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"I'm a beautiful girl, so other people, they really can't tell what happened to me when they just look at me." (Interview Transcript)

   Connie Rose Spinks
Image of Connie Rose Spinks
Detail from a photocopied photo of Connie Spinks [undated]
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: 426th Civil Affairs Battalion
Service Location: North Carolina; Korea; Iraq
Rank: Sergeant
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When Connie Spinks graduated from high school in 2000, she enlisted in the Army Reserve. As she told an interviewer, "It was an opportunity for me to see the world a little bit, and support my country, and also receive money for school." It took three months of pleading for her father to sign her enlistment papers. And at the end of 2003, she found her unit was shipping out to Iraq. She spent eight months in language training to be able to work in Civil Affairs. Riding in the middle of a convoy one day, she saw a vehicle pull up next to hers, and an explosion ejected her from her vehicle, severely injuring her and burning her face. She spent four months in a wheelchair before she could walk on her own. Spinks received her Purple Heart from a very special fan of the military: movie star Denzel Washington.

Sound Recording
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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