I grew up in a small town in Connecticut. To earn money for back-to-school items, I worked at McDonald's throughout high school. My options after high school were not abundant. Defense manufacturing jobs had dried up. Not many in my family went to college and many didn't graduate from high school. A friend of mine, had joined the Army Reserves and introduced me to her recruiter. In March 1990, I joined the Army Reserves and went to basic training in November 1990. I returned in April 1991 but did not want to return to McDonalds. I was now highly trained and I wanted to use that training. So I applied for unemployment, which required me to sign up for job service, which provided assistance in applying for jobs. The man there asked if I had applied to the IRS. I was 19 years old...I didn't even know what IRS stood for!! Six months later, I got an interview and was hired for a GS-3 clerk position. I moved to Seattle in 1993 and now, 25 years later, I currently serve as a Senior Project Manager in Facilities and Security Services, a division of Internal Revenue Service. I know that my training and experience with the military was critical in getting that position. Since then, I've deployed to Iraq and accepted a commission as an Army Reserve Chaplain. That role, leading Soldiers through some of the toughest times of their life, has given me leadership and problem solving skills that I use at IRS. I truly love serving in both capacities. From time-to-time, I return home and I see how my life could have turned out. At that moment, it overwhelms me how truly blessed I am today.