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"And the thing that motivates you the most to stay there are the people you're with." (Video Interview, 17:35)

   Krystyna R. Kalski
Image of Krystyna R. Kalski
Krystyna Kalski [2004]
War: Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present
Branch: Army
Unit: 933rd Military Police Company
Service Location: Chicago, Illinois; Iraq
Rank: Specialist
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Specialist Krystyna R. Kalski joined the Army National Guard in October 2001, even after her father told her that the Army was inappropriate for women. Motivated by a sense of pride and honor in serving and by the military's educational benefits, Kalski was unaware of just how quickly she would be deployed to Iraq after her initial Military Police training. Using colorful language, Kalski describes her every day life as a soldier, going on missions and making quick decisions, her equipment and uniform, the basic necessities she missed, and the toll deployment takes on soldiers.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (6 clips)
»Complete Interview   (68 min.)
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (6 items)
Job assignments in Iraq: securing communication lines, convoys taking supplies north to the troops, providing security for battalion commanders. (02:46) Preparing to return home after one-year deployment: leaving Iraq for Kuwait, washing trucks, packing bags and equipment, general excitement; getting extended another six months, having to unpack and return to Iraq. (01:03) Casualties of war: arriving first on the scene of a flipped Humvee that had been chasing a suspicious vehicle, gunner killed instantly and driver seriously injured; memory bracelets. (03:42)
Iraqis sabotaging military vehicles; Iraqi ingenuity at getting food; truck load of holiday pies; keeping the convoys moving. (02:10) Missing both the basic necessities of life and being able to do what she wanted while deployed. (00:48) Difficulties of communicating with loved ones back home: few and broken phones, bad Internet and phone connections, waiting in long lines, use of satellites; better to buy expensive cell phones; writing letters every week. (01:35)
  
 
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  October 26, 2011
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