MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - On Thursday, a handful of military veterans were able to participate in recording history. Midland County Libraries partnered with West Texas Public Radio to record the stories of veterans.
The audio will be part of a Veteran's Day special and be archived in the libraries and be part of history forever. A Navy veteran, virtual librarian and future attorney, Sarah Cotton, is all those things and her story will be talked about for generations.
"It's fascinating but also a little terrifying," said Cotton.
Cotton's experience with the Navy will be archived at the Centennial Library. As a child, Cotton dreamed of being United States President but at the age of 21, she became a United States Sailor instead.
"When I got out, I was IT3. Being in IT, you were all about communications," said Cotton. "Communication is key in everything in life, being able to operate both normal operations as well as any emergencies or things like that."
The Navy's standards for fitness are so high, Cotton got released in 2011 when she failed an exam. Cotton was in the middle of a deployment. The transition to civilian life was hard and she hit depression.
"I identified as a sailor for so long and now I'm not a sailor anymore," said Cotton. "It's like, what am I? Who am I? What am I going to do with my life? I ended up throwing myself into school which helped a whole lot."
Cotton is still on her journey to become an attorney while working full time at the downtown Midland library and still getting used to civilian life.
"Whenever you're in the military you don't really feel like you're serving this bigger purpose so whenever you get out or you're still in and someone says thank you for your service, in some ways it's a little awkward. But I told a friend that and she said yeah but I've never done that so to me it's a big deal so I want to thank you and let you know I appreciate that."
Her time in the Navy is something she'll never forget but every time she arrives 15 minutes early and uniformly fixes her hair first thing in the morning, she remembers even more.