Diane May is what you might call as a “career” soldier. She enlisted in the Army in 1985 as a military police soldier and worked her way up the military ladder holding every office in the tier of rank in her area. In 1996, she joined the Reserves, starting out as a First Sergeant, then moving on to Senior Instructor, then Command Sergeant Major. She was deployed with the Reserves to Iraq in 2003 and was stationed there until 2004. During her second deployment to Iraq from 2006 to 2008, she was injured on a non-combat basis. While helping boost her team’s morale with various sports activities at Camp Bucca (located south of Baghdad near Basra), Diane’s wrist was broken in 14 different places. She was sent to Walter Reed, where she was in rehab for the next 1 ½ years. She is currently stationed in Fort Meade, MD. She is now with the Retired Reserves, a military position that offers individuals the choice to further serve their country or stay retired in the military. Through the Wounded Warriors Weekend, she is looking forward to a wonderful weekend of rest and camaraderie with her fellow soldiers. Diane says, “It’s one of the most wonderful things I’ve participated in, and these guys [that attend and help coordinate the weekend], just get it. It’s truly an unspoken bond that occurs.” We thank Diane for her great service to her country over so many years, and remember her and her fellow soldiers and the sacrifices they made this Veteran’s Day.
First Class Sergeant Shawn Cannon, age 37 and second from left, has served his country for the last 18 years. He is currently stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. Enlisting in June 1993 with the Marine Corps, he spent six years as a tank crewman and left the Corps in 1999. In November of that same year, he joined the Army and was sent to Bosnia in the summer of 2000. From there, he served three tours in Iraq: the first from 2003 to 2004, the second from 2005 to 2006, and the third from 2006 to 2009. During his second deployment to Iraq, on October 23, 2005, his life was changed forever when an IED destroyed the HumVee he and his fellow soldiers were in. He suffered damage to his left hand and various shrapnel wounds. He was then taken back to the States to rehabilitate at Walter Reed, where in 2007, he began working with the Wounded Warriors program. Married for the past 17 years, Shawn says that he can retire from the military in two to three years, but may stay in, “The Army is a good career path.” He is also very thankful for those involved with the Wounded Warriors Weekend. Shawn says, “It’s a small community coming together.” We thank Shawn for his service to our nation, and remember this Veteran’s Day what he and his fellow soldiers do every day to secure our freedom.