Bad habits

Scappoose infantry veteran enlisted to break bad habits – Pamplin Media Group

Summary

Ashley Taylor served in the U.S. Army, then began serving veterans before move to Scappoose.

Looking for something that would force her to get her act together, 19-year-old Ashley Taylor enlisted in the army on March 18, 2003.

The next day, President George W. Bush announced the start of the Iraq War.

“At the time, we all thought that the war was going to be over and done,” Taylor said. “I remember thinking, ‘I have to go to basic training, I have to go to my school t…….

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Ashley Taylor served in the U.S. Army, then began serving veterans before move to Scappoose.

Looking for something that would force her to get her act together, 19-year-old Ashley Taylor enlisted in the army on March 18, 2003.

The next day, President George W. Bush announced the start of the Iraq War.

“At the time, we all thought that the war was going to be over and done,” Taylor said. “I remember thinking, ‘I have to go to basic training, I have to go to my school to learn how to be a diesel mechanic. The war will be way over by then.'”

But in early 2004, Taylor deployed to Iraq with the First Infantry Division.

At that time, Taylor said, “We didn’t know that their weapons of choice were roadside bombs.”

In her “love me book,” in which service members collect important documents relating to their service, Taylor has an award for most creative decorations at a chili cook-off next to a certificate awarding her a combat action badge, after a mortar shell struck next to a convoy Taylor was driving in.

“I get excited about everything,” she said. “So even though we were at war, and I was a young 21-year-old that had no clue what I was doing, I lived for the experience.”

As a teenager, Taylor had veered onto the wrong path.

“If I would have kept doing what I was doing, I would be dead or in jail right now,” she said. “I knew I needed to get away and change who I was hanging out with and what I was doing.”

But what attracted Taylor to the military is also something she believes contributes to issues she’s noticed while working in the veterans’ services field.

“What really attracted me about the military is that you didn’t have to make decisions on your own. You were told what to do, when to do it, what to wear while you’re doing it, who to do it with — you know, every detail,” Taylor said.

After she left the Army, Taylor moved to Maryland to get her degree at the recommendation of a friend stationed there, who eventually became her husband.

When her boyfriend was ready to leave the Army, the two moved to Texas, where they eventually got married and had a son. The family moved to Scappoose earlier this year, closer to both Taylor’s family in California and her husband’s family in Washington.

Taylor initially thought her career would be working with at-risk youth and families, but in Texas, she found a job working with veterans and their families.

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Source: https://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/527911-421982-scappoose-infantry-veteran-enlisted-to-break-bad-habits