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Smither, James (Interviewer)

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Shilakes, Rachel

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Rachel Shilakes was born in 1983 in Rochester, Michigan. In 2005, Rachel joined the Army and went directly into the National Guard as it allowed her to follow on with her civilian career. She did her basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri in January of 2006 as her Advanced Individual Training was done at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas. Rachel was assigned to the 1171st as a medic for the Area Support Medical Company out of Ypsilanti, Michigan. She learned in November of 2007 that she would be deployed to Iraq with the 1563rd Transportation Company out of Wyoming, Michigan. They went to Iraq and were based out of Camp Bucca near the Persian Gulf and Kuwait border. After her deployment she returned home and enrolled at Macomb Community College. She joined the 507th Engineer Battalion and shipped out to Afghanistan in Spring of 2012. Her deployment was cut short as her vehicle hit an IED. She went through multiple surgeries to her feet and head. She rehabbed for about eight months at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia. She currently serves the 1171st as a medic.

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Veterans History Project Collection, (RHC-27)