FORT HOOD, Texas — Members of the military join to serve their country and for some that call to service doesn’t end when the uniform comes off.
Some service members choose to serve their community after their military service ends.
Soldiers like Dorothea Goodson, president of the Women’s Army Corps Veteran’s Association Chapter 94 in Killeen.
Killeen is her home now, but she grew up in a much larger city, Chicago.
”Close to a city park," Goodson said. “We always played outside, participated in gym exercises, swimming pools, tap dance, just all kinds of things. We had an awesome childhood.”
While living in Houston at 25, she chose to join the Army after speaking to her sister who was serving at the time.
It was something her sister actually told her not to do.
”The military is more structured, stricter,” said Era Cook, U.S. Army veteran and Dorothea’s sister. “So, I kind of thought, 'Oh, you’re not going to like that. You're not going to like that at all. You don’t have the freedom to speak the way that you want to speak and things like that,' but, she did join, and it turned out great for her.”
Goodson proudly served 22 years in the Army as a sustainment soldier where she met her husband Steven and her best friend Sharon.
A battle buddy who served alongside Dorothea in the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
”During our time in the military, especially when we deployed, she was always that person that I would go to if I had any type of problem,” said Sharon Johnson, U.S. Army veteran and Dorothea’s best friend.
Now that she is out of the military, Goodson serves in several veteran organizations like VFW Post 9191 and the Women’s Army Corps because for her, service is a lifelong commitment.
”I just think that it’s important to be one of the people that someone can ask a question and I can direct them and guide them to the proper resources,” said Goodson. "It’s important to give back. It’s, to me, the patriot thing to do.”
In the spirit of her continued service, Goodson has a message to her fellow veterans that might be struggling through hard times.
”To all the female veterans and other veterans out there, never give up, hang on, better days are coming,” Johnson said.
Dorothea Goodson served her country for 22 years and now serves the Fort Hood community and the veterans within it.