Meet Lizzie, Your Ft. Bragg Chapter Lead and a
Resilient Steel Mag Rock star!
I’m a small town girl that loves strong and gives my all to everything I believe in. I was raised in a rural town in Kansas where three of my four parents retired from the Army. They en-grained the importance of honor, respect and love of country into me from birth. On my 17th birthday I enlisted in the Army and shipped to Basic Training. From a young age I knew that the military would always be a part of my life and when I met Brad in 2000 it cemented that lifestyle. We were stationed at Fort Hood, TX, but he had bigger dreams. He had always wanted to be a Green Beret, but couldn’t get the command to sign his paperwork. I had already served three years on active duty, gotten out and started going to college. After one semester I knew I had made a mistake. I came back into the Army with choice of duty assignment and selected Fort Bragg, NC. Brad and I were enrolled in the Army Married Couples Program and that allowed him to be assigned there also. We settled into life and in 2003 welcomed our first daughter. After a few years at Fort Bragg, Brad went to Special Forces selection when I was eight month pregnant with our second daughter. I knew I couldn’t stop a man from doing something he was so passionate about and when he graduated the Q-Course in April 2008, I couldn’t have been more proud.
While he was in training I got out of the Army, so one of us would always be home with our girls. On Mother’s Day of 2008, he left for his first deployment as a Special Forces Medic (18D) assigned to 7th group. That deployment lasted eight month and he returned in February 2009, different yet still the same. He was only home a short time before they unit was told they would return to Afghanistan. Our daughter asked where he was going and he took out a map of Afghanistan. He put a green star on the capital, a blue star on the place he was during the first deployment and a gold star on the place he was going. I still have that map and probably always will. On July 17th, 2009, my 29th birthday I said goodbye to my best friend, husband and father of our beautiful girls. September 2009, Brad called me to say they were heading out for a few days and told me not to worry, he’d let me know when the rolled back in safe and sound. That call never came. On September 16, 2009 came the knock that changed my life forever.
When I was introduced to the Steel Mags I was lost in my grief. I started doing CrossFit, Spartan races and GORUCK events. CrossFit helped me get fit, Spartan races were fun and GORUCK pushed me deep into my mental reserves. I learned to throat punch my demons by trusting in my team and myself. The Steel Mags are just that, my team, and my sisterhood. Ladies who commiserate, celebrate and together are a force to be reckoned with. Fast-forward six years and my life is a whirlwind of activity. I have a 10 and 12 year old who always keep me on my toes and a great man who walked into our lives and is willing to take on the challenge of three very stubborn ladies. I have worn combat boots, wrestled with grief and waltzed out the other side a stronger and more passionate woman.
Each and every Steel Mag is unique and has a talent that makes us an asset to the sisterhood. Some of us know what are talents are and some need to be shown. As a Steel Mags lead, my aim is to empower other women and help them let their light shine.