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Posted by on Jan 7, 2014 in Health, Military, War, Women | 10 comments

Nothing, Not Even Cancer, Would Deter This Trooper.

Sergeant overcomes cancer, deploys to Afghanistan

After experiencing surgery similar to the one this Army Sergeant endured, I never even entertained the idea of traveling to or living somewhere where living conditions and medical care were not at least close to those in the U.S., let alone deploy to a combat zone.

But that is exactly what this courageous and determined trooper did after going through life-threatening surgery from which only four out of six had survived.

Army Sgt. Jessica Echols, surviving cancer after a long, painful battle, was determined to serve with her fellow soldiers in Afghanistan, was finally cleared for deployment and is now serving at Bagram, Afghanistan.

“My service to my country means the world me,” she said. “I wanted to share my story and show people that you can overcome any obstacle. Cancer is very scary, but you should never give up, even if the odds are against you.”

Read her story here


I used the term “trooper” in the sense described by the Urban Dictionary: trooper – Anyone who exhibits EXTREME perseverance, fortitude, and tenacity.

I would add “courage” to that.

Lead photo: U.S. Army

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  • JSpencer

    A story of courage to be sure. My younger sister is going through chemo right now. It isn’t for lightweights.

  • JSpencer, best to your sis (and you). Chemo is a bitch. But it’s all part of the noble effort to help us cuck fancer and survive. Sending major mojo and attitude to you both.

    • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

      Kevin and Jim,

      Although I did not go through chemo, I know people who have and as Kevin says, it must be a bitch.

      My thoughts with your loved ones who have or are experiencing it.

  • JSpencer

    Many thanks Kevin. She is a sweet girl but tough and very positive. Not at all a cynical curmudgeon like myself. She just shaved her head yesterday to be proactive and she looks great!

  • Cheers, mate. I have been there with my girl. I read this tonight:

  • JSpencer

    Thanks Kevin for the very moving article. The woman’s support network is awesome and the power of love should never be underestimated. And thanks to you Dorian. Apologies for digressing from your orginal post.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist


    I have been calling you “Jim.” Sorry if that is not your first name.

    BUT, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Your and Kevin’s comments have everything to do with the original post, they could not be more apropos.

    I read the article linked to by Kevin and am so glad that you and Kevin “digressed” (if that’s what you did) because I believe everyone should read what “Love [really] is.”

    Thanks again.

  • JSpencer

    Thanks again Dorian. You’re close on the name. I have a brother who was born on January 17th 1951 whose name is Jim. I was born on the same day one year later. My name is Joe. 😉

  • JSpencer, it is eye opening how many people in our lives are waiting to help and/or support us if we let them know. When my daughter was very ill I reached out to family and friends. I published articles, contacted business and sports celebrities, etc. The support for her mushroomed beyond me hopes and dreams.

    The result significantly impacted her attitude, which, we know, impacts so much. I am not certain how it happened but at one point there was specific prayer at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus for her. One doesn’t have to be religious to understand the significance of support and prayer. We just have to want it bad enough to make it known. I, and I am sure others here, are thinking _specifically_ about your younger sister. Thanks for letting us know.

  • DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

    Wow, J.S.(Joe). That is interesting (talking about dates). Your brother was born exactly 10 years before the collapse of Texas Tower # 4 that I just wrote about (Jan 15, 1961)

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