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Student puts college on hold… for Iraq

“Sometimes other things just need to take priority,” former Eastern student Rebecca Bartram said. “I’ll finish college eventually.”

On September 15th, Bartram will have marked the one year anniversary of the day she left her college days of music and philosophy behind and joined the Army.

Over the past year, she has spent nine weeks stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for basic combat training and sixteen weeks at medic school in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

“I am a combat medic, so I will be working in an aid station,” Bartram said. “It’s a lot like being a school nurse. Soldiers come in when they are sick or injured, and I see them to decide if they need to see the doctor.”

This year provides a huge mark in Bartram’s life. In Oct., her battalion that has been intensely training for the past few months in Fort Carson, Colorado, will be deployed to Iraq.

Bartram estimates that the time spent in Iraq will be about nine to fourteen months, but an exact length for their deployment cannot yet be determined.

“I joined the army with the knowledge that deploying was more than likely inevitable, but also I joined with it on my heart to go,” Bartram said. “I want to go where I am needed, and do what I can to help. I know this is what God had planned for me, and although it may be intimidating, I know it’s where my heart really is.”

While in Iraq, Bartram will be taking online courses with the intent of starting physician’s assistant school when she returns back to the United States sometime next year.

Bartram requests the prayers of Eastern’s students as she leaves home and goes overseas to fulfill her desire to serve her country.

“Prayers are really the biggest thing at this moment,” Bartram said. “It’s hard to leave home, everything that is familiar, and all our loved ones for so long. Its going to be a very trying year, but prayers for our safety both physically and emotionally would be greatly appreciated.”

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