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Minnesota National Guard
She's in the Army now - again

By: Sarah Packingham, Duluth Budgeteer News
Published April 15, 2011, 05:43 PM

When Carinda Horton joined the Army National Guard nearly 25 years ago, becoming a heavy equipment machine wasn’t exactly what she had in mind

Twelve years after tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield, Carinda Horton has re-enlisted in the Army National Guard Submitted photo

But she says she followed orders and completed the tasks assigned to her during her 12 years of service
Over the course of those 12 years, she was on two separate deployments for Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield

Now, after a 12-year hiatus from the military, the 42-year-old Duluth mom has re-enlisted and will be working the job she says she’s always dreamed of — and it doesn’t involve heavy equipment

“I feel like I’m at the very beginning of my life again,” Horton said “It’s fun to take a little detour in life”
Toward the end of 2010, the co-owner of Horton’s Gym in Duluth decided that returning to the military would be the right move for her She wanted to do what she could to help the state in the biggest deployment of troops since World War II

She began the process of re-enlisting by completing a 40-plus physical and re-taking the entrance test She did so well, she says, that she qualified to do any job the Guard had to offer

On March 1, Horton again became an active member of the National Guard and is training to become a 46R Public Affairs Broadcasting Specialist, completing the dream that she had when she first completed high school

“I want to be an advocate for people,” she explained “I wanted to do more and what is a better way than to serve and protect”

Horton will be working at the Joint Force Headquarters in St Paul, home to both the Army and the Air Force She said her degree in communications and her past experience working on a radio show will help her to be successful at her new job

She’ll also be attending a three-month class at Fort Meade, outside of Washington, DC There, she’ll be working with a select number of soldiers from each branch of the military to learn the ins and outs of being a military journalist in both times of war and peace

“I’ll be able to write an article, do the camera work … anything that has to do with journalism,” Horton said
In order to prepare for future military endeavors, Horton has been training with her husband Chuck at their gym by taking his boot camp class three times a week

This is the first time in their relationship that he has trained her

“I’ve always known that he was a good trainer,” she said “But he’s so motivational and so good at getting the job done”

Horton said with his help, she hopes to be able to stay competitive on her annual physical as required by the National Guard Every summer, each member is required to complete a physical that includes a two-mile run, sit-ups and push-ups

And as a mother, she said, she hopes to set a positive example for her five children, aged 10 to 18

“They love it, they think it’s great,” she said “It’s even empowering … to see that you can do what you want to do and that at any age you can reinvent yourself”

In addition to her high-profile work with the gym and its resident boxing stars, Horton is well-known in Duluth after having run for a number of public offices Now, those plans are on hold

“I’m actually going to take a break,” she said “I feel the military is very non-political”

But not on hold forever

“I haven’t ruled out that yet, maybe in ten years I could run for something again

“This is about finishing something I started,” she continued “You can re-open those doors that have once been closed I’m proud to be a part of this again I have a strong sense of patriotism and enjoy being a part of something greater than (yourself)”

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