Josseline Abreu and her dog Hercules

ROSEDALE — At the age of 23, Josseline Abreu has already developed a resilient mentality when it comes to facing challenges—something that can take the average person a lifetime to acquire. She has this ability to not only adapt to change, but to grow and become a better person from it thanks to the United States Army.

“I had an amazing experience in the Army. I learned a lot and became a more efficient person,” Abreu said.

}“I manage stress very well and work best under pressure. I adapt to change quickly, which is something I had to learn in the Army. I am a more disciplined person than what I was before I joined.”

Abreu, who grew up in Queens, New York and now lives in Rosedale, said she was inspired to join the Army by her father and uncles who fought in El Salvador’s civil war in the 80s and 90s.

“My father was only 13 years old when he was drafted into the Army in El Salvador. All my uncles served during this war. I decided I wanted to take after my father and join.

Abreu signed a 3-year active-duty contract and was stationed in Fort Campbell Kentucky where she worked in logistics as a supply sergeant. As a woman in the army, Abreu said she was treated just like any other soldier.

“I had a fair and equal experience. I will say the Army has come a long way. Combat MOS’s are now open to females. The Army offers a pregnancy program for pregnant soldiers and I think that is very considerate,” Abreu said.

During her time as a supply sergeant, Abreu said she broke her femur and had to get metal screws put in her right femoral neck, connecting her hip. This injury, plus some hearing loss, has made returning to civilian life a bit of a challenge for Abreu.

“One issue that I have faced as a veteran is not being relatable to my peers. I have hearing loss in both my ears from shooting at the range so frequently. Most kids my age have never experienced that,” Abreu said.

Although there have been some challenges connecting with her peers, Abreu said she has been able to connect with other veterans through Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), where she is currently taking general studies classes.

“I picked CCBC because it was convenient. The location, the variety of programs, the cost and the veteran’s office were super helpful. The veterans program helps you connect with other veteran students,” Abreu said.

Abreu will be graduating from CCBC this fall and has been accepted into Towson University where she plans on getting a degree in business.

Abreu said she is glad she decided to join the Army and recommends everyone to join the military, or do something that challenges them and demands them to learn new skills.

“I recommend everyone join at some point. You will learn a lot about yourself. It is necessary to get out of your comfort zone in order to grow.”

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