From the Register-Mail:
When my old Register-Mail pal Ken Exum showed me a recent picture of his wife, Cathy Walters, dressed in ACU (Army Combat Uniform) apparel, and told me that she had enlisted in the Army Reserves, I was impressed, but not surprised – at first.
I knew that both Ken and Cathy had served before, so her decision to continue her service didn’t strike me as unusual. Later, I realized the uniqueness of Cathy’s story.
A former Navy officer for 10 years, Cathy joined the Army Reserves last year after being out of the military for more than two decades. She celebrated her 52nd birthday at Ft. Sill, Okla. where she went through the seven-week Warrior Transition Course, returning home to Galesburg on Aug. 6, 2009.
The military recently changed its age restriction to 43, but for prior service members the individual’s total years of service can be subtracted from their current age, making Cathy 10 years younger in the Army’s eyes – and still eligible to enlist.
The idea of carrying a gun and crawling around in the dirt is not what appealed to Cathy – that just isn’t who she is. But she does want to make a difference and help other men and women who are serving overseas – and that is a big part of what led her into the local recruiting office for the Army Reserves.