By Sgt. Jesse SmithNovember 2, 2015
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- A tall women with long blonde hair walked into a taekwondo ring as she stared down an Olympian she was to face, but out of the corner of her eye she could see her 6-year-old son cheering from the crowd while holding an American flag and screaming, "Go U.S.A.". She could feel her heart racing as she prepared to fight but, her nerves calmed as she saw her Family in the stands. She was ready.
The woman was Capt. Jessica H. Tackaberry, the public affairs officer for the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade and a native of Missoula, Montana. She competed in taekwondo on October 9 at the 2015 World Military Games in Mungyeong, South Korea
Tackaberry has been doing taekwondo since she was six years old. Her Uncle Bryan and older brother did it and she begged her mom to let her participate at that young age.
She has competed since she was young and has placed at a few different national championships throughout her career. Tackaberry just started competing internationally when she made the Armed Forces team in 2011.
Tackaberry said taekwondo has made a huge difference in her life. It makes her more disciplined and focused. Also, she said she knows that she can take a few hits and keep fighting and has found that hard work and determination pays off in the end. She said it's all about your attitude.
"No matter how good you are, your attitude will decide everything," Tackaberry said.
The All-Army Sports Program/World Class Athlete Program seems like the military's best kept secret she said. She encourages anyone who grew up playing any sport to participate, train and give it their best shot.
"It's an experience and opportunity that few have to get paid to train, and play a sport," Tackaberry said. "To compete and represent your country in front of other world military athletes is a great honor."
At the opening ceremony of the competition she said she was so amazed and taken back by the number of competitors and countries represented.
"Standing behind the American flag was truly a moment in my military service that I will always remember and be grateful for," Tackaberry said.
On that day, this Soldier was truly ready to fight tonight for America.