We miss your reporting in the Richmond area. Good luck to you and continued success!
  • by Barbara B. Tune Location: Nathalie, VA on Apr 15, 2007 at 06:50 PM
    Your editorial was superb! You are an inspiration to many. We love you and we will continue to pray for you and support you in all of your endeavors. Thanks for just being you. You are special!!!
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