Staff Member Awaits Word From Military

“The military has been good to me,” says Malott Commons assistant Toni Suarez, who has had an impressive and varied 24-year career in the Air Force and Army and is now in the Reserves. “It has always given me opportunities to enhance my current jobs, try other positions, and seek different perspectives. It has taught me to never say no to new opportunities.”

Mechanically inclined, Toni served as an aircraft avionics (communications) technician and an aircraft electrician for the Air Force and a helicopter mechanic/crew chief with the Army Reserve. In this latter position, she would have to take apart an entire helicopter, reassemble it, and then fly in it to make sure it was safe. Toni also served as a squadron career advisor for the Air Force, a small combat arms instructor for the Air Force Reserve, and an administrative supervisor, civil affairs, in the Army Reserve.

Toni’s current status is as a paralegal noncommissioned officer in the JAG (Judge Advocate General) Corps. In February of this year, Toni’s unit was called to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to help process legal documentation for those in the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and active duty soldiers who were being deployed. As a paralegal, she assisted the soldiers in filling out wills and power of attorney statements. She may be called to again to provide paralegal services.

While Toni believes that two years in the military is an experience that would benefit every 18-year-old, it is not easy for her to see young people go off to war. “I feel bad that there are young soldiers being killed on the front. I would gladly trade places with them. As a soldier of the Armed Forces, I am obligated to defend the American flag and the freedom it stands for.”