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“On the day I became a citizen, my fifth-grade class joined me at the courthouse.”

While talking to a judge about US history, Gina Kirby found another calling: to support the military community.

I was adopted from Colombia as an infant, but my parents wanted me to wait until I was 11 years old before I became an American citizen, so I could understand and respect what it meant.

On the day I became a citizen, my fifth-grade class joined me at the courthouse. I sat in front of a judge and talked about the US history I’d been studying in school, the freedoms that come with being a US citizen, and how so many of those rights came at a cost.

The weight of that conversation stuck out in my mind. That’s why I feel a responsibility to support our military community. They’ve made a commitment to protect our freedoms and to serve the people in our country—including me.

And so when the question came if I could mentor service members as they transitioned to careers outside of the military, it was the least I could do. And I feel honored to do so.—Gina Kirby, from Fargo, North Dakota

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