I am one of the lucky people who grew up knowing exactly what I wanted to do for a profession and actually ended up in that field. Although I didn't become a war correspondent --- a hybrid reporter -- I have sort of, kind of, fulfilled that role through my extensive coverage of the military. In addition, I have authored a book called Living the Oath that will be published in late summer of 2012 and is a compilation of warrior stories. I also like to think that I have met that goal through my coverage of politics, which often seems like a war zone, and government, a battlefield where all your rights are truly won or lost. I am the primary crime reporter for the Chronicle, a war zone of an entirely different nature. It only takes about five minutes of spending time with me to get the scoop that I am a proud military mother -- my Marine has deployed five times -- and a relentless advocate for the troops. The men and women who serve this country, and their families, have earned my deepest respect and appreciation for enduring multiple tours of duty in our nation's longest war. I founded the Gorge Heroes Club, a nonprofit group, when my son first headed off to war in 2007 and we became an official charity a couple of years later. We have sent thousands of care packages to Iraq and Afghanistan and gotten to know some of the most courageous people who walk the earth. I am blessed with a job that provides me with plenty of challenges and a life purpose that brings sheer joy and often humbles me. Doesn't get any better than that!
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