Ursinus and the armed forces

Senior Alana Lorraine talks about her experience in the Army Reserves

Sophia DiBattista

sodibattista@ursinus.edu

This fall, in celebration of Thanksgiving and Veterans Day, “The Grizzly” would like to thank all those who have served and are serving now. This includes Alana Lorraine ’19, who is a part of the Army Reserves, and even our own President Brock Blomberg, who served in the United States Military for eight years, including as a Captain in the Army Reserve. Thank you to those who fight on the battlefront and choose to put themselves in jeopardy on a daily basis.

Lorraine said she joined the Reserves because, “I didn’t feel like I was making my largest impact on helping the world and thought the Army Reserves would be an opportunity to better not only myself, but the world around me.” Lorraine decided to take this courageous step on her own; she does not have any veterans in her family.

“I didn’t feel like I was making my largest impact on helping the world and thought the Army Reserves would be an opportunity to better not only myself, but the world around me.— Alana Lorraine Class of 2019

Being a female in the military is a challenge. Lorraine noted that her experiences in the Reserves “has had its ups and downs.” She said, “My goal in joining was to have an exciting job where I felt that if I were to get deployed, that I would be as up close and personal with the enemy as possible. I am a combat engineer, and at the time of my enlistment, it was the only ‘combat’ job open to females. The most challenging part was in the beginning, entering a unit with all guys. They were all nervous about having a female in the unit and really had never had one around before, so some of them really didn’t know how to act or were scared of saying [or] doing something that would get them in trouble.

Lorraine went on to describe the positive elements of the Reserves and said, “The most rewarding part has been learning new skill sets as well as becoming family with a lot of the people I have met throughout my army unit, army trainings, and army schools. The bonds I have built with a lot of the soldiers I have met are ones that I will cherish for a lifetime.”

“The most rewarding part has been learning new skill sets as well as becoming family with
a lot of the people I have met throughout my army unit, army trainings, and army schools. The bonds I have built with a lot of the soldiers I have met are ones that I will cherish for a lifetime— Alana Lorraine Class of 2019

Being a veteran, Lorraine understands the significance of Veterans Day. She views it “as a day to show one’s respect to those that served in the military and took the oath at one point to sign their life over to Uncle Sam. Whether they were in for 4 years, 20 years, deployed, or served from the U.S., they all took that same oath and were willing to do whatever Uncle Sam demanded.” Others who are not veterans should recognize the day in the same way, Lorraine believes. It is a voluntary act of bravery to enlist into a branch of the military, and Lorraine said that “[Veteran’s Day] is a holiday that everyone should show respect for no matter what.”

Other Ursinus students understand the importance of recognizing these soldiers, and I am one of them. Most of my uncles served in the military, my Pop-pop was a sergeant in the Marine Corps, and now my best friend has just left to join the Army Reserves. All of these people in my life have inspired me to be a better person and to take chances once in a while, to be brave. I cannot thank them enough for what they do, and have done, for the country but also what they have instilled into me: a sense of honor. I need to keep their memories breathing through my actions and make them proud of what I do and return the favor in some way.