Many have been called but only one percent of the population respond to serving in the Armed Forces. For veteran Marche’ Johnson, choosing the United States Army was a no-brainer but serving her local Montgomery, Ala. community is her current-day pride and joy.
After attending AUM with plans of becoming a lawyer, Johnson decided to enlist in the Army. As a soldier, she dedicated her life to honor and sacrifice both stateside as well as in the Maysan Province of Iraq, and Kandahar, Afghanistan. Though she has now transitioned from active duty, she’s just getting started in her local community.
Returning to her roots
As a product of North Montgomery neighborhoods, Johnson is no stranger to the streets of North Montgomery. She not only acknowledges the concerns of the elderly and working class, but also holds a special place in her heart for the local youth as she once stood in their shoes. Johnson’s strong desire to give back led her to become a candidate for District 3 City Council.
After a troublesome childhood, Johnson embodies the true meaning of serving after service as she has separated from the military to directly give back to the community that raised her many years ago. Veterans, like Johnson, understand that making a true change in this world often means returning to humble beginnings and showing the community what it looks like to not only spew words but put forth action. In her case, this meant becoming a political candidate in her district.
Military Families Magazine spoke with Johnson about her time in service and its correlation to her running for political office.
Q: What are some things you’ve learned while serving in the military that you’ll carry into your role as city council?
During my time in service, I learned a lot about accountability, responsibility, compassion and adaptability. We were often accountable for millions of dollars of equipment and being responsible for other people’s safety and ultimately life down range. I also believe that compassion is something that can’t be taught but learned through a great deal of experience with people. My service also helped nurture my ability to adapt in any environment. Being a city council will call for a lot of interaction with constituents plus compassion and flexibility.
Q: Why was it important for you to return home and serve your community?
It is important for me to serve my community upon returning home because it directly impacts my family. Being a positive example for the children in my community and family is of utmost importance to me. Especially during the state of the world that we are currently living in, positivity is a requirement for uplifting our youth. Giving back is not only the right thing to do morally but it is what our communities need.
Q: In what ways did your military service shape you?
The military provided me with a foundation to grow on. It gave me a stronger sense of accountability, responsibility and selfless service. All three attributes are required to be an effective leader. Although selfless service is a trait that I have always carried, the military really built upon those values and enhanced my perspective of what matters in life.
Service members spend thousands of miles away from loved ones sacrificing everything with hopes of leave an impact in the world. Then you’re overseas, you see that it is more to life than just living for yourself. We begin living life hoping to leave a lasting and positive imprint in someone else. The military shaped me to become a catalyst for change a voice for those that aren’t heard.
Q: What words would you give to service members as they transition out of the military?
As you transition out of the military, ensure that you take some personal time to adjust to your new surroundings. Get to know yourself again as a civilian and if you have not taken advantage of your education benefits, do so as you transition. On average, it takes an active duty soldier who has deployed about two years to get acclimated. Spend time with your loved ones and most importantly get involved in your community. Also, reach out to your local veteran assistance programs and see what resources are available to you.
As Johnson continues her journey to city council, she hopes to not only inspire her community but to also encourage service members to take action by engaging in local communities after the military.
To keep up with Marche’ Johnson’s campaign and post-military service, follow her on Facebook.Read comments