United States Army Member Works Toward Her Dream Job

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A woman describes her life at 19 years old.

“I was living at home and stagnating,” she said.

That was Hosanna Keeley’s life before her stint in the United States Army.

Keeley decided to take action and went to a recruiter’s office after thinking of three of her brothers, who also served, and wanting to follow in their footsteps.

The Syracuse New York native and UA sophomore explained how her childhood and military experience impacts her and her future.

Keeley learned Bahasa Indonesian during her time in the military and wants to be a foreign correspondent in Indonesia after graduating from UA with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Keeley says her role in the military and desire to live in a warm climate brought her to UA to enroll in the major.

Keeley and her ten siblings were homeschooled, and she explains the experience.

“It helped install a lot of discipline because someone was not standing over your shoulder telling you what to do,” Keeley said.

She was able to study and focus exclusively on marine biology at 16 years old.

“We developed interests and areas of expertise that would have been harder to do in public school,” Keeley said.

She adds that her transition into college was more comfortable because her previous education made her rely on herself rather than others in tasks such as making sure her work was complete and finding the discipline to complete assignments on time.  

She endorses homeschooling until children reach a particular proficiency.

“I would homeschool children until they learn reading, writing, and math. Once they learn those skills, I would place children in public school by high school at the latest,” Keeley said.

Today Keeley focuses on her college education, but she is still part of the United States Army Reserves.

Kevin Wong is one of Keeley’s friends who she met while learning Indonesian. They enjoyed working out together and discussing physical fitness. He discussed Keeley via email from Afghanistan.

Wong explained why he is impressed with Keeley.

“The only time she quits is if she physically cannot complete her task. She is also very intellectual and was able to learn a rare language that most Americans would not be able to learn,” Wong said.

Another person identified as "Mike" (last name omitted for security reasons) commented about her. Mike was an important mentor in Keeley’s life.

He explained that Keeley often worked independently as a translator between the United States and Indonesian armies.

He adds that Keeley is mature for her age.

“She will outwork her colleagues and isn't afraid to face new challenges. She is not afraid to be the "first" to do something,” Mike said.

He said Keeley distinguished herself from other women in her unit.

“Hosanna was one of the first women in our unit to complete the rigorous ten-day Air Assault course,” Mike said.