Port Arthur, Texas: (The News Port Arthur): n the summer of 2020, Memorial High School student Huyen Nguyen will leave behind everything familiar as she plunges into a life of warfare and her new duties as a member of the United States Army, a role she always knew she would play.
“My senior year I started to really think about joining the military,” she said. “I’ve been in JROTC since I was a freshman. It was something I always wanted to do in my heart.”
Nguyen said her toughest decision was choosing a military branch, until fate intervened and she met with an army recruiter one day at a career fair.
(The Army recruiter) was the first person I saw at the career fair that day, but she wasn’t the first one I talked to,” she said. “I went first to the Navy and then to the Air Force before speaking with the Army recruiter. Talking to the woman, I felt immediately that this was the one I wanted to join.”
Joining the United States Army spoke to Nguyen. She was born and raised in Vietnam, residing in Port Arthur for the past four years.
“I wanted to do something different and do something for our country,” she said. “For me, I am thankful to be here. In my country, they don’t give us the opportunity to go to school for free. We have to pay for it, and my parents have seven children, so it was impossible to send us to school.
Nguyen swore into the military in early October, but upon completing her Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and scoring above a 41, she was cleared to join the 3rd Chemical Brigade to study chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear warfare (CBRN).