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“You are in a world of hurt and it doesn’t matter because you get up the next day and you do it again.” (Audio interview, 4:50)

   Traci Vanetta Wright Nero
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War: Persian Gulf War, 1991
Branch: Army
Service Location: Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Dix, New Jersey; Utica, New York; Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, DC
Rank: Specialist, E-4
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Burnt out on the college classes she was taking in preparation for medical school, Specialist Traci Vanetta Wright Nero enlisted in the Army Reserves to give her a change of pace and scenery. A self-described “couch potato,” the physical and mental rigors of basic training came as a bit of a shock. However, her greatest challenge came with the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War, when she was called to active duty at Walter Reed Army Hospital—only two weeks after giving birth to her daughter, and while her husband was also deployed. Though leaving her daughter was the most difficult thing she had ever done, she toughed it out by drawing on the lessons of resiliency that she had learned during basic training.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: audio (55 min.)
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»Persian Gulf War: 25 Years Later
 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Psychological and physical demands of boot camp. (02:49) Living conditions; making a good friend during training. (04:09) Beginning of hostilities in the Persian Gulf; daughter is born; called up to serve at Walter Reed. (03:59)
Crying a lot during her time at Walter Reed; keeping in mind her commitment to the Army. (00:48) Military service served as a growth experience; reflections on how it changed her attitude toward life. (03:25) 

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  October 26, 2011
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