PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - She endured surgeries and was hit by IED's three times. However, her passion to serve soldiers still continues to this day. Staff Sergeant Jacare Hogan of Fort Benning was honored by President Obama in Orlando, Florida on August 10, 2013.
She attended the Disabled American Veterans conference, also known as D.A.V., with her eight year old son. Sgt. Hogan played a huge role assisting soldiers and has often being the only female who was involved in missions with over 200 men. She's won multiple awards, but Sgt. Hogan explains she has received more wounds than awards.
"From bad knees to brain injuries…" Sgt. Hogan recalled. "I also have short-term memory loss and PTSD. Oh, I'm injured from head to toe. I still need to get more surgeries, and I continue to seek emotional/mental help from DAV."
Sgt. Hogan completed a tour in Iraq in 2003 to 2004. She then escorted her commander in 2007, and recently returned from Afghanistan in 2011 to 2012. She has also helped open a Wounded Warrior post in Afghanistan to assist many soldiers as she can.
"Just the things that I've experienced as a woman and as a soldier gives me different perspectives," Sgt. Hogan explained. "Taking care of soldiers has always been my first priority. It's not about being a woman or a person. It's about being a soldier."
As passionate and determined as Sgt. Hogan is, she never thought she would join the military. She does come from a family with military background: her grandmother was involved in the military and has also served as a board member in D.A.V for 22 years. Sgt. Hogan was invited to be honored by the Obamas through this connection, but Sgt. Hogan explains what initially sparked her passion to serve our country.
"I actually planned on going to law school. I had no plans on the military," Sgt. Hogan said. "But sometimes, the Lord has a different calling for you. I was in school when 9/11 happened. I thought I was watching a movie on television, so I asked a friend what movie this was. She told me it was the Twin Towers and that America has been attacked. As I watched the building crumble on the TV screen, it changed me. That moment changed my entire life."
Sgt. Hogan explained that she wanted to live for others. Since joining the military, she gave it her all. Sgt. Hogan has a eight year old son who has a 4.0 GPA in his private school. He played baseball ever since he was three, and he plays ball with Sally Little League in Columbus, Georgia. Angelo, Sgt.Hogan's beloved son, has autism. She always encouraged her son to do his best, and Sgt. Hogan explained Michelle Obama requested Angelo to attend the conference together.
"It was an honor to meet the President and the First Lady," Sgt. Hogan smiled. "But I am a huge fan of Michelle Obama. She has done so much to help and assist soldiers and their families. And my son was so eager to meet the president. Angelo even asked him to sign his baseball helmet."
Sgt. Hogan is now in the process of medical retirement. She says she wants to focus on her health and her son for now. However, she will continue to help out with Wounded Warrior projects, Disabled American Veterans organization, and seek more ways to support the soldiers.
"Help the soldiers in anyway you can," Sgt. Hogan explained. "Act on your appreciation. Even if it's just a thank you, or even if it's just a letter. You have no idea how encouraging these acts of help can be."