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Minnesota National Guard
Military mom supports daughter half a world away

CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait - Sgt 1st Class Jennifer McCann, senior human resources non-commissioned officer for 134th Brigade Support Battalion headquarters, 1st Brigade Combat Team, knows all about the enlisting process in the military

Jennifer McCann, a former recruiter of eight years and Melrose, Minn, native has enlisted hundreds of service members, except her own daughter.

“I’ve seen a lot of young men and women that felt like my daughters and sons join the military, but when you actually send your own child off to training it’s a whole new set of feelings,” said McCann.

The events on 9/11 had an impact on America that will never be forgotten That day called upon thousands of Americans to step up and serve their country, but never would a mother think to hear her eight-year-old express concern for Americans fighting the war on terror "¨

“Mom, if you have to go to war what are you going to do with the baby,” said Maria McCann, on 9/11 after watching the World Trade Center go down “When I get bigger, I’m going to help”.



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As soon as Maria turned 18-years-old, she enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard as a services apprentice She plans on becoming an intelligence officer through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at North Dakota State University.

Although Maria enlisted last winter, she was put on a waiting list to go to Air Force Basic at Fort Lee, Va, and did not leave for basic training until August 2011 She is scheduled to graduate Oct 14.

Jennifer is currently deployed to Kuwait with the 134th BSB in support of Operation New Dawn and was not there it to send off her daughter to basic training

“I’ve taken hundreds of privates to MEPS and dropped them off for that final shipping and to not be there to see my own daughter off and get that phone call that she has arrived is just excruciating - a better word would be devastating,” said Jennifer

Even though Jennifer can’t be at home for every Sunday to receive a phone call from her daughter she tries to stay connected with her daughter through other means.

“The only communication we’ve had is through letters, which have taken three weeks to get a letter from her at basic training,” said Jennifer “So as she is just in week seven, I’ve got a letter from week three That’s been a challenge”.

Although Maria does not have Internet access while in basic training, Jennifer has found comfort in the Air Force Wing Moms and Air Force basic training Facebook pages.
"All the moms from my daughters flight are on Facebook and when they get their phone calls from their daughters on Sunday they all post what’s going on, who their wings are and what they talk about,” Jennifer said "They’re taking me in and sharing all the information the girls are saying, so God bless Facebook".

Although it has been hard on Jennifer to be deployed while her daughter is at airman basic training, she still supports her daughter wholeheartedly half a world away in Kuwait

“You should always stand behind your loved ones no matter what your personal opinion is of the military,” Jennifer added “Because we are all volunteers giving of ourselves and we should be very thankful for our sons and daughters that are willing to sacrifice so much to include there own life”

5 Oct, 2011
By Spc Trisha Betz






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