Amanda Rada

U.S. Army

Fayetteville, North Carolina

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Growing up in the small town of Chambersburg, PA she put herself through practical nursing school after graduating high school. At the age of 19, she was a LPN and needed something else to do so why not join the Army. She joined the US Army Reserves as a 91C then after a year decided why not do this full-time. She entered Active Duty at the age of 21 as a 91T, animal care tech, as there was a hold on 91C. This would later be the means to which she would meet her future husband.

 

She met Jeff upon arriving to her unit,248th Med Det, at Ft. Bragg, NC. They were married 6 months after dating. She ended her career in the Army to follow and support Jeff through his Army career.  She followed him to Aberdeen Proving Grounds and boomeranged right back to Bragg. Her main focus was raising their 2 children (Andrew, now 18 & Jessica, now 15) and being Jeff's support system and best friend while he pursued his lifelong goal of becoming a Special Forces 18D. He achieved that goal in the summer of 2007. Their lives were forever changed on the day of 29 June 2008 when Jeff was killed in Afghanistan during a mission with 7th SFG.

She had her life taken away that day and had to relearn how to live without him by her side. It has not been an easy road the last 7 years but she has accomplished great things since in the honor of her husband's short life. Jeff always had many goals or things lined up to accomplish so she decided she would do the same thing since he was no longer here to accomplish new adventures. Every year she makes a new goal to try or do something she has never done before because life is too short no to live it to the fullest. She has done things she never thought she could do: tandem skydiving, SCUBA diving, completed a triathlon, rode in a racecar, graduated with a bachelor's degree, completed more than 10 obstacle course races, ran the Army ten-miler, and found love again.

She met Kyle in March of 2014 and he hasn't left her side since that day. She admits, "Kyle's job isn't an easy job but he hasn't given up on me or the kids. He loves being around us and involved in everything we do."  She loves him for being there and pushing through the hard times for the past 2 years and is looking forward to many more to follow.

"Learning to love again and let that person completely in your life isn't easy but it is worth it!"

Amanda and Kyle

Amanda's children, Andrew and Jessica