SOLEDAD — Soledad Rotarians were recently visited by Specialist Jasmine Tirado from the National Guard.
Tirado graduated from military police Company 787 in Missouri as part of Fort Leonard Wood. She trained for six-and-a-half months before returning home.
When Tirado is deployed to a natural disaster, she only has six hours to meet up with her unit with the mindset that they might be there for a while.
“I respond to natural disasters like the fires,” Tirado said. “We had the Santa Rosa fire, the Santa Barbara fire and most recently the Redding fire.”
Tirado aided the fire efforts for about one month. Her company is part of the Homeland Reinforcement Team. Tirado is originally from Salinas and works at Eden Valley Care Center in Soledad as a therapy coordinator.
“There’s not a lot of female soldiers in the army,” Tirado said. “When I graduated, we started off with a company of 250 and there were only 60 female soldiers and 54 graduated.”
Tirado made the decision to join the National Guard as part of the military police because she was into protesting as an undergraduate and wanted to make change. She decided that the way to make that change was to get involved through the National Guard.
“In the military, we’re provided structure, with leadership, with different types of qualities that I wouldn’t normally get through the community or the group that I do help,” Tirado said.
Tirado participates in training with the National Guard, which has taken her out of the state. Last year she traveled to Nevada because there are fewer restrictions on working with explosives as well as on the amount of ammunition that can be fired.
Tirado is also an Aztec dancer and is striving to become a therapist and help with dance-related injuries.