SALT LAKE CITY — A
victim of nature’s wrath has embraced the organization
that aided her state in its time of need.
New Utah Army National
Guard recruit Pvt. Moniqueca Hamilton, Headquarters and
Headquarters Company, 142nd Military
Intelligence Battalion, noticed that the military helped
her state recover from the devastation created by
“I saw the way they came
to help, because there wasn’t a lot of help down there
for everyone,” she said.
From the age of 12
Hamilton has longed to be a culinary artist. She joined
the Utah Guard to become a food-service specialist, and
now the Guard will help her dream become a reality very
Hamilton was sworn
into the Guard Mar. 20 and will report to Basic Training
at Fort Jackson, S.C. in June.
When Hurricane Katrina
devastated her home city, Hamilton was seven months
pregnant. The fury of Katrina destroyed her fiancÚ’s
home along with many others.
Hamilton was not
among the nearly 600 Katrina evacuees brought to Utah
and housed temporarily at Camp Williams. Her journey to
Utah began after she and her fiancÚ evacuated from New
Orleans to Georgia where they signed up for assistance.
They soon received a sponsor family in Utah and traveled
the 2,000 miles by bus to their new home here.
Hamilton feels like
the birth of her baby and the move to Utah have given
her a second chance.
“This is a place where we
can start over. We have a new family now, so it’s like a
new start.” Hamilton observed.
“I was looking around to
see what would be the best for my son and me, and the
Utah Guard—from everything I learned—would be the best
thing for us,” she added.