By Pfc. Jarvis MaceNovember 18, 2019
JACKSON, Miss. - The National Guard encourages Soldiers to build a close relationship with one another to accomplish missions more efficiency. Many times, these relationships grow on to be called "military families." So, what happens if the Soldier is family? Members of the Lee-Price family, who currently serve in the Mississippi Army National Guard, are among those who can claim both.
Lt. Col. Annie Lee, the logistics officer for the 184th Expeditionary Sustainment Command; Sondra Price, first sergeant of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 198th Armored Brigade; and Sgt. Nia Davis, a human resources noncommissioned officer with 66th Troop Command, are all currently serving in the MSARNG. In both their military and civilian facets of life, they put the family at the center and focus on the values, experiences, and relationships they share.
Lee, a Collins, Miss., native, is Price's older sister and Davis' mother. Lee said that she grew up around the Mississippi National Guard because her father, a retired staff sergeant, fought during Desert Storm. However, it was her older sister, Command Sgt. Maj. Stephanie Price, who is serving on active duty with the 407th Army Field Support Battalion who ultimately influenced her to enlist and continue her family's extensive military history.
"I graduated from Collins High School in 1990," Lee said. "My older sister, Command Sergeant Major Price, had already joined the Mississippi National Guard in '88, her senior year of high school. So, instead of going straight to college, I chose to join the Guard, also."
With Lee and Stephanie Price both starting their military careers, it influenced their younger sister to follow in their path.
"They are two of my biggest mentors," Sondra Price said. "They guided me in the right direction."
Sondra Price joined shortly after her two older sisters, seeing that the MSARNG offered many benefits and opportunities for success.
"We decided at a young age that we were all going to join the military," she said. "[We] didn't know where it was going to take us. I've been in for 27 years [and] it's been a great experience for us. Coming to the military was for the opportunity to better ourselves and to stay on a straight and narrow road."
Sondra Price said her older sister, Lee, who was her commander at one point, influenced her to grow as a leader when she served under Lee.
The influence of serving in the MSARNG went into the next generation with Davis joining during high school.
"I knew back then that I wanted to join really because my whole family was in the military as well," Davis said. "I looked up to them. They did a lot of great work, so I knew I wanted to do that one day."
Davis credits her mother and aunts for encouraging her always to do the right thing and instilling the Army values in her to be the best Soldier she can be.
Sondra Price expects Davis, who was recently promoted to sergeant, to be a proficient leader for the future.
"I let her know as soon as she became an NCO that it's called 'lead by example,'" Price said. "There is no more 'I can't do this' or 'I can't do that.' Everything should be 'I will do it.' You know, I will try to do my best at it and put my best foot forward to guide my Soldiers as well as we guided her in the right direction."
Outside of uniform, the Lee-Price family enjoys being together and strengthening the bonds they all share.
"We love to do a lot of traveling," Lee said. "We are a sports-oriented family, so we love to attend sporting events as much as possible."
Lee adds that they love to cook, share fellowship, and have simple "family time," which is always essential to maintaining a healthy relationship.
The Lee-Price family enjoys motivating and developing each other professionally, ultimately growing and prospering together as a family in and out of uniform.