I have served in the military since 1992. I graduated from the United States Military academy, where I was commissioned as a Military Intelligence Officer in 1997. During my time in service, I have deployed to Kuwait for Operation Desert Fox and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I’m currently stationed in Hawaii.
There are numerous reasons why I chose (and continue to choose) to serve our great country, but the two most important reasons are: I am committed to defending our nation, and I am passionate about helping make this world a better and safer place. There is no other job in the world like serving in the military. I am proud of all of my fellow service members, veterans and their families who have also chosen to be in this very challenging and demanding profession.
In the profession of arms, there are inevitably those who make the ultimate sacrifice, and I am honored to have served with some who gave all. One particular service member, LTC Jaimie Leonard, was my friend, a fellow intelligence professional, and my classmate at West Point. She was killed in Afghanistan on June 8, 2013 and is the highest ranking woman to be killed in action in American history. Jaimie was killed while I prepared to deploy to Afghanistan. It was a particularly challenging time in my life, but I pressed on, inspired by Jamie’s indomitable spirit. She continues to hold a very special place in my heart today. Honoring her through this photo shoot with Robert Sturman helps keep her incredible legacy of service alive, as does the Warriors at Ease LTC Jaimie Leonard Scholarship Fund for HERoes. The women service members and veterans who receive these Warriors at Ease scholarships will have a remarkable opportunity to impact other women and men in military and veteran communities through the power of yoga and meditation.
I am just one of the many people in the military who has been impacted by the power of yoga. As a warrior, daughter, sister, and friend, my time is sometimes not my own. My work can be incredibly stressful, particularly when I take into account that what I do potentially affects the lives of many other people. Yoga has allowed me to create space for myself and find balance in my life. It has helped me feel calm, manage stress, and find peace in the midst of inner conflict as well as during tense times with America’s adversaries. Throughout my Army career, I have competed as a marathon runner and a triathlete, and yoga has helped me with running and cycling injuries over the years. I can personally attest to the power of yoga as an effective mind-body practice that has enabled me to stay mentally, emotionally and physically strong, particularly when the going gets tough.
I am grateful for all that Warriors at Ease is doing to share yoga and meditation on military installations and in veteran communities throughout the world.
Lieutenant Colonel Pamela Dziedzic
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