Jamaica-born Army Reserve Soldier reenlists
February 28, 2013
VICKSBURG, Miss. -- Staff Sgt. Keena S. Clarke-Guillaume, a G1 human resources sergeant at the 412th Theater Engineer Command, took the oath of reenlistment during a ceremony held Feb. 22, 2013 at the George A. Morris Army Reserve Center here.
Maj. Gen. William M. Buckler, Jr., commanding general of the 412th TEC, administered the oath.
Clarke-Guillaume calls Brooklyn, N.Y. home but was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her mother encouraged her to immigrate to the United States to take advantage of the opportunities there.
"I came here to make a better way of life," Clarke-Guillaume said, "and to rise above the hardships." She has been doing just that.
Arriving in Brooklyn in 1999 at 19 years old, Clarke-Guillaume joined the Army Reserve just four months later. In 2007, she joined the Active/Guard Reserve and plans to make a career in this full-time program.
Clarke-Guillaume has also completed one year of college at ASA Institute of Business and Computer Technology with an emphasis in business administration and is determined to continue her education in the near future.
It is not as though Clarke-Guillaume has had it easy here. Like many Soldiers, she has endured the hardship of deployment. With three children, it was often difficult, but she was not alone.
"My husband has always been there for me," she said. "He managed our three children during my deployment, and he deserves an award for that."
Roody, her husband, also immigrated to the United States. He arrived in New York when he was five from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. They first met while passing each other on a sidewalk in Brooklyn.
He stopped her, asked for her phone number, and she gave it to him.
"I didn't know him at all," Clarke-Guillaume said. "I didn't think he'd call, so I gave him my real number," she said smiling. That was eight years ago.
Clarke-Guillaume has worked at the 412th TEC G1 since March 2012 with a sense of purpose. "I like what I do," she said. "My priority is helping Soldiers, and I feel good when I can do so."
She will take this concern for Soldiers onward to her new unit when she transfers to the 655th Regional Support Group in Chicopee, Mass., in May of this year.