OTF Soldier Story for May 3, 2010 - Sgt. 1st Class Diana Bullock
Current Unit: 807th Medical Command
Current Position: Human Resources Specialist
Component: Army Reserve
Current Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Hometown: Lodi, Calif.
Years of Service: 15
In her 15 years of service in the Army, Sgt. 1st Class Diana Bullock has learned to juggle the competing responsibilities of Soldier and mother, even when a deployment takes her away from her family physically. Along with her husband, a former Soldier, the Bullocks are an Army Strong Family who instill strong values in their children, and the mother knows that her Army career has made her a better person, leader, and most of all, parent.
While deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in 2008-2009, Bullock was assigned to the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and served in the plans, operations and training section, as well as supported the manpower and personnel services.
During an incident early in her deployment, Bullock suffered a head injury when a rocket exploded near the building in which she worked. For her sustained injuries, she was awarded the Purple Heart.
Throughout her deployment, Bullock had the opportunity to work alongside service members from other branches of service.
“To serve with not only Army Soldiers but with our sister services was the greatest experience I could have had during my deployment,” said Bullock. “We worked together, and although there was pride for the service we were in, the end goal of getting the mission accomplished never wavered amongst us.”
The rivalry between branches was familiar to Bullock, as her family’s legacy of service spans several branches of the military as well. Of her five brothers, one served in the Air Force, another in the Navy and the third in the Army. As the youngest in the family, Bullock chose to follow in her father’s and brother’s footsteps when she enlisted in the Army two years after graduating from high school.
“I wanted to grow as an individual and become self-sufficient.” Bullock said. “But as their little sister, some of my brothers weren’t incredibly supportive of me enlisting. They still saw me as their little sister and they were protective of me. They knew what life in the military was like,” she said.
Although Bullock is the only member of her family currently serving in uniform, her family ties to the Army were especially strong in the 1980s. During that time, she had the opportunity to serve alongside her brother while they were both stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, and she also served in the same unit as her husband, Randy, who left the Utah National Guard in 1995 as a sergeant.”
Now a mother of two teenagers, Bullock said the hardest part of her deployment was being away from her family.
“We are a very close family and we were used to doing everything together,” she said. “It was hard to be away. Although I was able to come home for Christmas, I missed other family occasions, such as birthdays, my anniversary and my daughter’s high school graduation.”
However, she hopes that her service both overseas and stateside has made her a better mother.
“I hope that the discipline and courage I’ve learned in the Army has been passed on to them,” she said.
A native of Lodi, Calif., Bullock now lives in the Salt Lake City, Utah area with her family. She continues to serve with the Army Reserve and is assigned to the 807th Medical Command at Fort Douglas, Utah. Although her daughter, Kirstie, has decided not to join the Army, her son, Evan, has expressed interest in following in his parent’s footsteps.