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Featured Profile for Broadcast Journalist and Newswriter

Mary Simms

After high school, I went into financial advising. However, when everything started happening following September 11th--the invasion in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq--I was totally consumed by the news coverage. I really wanted to understand it. I really wanted to go over there myself. The attack on our country served as a catalyst for me to change and pursue my childhood dream of becoming a journalist.

I left my promising career at a Fortune 500 company and enlisted in the Army. As a military broadcast journalist, I have been a writer, producer, editor, and star of my own segments. I manage news packages, video productions, and newscasts under high- pressure deadlines. I also conduct media training for service members.

I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to really get out there and work with people. I love telling people’s stories. In the military, you are not only in front of the camera, you are also the camera man, the editor, the producer and the director when on the scene because you are usually there by yourself.

I think the most important thing I accomplished was covering the first democratic elections in Afghanistan during my tour of duty there. We actually went out into the villages and interviewed men and women at the polls. These were people who went out to vote unarmed under threat from the Taliban that they were going to bomb people. People went out and voted despite all of that. I knew that I was witnessing history. It was a tremendous moment for freedom and women’s rights, and an experience I’ll never forget.

There is so much that the military does in other countries that people aren’t aware of that’s really important. What we do helps shape the economy in other countries and it really helps shape people’s view of Americans in other countries. As a news journalist, I’m able to cover these stories and tell them both to fellow soldiers and to the American public.

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