Kellie was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in 2000. Her military occupational specialty was Field Radio Operator. She traveled to Germany, France, Austria, Spain and Kuwait. Life was good. She planned a career in the Marine Corps with retirement at age 38.
In 2003, Kellie drove from Kuwait to Iraq where she was deployed at the start of the Iraq War. She was the first female Marine to serve there. Kellie and her fellow Marines began setting up military bases.
There was little opportunity for communication with family and friends --- no phones or electronics. Food consisted of MRE’s (ready to eat boxed meals). Baby wipes were used in lieu of running water. Kellie went 37 days without a shower.