May 1st, 2016 17:21 EST
Face of Defense: Soldier Sings Her Way to Victory
One by one, boot by bloodied boot, soldiers trooped across the finish line: body heat escaping their sweat-drenched clothing in the form of steam against the cold of an early spring morning.
Some were slumping over from the sheer weight of their rucksacks; most were grimacing from the pain of the 10-mile forced march through a combination of asphalt, grass, gravel and sand. And all of them were silent in personal tribute that the ordeal was at long last over. All of them save one; and that one, well, she sang!
And the warden sang, come on somebody, why don`t you run " "
Meet Army Spc. Kayla Bundy.n
Bundy, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the Army Reserve`s 1st Battalion, 414th Infantry Regiment, 95th Training Division, may have been the unlikeliest of warriors at this year`s 108th Training Command Best Warrior competition at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, March 20-25.
Small Stature, Big Voice
Standing a whopping 5 feet tall, she tangled with soldiers and drill sergeants twice her size and three times her experience. But her size didn`t seem to slow her much as she bellowed out country singer Blake Shelton`s Ol` Red " over and over and over again.
If I`m trying to burn some time and clear my head, I definitely want to sing and listen to some country music, " Bundy said. There was a lot of time to burn on that march! "
Bundy failed to meet the required time of three hours for the forced march, but she didn`t give up.
There was a pickup spot and I was asked if I wanted to get in the van, but crap, I was just a mile and a half out so I might as well just finish, " she said.
Out of 35 competitors, only three finished the course within the allotted 3 hours.
Bundy, who today feels as though she made a life-changing decision by joining the Army Reserve in 2012, was competing for the first time in a competition she was not even really supposed to be in.
I just found out ten days ago that I was supposed to be here so I didn`t really have much time to train up, " she said. We had some other soldiers who were supposed to be here but some didn`t get orders and some just didn`t show up. So, here I am! "
Despite the short notice, Bundy was determined. I want to win. I`m planning on winning, " she said.
And win she did.
Bundy placed first in the junior enlisted competition and will advance to the Army Reserve-level competition atFort Bragg, North Carolina, May 2-6.If you happen to be out there on the trails, give a listen. You may just be able to hear her singing her way to victory yet again: Get my lantern, get my gun, Red`ll have you treed before the mornin` comes."
Photo Credit: Wikipedia