Dawn Becker was born and raised in New Ulm, Minn. “It was a small town that didn’t have much to offer, as far as jobs were concerned,” says Dawn.
Seeking more opportunities, it is little wonder why Dawn joined the Army between her junior and senior years of high school. “My neighbor was in the military and would make it sound so interesting when he’d come home,” she says.
That was 30 years ago.
The Army shaped Dawn’s life in countless ways. Not only did she gain technical training for her role as a combat medic, she made gains in her personal development. Indeed, she polished soft skills that would influence her life far beyond Army borders. “The military puts a certain perspective on what teamwork is. It taught me a great deal about working with all different types of people and different cultures,” she says.
Dawn also learned to be more organized, and that attention to detail allowed her to be more focused on her job.
Early on in her Army experience, Dawn met her husband. “We dated for nine days before he proposed, and we got married seven months later. Here we are 28 years later, and it couldn’t be better,” she says.
Dawn’s husband retired from the Army to farm with his family and to continue working as a respiratory therapist, but Dawn transitioned to civilian life a little earlier on. She and her husband have four boys and one grandson who loves to help with farm chores.
Two of Dawn’s sons currently serve in the military. One is in the Army and the other in the National Guard. “Something else I learned was that being on time was actually late,” she laughs. “When I was still in the Army, that statement was in complete seriousness. But now, at home, with two boys in the military it’s more of an inside joke because four of the six of us actually understand what that means.”
After leaving the Army, Dawn was able to use her husband’s GI Bill benefits to earn a degree in accounting and now works at Hormel Foods.
The military puts a certain perspective on what teamwork is. It has taught me how to work with all different types of people and cultures.Dawn Becker, Army Veteran