Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archive: Iraq and Afghanistan oral history project, ACCN 0814

Iraq and Afghanistan oral history project, ACCN 0814

The Iraq and Afghanistan oral history project is part of the Everett L. Cooley oral history project, ACCN 0814.

  • Sarah LeMire

LeMire (b. 1979) was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She studied English and Russian at University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and graduated in 2001, enlisting in the Army in January 2002. LeMire, who held the Military Occupational Specialty of 98G, took her basic training at Fort Jackson, then studied Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, before attending further training at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, and at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. She met her husband at the DLI and they married at Fort Hood, Texas, after she graduated. After a brief interval of garrison duty and Iraqi language training in Germany, LeMire deployed to Iraq in November 2005, with the 4th Infantry Division. She was stationed at Baghdad, doing language work. When she got back to the States in November 2006, LeMire left the Army and moved to her husband’s native Utah, where she received a master’s degree in English from the University of Utah. At the time of the interview she worked as a Research and Information Services Librarian at the University of Utah Marriott Library. LeMire discusses her attitudes toward the war, describes her experience as a female in the Army at some length, and shares how she coped with deployment both during and afterward.

  • Elizabeth Mathias

Mathias talks about her first experiences with the military and her family’s history of military involvement. When she was a junior in high school she went to a summer camp at the Air Force Academy and decided to pursue a career in the Air Force. After her time at the Air Force Academy, she was assigned to earn her Master’s degree at Pennsylvania State University. Elizabeth talks about her experiences in the Air Force Academy and at Pennsylvania State University, particularly her experiences as a woman in the military. She explains her reaction to the events of 9/11. After earning her master’s she worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Elizabeth was also deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan from 2008 to 2009 where she worked in public affairs for the Air Force.

  • Janine Smith

Janine Smith was born in Price, Utah, lived in Colorado, Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi, but mostly lived in Arizona and Utah. She was enlisted in the Air Force for nine years up to master sergeant, which she spent at Hill Air Force Base. She was commissioned about four years prior to the interview at McChord Air Force Base in Washington, which is her unit presently. She is a second lieutenant. Janine describes her mission in the Air Medical Evacuation Squadron providing medical aid to troops and civilians on the battlefield. She talks about deciding to join the Air Force and her basic training. She describes her deployment in September of two thousand eleven to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan she worked to train the Army to use the Air Force’s system of medical care, as well as directed the logistics of treating patients. She also worked with the British military. She describes working relations with the Army and with the British military and relations with the Afghani people. Janine discusses the difficulties in debriefing, returning to the States and reintegrating into civilian life. She finds it hard to be motivated after dealing with such harsh conditions. She currently works providing health education and care internationally to Ghana, Uganda, Peru, and China, among other countries.

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