by: Justin Kree
MIDLAND - Elena Heredia is a new recruit who is leaving Midland and going through boot camp at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
"I joined ROTC my Sophomore year and it opened up some possibilities. Serving and helping other people is for me," Heredia said.
She never let being a girl stop her or hold her back from being a soldier.
"They've been really supportive. The fact that I am a girl, it's motivation. They say it's going to be hard for you, well it's going to be hard for everybody not just because I'm a girl," Heredia said.
Becky Cordona is a single mother who raised Elena to love God, family and country. On Saturday, family and friends gathered at the True Life Christian Fellowship Center in Midland to give Heredia a proper send-off.
Cordona decided to throw a party for Elena because she is a proud mother.
"This is something that is a positive thing. I want my family and her friends to see this is possible and to feel the pride I feel," Cordona said.
In a few short days when Heredia leaves for boot camp, Cordona already knows the tears will be falling. Her faith in God will keep her strong.
"It's going to be hard. I was told that it was going to be OK and I believe it because God tells me so. I'm not going to lie to you, I will probably sit in the back seat and cry all the way home. I won't cry in front of her, I'll just wait till we come back home," Cordona said.
Heredia will miss Mom as well but knows this is apart of her life journey.
"Physically, I'm going to push myself and try my hardest. Mentally, I'm going to think about everyone I'm doing this for. Without my Mom, I think I'll be OK. She raised me well to be on my own so I'll be fine," Heredia said.