AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the Heroes Among Us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran, or a fallen hero whose service to our country goes beyond the battleground.
"They're going out, and they're putting their lives on the line, and I'm there to put them back together," said Army Col. Ramona Mulleins-Foreman.
Overseas, she experiences life-altering circumstances that many of us will never see.
"You have to see it, really, as an adventure, because you honestly don't know what's going to come around the corner next," she explained of her nearly 34 years in the Army.
That includes three deployments to the Middle East.
This time last year, she was commanding a surgical team in the heat of the action: Afghanistan.
When she got the call to deploy nearly two years ago, the university at which she is an assistant professor, Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, essentially told her they would be waiting when she got back.
"They sent me a care box every month," she said of her employer while she was deployed. "Socks, cookies, books, at Christmas, I had Christmas ornaments."
Fast forward a year, and reminders of that time sit throughout her office at GSW.
"She can come back from her deployment and incorporate what she's seen, what she's experienced, into her courses," said Dr. Paula Bryant, chair of the graduate nursing program at GSW. "I think that's very beneficial to our students."
One of those experiences in particular sticks out in Mulleins-Foreman's mind.
"I had the opportunity to meet a lady, which is kind of unusual, who began a refuge for females," said Col. Mulleins-Foreman.
It was a refuge for women who had left abusive homes.
That's not something many women would do in Afghanistan.
It was an opportunity for Mulleins-Foreman to put her skills to use to help others.
"(I would) do physicals on some of the women that had come from abusive relations and everything. It's a very patriarchal society, so women that leave are seen as outcasts," she explained. "They weren't used to seeing somebody with as much freedom. Even though I was a female, they were still a little stand-offish."
It's stories and experiences like those that she now brings to her students in the Family Nurse Practitioner graduate program at GSW.
"I can take examples of what I see over there in their healthcare and their delivery systems, and compare it to what we have here," the assistant professor said.
For her peers and her students, Mulleins-Foreman's commitment to her country and her teaching are priceless.
“When she comes back, she just doesn’t miss a beat. She just steps right in and picks up right where she left off, and it’s just a very good experience for everyone,” explained Dr. Bryant.
If you would like to nominate your military hero to be featured on ‘Heroes Among Us’ on WALB ABC, click here.