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Veteran and TSU Alumna Profile – Monica Simon

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2021

Texas Southern University Veteran’s Day Profile Monica Simon – TSU Alumna & U.S. Veteran

monica simon photo
Briefly tell us about your military service.

I began my military career to assist in paying for school. I am from San Francisco, CA, and was paying for college myself. I enlisted in Fall 1988, the same year my stepfather died who is also an Army Vet. I served 13 years in the Army Reserve, and I enjoyed each moment. I entered as a Records, Equipment and Parts Specialist and was assigned to the 7/6th Army Reserve Unit in Conroe before transferring to a unit in Houston.

My Basic Training was completed at Ft. Jackson, SC, and I became the Platoon's Lay Leader (Spiritual Leader) and was responsible for carrying the grenade launcher on my weapon. It was the best physical conditioning I ever had. I then was sent to Ft. Lee, VA, for my schooling.

How did serving our country change your life?

I learned so much and it provided me the opportunity to get my education, learn more about myself and taught me leadership skills I still use today and throughout my career in public safety (Training Coordinator and Communication Manager for 9-1-1 Operations).

It taught me how to take care of my fellow soldiers and to be proud of doing the work I was blessed to do. It allowed me to work and live with people of all walks of life. I met one of my best friends during this time. People thought we were sisters. We are still friends today and both reside in Texas. She in the Dallas area and I live in Pearland.

Did you serve before or after your time at TSU? How did your time at TSU prepare you for the military?

I enlisted after beginning TSU. Being at TSU prior to joining the military taught me resilience and dedication to my cause. It taught me also how to work through the difficulties of life, to remain focused, and trust the process.

Do you have any Veterans Day traditions?

Before retiring I would normally be at work (on Veterans Day). However, I always reflect on my time in the military, reach out to friends, and pay homage to those who lost their lives. My children always make it a point to celebrate this day with me when they can and take me to dinner or cook something at home. My son-in-law, who is also a veteran, will cook me a scrumptious meal straight from the bayou.

What do you want today’s TSU students to understand about Veterans Day?

I want the students to understand that this day is not about sales and getting the day off. It is a day to pay tribute to the freedoms we have today. There have been thousands of men and women of color who have served so we should celebrate their sacrifice and honor their courage and willingness to serve.

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Last updated: 11/18/2021