ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia -- U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alexendra Flores is a native of Anchorage, Alaska, who sought to be self-sufficient. Nearing the end of her senior year in high school, she pondered the best path to take to support herself during college. Flores did not want to put the financial burden of college on her parents. After finding out her best friend enlisted into the military to pay for their own college fees, Flores found it as a great option for herself as well. She is now a human resource specialist with the 297th Regional Support Group of the Alaska Army National Guard and is participating in Khaan Quest 2019 from June 14-28.
Q: How do you like being in the military now?
A: “It has pros and cons, but I have grown to love it. How things are structured and the discipline you gain are both really great. The pay is great. It’s constant. There are plenty of opportunities for different kinds of jobs, and in my opinion, it’s easier to grasp these opportunities when you’re in the military. These are all great things I find about the military despite the long hours we may end up working.”
Q: Why do you think peacekeeping operations are important?
A: “I think it’s important, especially for the military, because it kind of draws you back to that sense of helping each other mentality, rather than destroy the enemy. The military shouldn’t just be shooting the bad guys. Peacekeeping helps us learn about other people from other countries. We should always try to help each other more.”
Q: Why do you think women are important in peacekeeping operations?
A: “I think it’s important to have women in peacekeeping operations because I feel like it advocates equal rights for both genders. Just having that women’s presence I believe helps in humanitarian aid efforts. Let’s say there may have been victims of rape or sexual violence, having women there would help bridge that gap between us and the victim. Women are more inclined to console with other women. I feel like women help bring that maternal or nurturing character may be needed during these kinds of operations.”