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“War is a state of mind as well as a state of bombing.” (Video interview, 56:17)

   Kara Ann Kittrell
Collection image
Kara Kittrell [detail from video]
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, 1138th Engineer Battalion; Missouri Army National Guard
Service Location: Missouri; Kuwait; Iraq; Germany
Rank: Specialist
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Specialist Kara Ann Kittrell enlisted in the Army two months and 17 days after the September 11th terrorist attacks, with the sole purpose of getting deployed. As she explains, she didn’t want to be a bystander to the U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. While in Iraq, she served with the 1138th Engineer Battalion. As part of an armed escort team, she traveled around much of the country, and her time there inspired a love for the Middle East. At the time of her interview, she was pursuing a degree in International Business with a certificate in Middle East studies.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (7 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (64 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (7 items)
Why she enlisted. (00:21) Arriving at boot camp; feeling immediate sense of belonging; bonding with her Army family. (00:36) Memorable female drill sergeant. (00:38)
Arrival in Kuwait; first impressions. (00:43) Incident in which she nearly got stuck in a lake while driving a commanding engineer. (05:34) Feeling pressure of having her team’s lives in her hands; how she handled stress; acting tough; importance of buddies. (02:52)
Difficulty in readjusting to life back in the US; things had changed; seeing herself as a veteran. (02:57)  
  
 

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