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Sgt. Frank Vaughn, Multi-National Division-South
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE BASRA, Iraq – 09.02.2009
Staff Sgt. Katherine Fults, currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a flutist with 34th Red Bull Infantry Division band, felt her options for a career were limited to three things, which shaped what she does now.
"To me there were three things in life you could be," the 1990 graduate of Sanborn-Lamberton High School said. "Teacher, nurse or nun."
The devout Catholic gave some consideration to becoming a nun, but decided against it due to her desire to someday marry and have children. She ultimately decided to be a teacher.
"I used to play school all the time when I was a kid," said Fults, who now resides in Burnsville, Minn. "I went with teacher because that seemed to be where my interest was."
Fults said becoming a teacher wasn't hard. The schooling and training she went through gave her a working knowledge of the theories and concepts of operating a classroom and educating children, and she handled that part pretty well.
"My first couple of years actually teaching, though, were pretty hard," Fults said. "I went from theories to actual practice, which proved to be quite different things."
Fults, who teaches third grade students at Ascension School in Minneapolis, a Catholic school, said her military career started thanks to her choice to pursue a higher education after high school.
"When I was going through college I was the oldest child in our family and money was scarce," the 2000 graduate of University of North Dakota said. "The military was my ticket."
An active band member all through high school, Fults decided playing the flute in the U.S. Army was the way to go, so she enlisted on active duty. She served four years in Kaiserslaurtern, Germany before returning to the U.S.
Fults, who also has an associate degree in general studies from Burlington County College in New Jersey, said though her military career was originally intended to carry her through college, she has found a renewed purpose for wearing her uniform.
"I love being [a non-commissioned officer]," she said with a smile. "Even though I have a [bachelor's] degree, I have no aspirations to leave the NCO Corps. The most important aspect of being an NCO, which I love, is taking care of people."
Fults said she's glad for the opportunity to do just that here in Iraq.
"I am grateful for the [deployment] experience," she said. "I think you can look for positives and negatives in anything, so I try to look for positives."
Fults said she has big plans when she returns to the U.S. after this deployment.
"I'm going to get in my car and travel the southwest United States with Peaches, my mixed-breed dog," she said with a laugh.