Lisa Jaster is a Delivery Engineer for Shell Oil Company and a Major in the US Army Reserve. After graduating from West Point in 2000, she was commissioned as an Engineer Officer and served on Active Duty until February 2007. During her time in the military, Lisa deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq earning a Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Badge to name a few of her awards. She is also one of three women and the only mother and reservist to earn the Army's coveted Ranger Tab.
A few months back, I visited with Bill Rausch, the executive director veterans nonprofit Got Your 6. I asked him about the mission of his organization and he put it very simply, “Veterans like serving. They want to continue to serve. We try to empower them do that.” I understood what he was saying back in his D.C. office, but his message really didn’t hit home until devastating hurricane floods affected our neighborhood this past week in Houston. Over the past four days, my husband, a Marine reservist, and I have been evacuating people who lost all their material possessions to Hurricane Harvey.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
In the spring of 2004, I met a Marine while I was at the gym at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. We decided to grab breakfast together. We were both young captains and we split the tab. Fast forward almost 13 years, that same Marine still eats breakfast with me. It’s only a gesture now, but we still take turns paying.
For me, going to Ranger School was never about integrating the military. It was never a quest for fame. It didn’t start off as a desire to change the perception of women in the military. I really just wanted the same opportunities that my male peers were given automatically.