The Commerce Journal

Features

October 19, 2007

Commerce sweethearts both serving in military

Leigh Ann Gibson, 24, sits at the computer anxiously waiting to chat on-line with her husband, Patrick, who is serving on the frontlines in Iraq. Her two children clamber onto her lap, fighting over who gets to talk to Daddy first. Exhausted because she’s seven months pregnant, this is the best part of Gibson’s day — reconnecting with the love of her life.

At five feet, two inches tall, Gibson’s petite frame doesn’t keep her from taking on the most challenging jobs. Right now, her most challenging job is caring for her two children, Jade, 4, and Ian, 2, while her husband has been overseas for six months on his second tour of duty. Her next challenge could be only a year away — serving on the frontlines of the battlefields herself.

Gibson is a member of the Texas Army National Guard, and she’s a combat medic — a soldier who is responsible for providing first aid and frontline trauma care on the battlefield. Although Gibson’s husband joined the Army after graduating from high school and had already completed his first tour of duty, the couple joined the National Guard together in August 2006.

Both are Commerce High School graduates. He graduated in 2001 and she did in 2002.

“We were high school sweethearts, and I wanted to join the Army with him,” she said. “However, he was in boot camp when 9/11 hit, and he knew he was going to have to leave. We talked about it, and he didn’t want me to join knowing that we would be going to war.

“People often ask him why he serves his country, and it’s solely because he wanted to serve his country. My reason to join the National Guard was for educational purposes.”

Gibson recalled the time when she was little and had a pair of shoes that were too tight, and she was afraid to ask for a new pair because she knew her family couldn’t afford them.

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