49ºF

Serving America: Women based in Lexington deploying to Qatar

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  About 450 men and women stationed in southwest and central Virginia will head overseas soon. They will be serving on a security mission in Qatar with the Virginia National Guard.

"You spend five years training and you actually get to do something with it," said Second Lieutenant Nicole Stanojev , Executive Officer for Bravo Company.

All of the soldiers deploying went through exercises at Fort Pickett in Central Virginia that could save their lives. Recognizing the signs of an Improved Explosive Device, an IED and how they react could mean life or death in deployment.

"I'm pretty excited about it, I volunteered. I've been looking for a deployment for a really long time," says Staff Sergeant Kelley Sipe who is going on her first deployment with other women stationed in the Lexington National Guard unit.

"It's been pretty neat watching, they're just another soldier. We've got a few females and they just meld right in with the guys, they been training with them for a few months," said 2LT Stanojev.

"We at one point we were not even able to be in the military to you coming front line with them is very exciting to know how far we've come from nothing," said Specialist Briana Jones who adds serving with women is motivating.

Stanojev grew up watching her father.  His service inspired her.

"I love it, I absolutely love it. It's a little bit different with some of the struggles, my friends are having families and doing that kind of stuff behind the scenes and I'm more focused on military and getting to deploy and getting that kind of training," said Stanojev.

These Women are even inspiring their own little girls. Sipe's 9-year old daughter is already setting her future.

"She looks up to me, she wants to be in the military as well so yes she's gonna follow in my foot steps," said Sipe.

"We've got opportunities absolutely, you can do anything you want, you could just see what we're doing right now And know that there is nothing stopping you from getting to do what you want, your dream," said Stanojev.

A dream, that can include some danger but that is not stopping them.