After realizing college wasn’t for her (at the moment), 19-year-old Pamela Capulong found herself with two options — get a job or join the military. With her father and grandfather both having served in the military, Capulong decided to follow suit and joined the Air Force in July of 2001. Two months later, the September 11 terrorist attacks occurred. This was a moment that changed her forever. The country shut down, and the only family Capulong had to turn to during that time were her military comrades. No one was allowed on or off the base. Pamela says she constantly thinks back to that experience to help put things into perspective.
“It’s easier for me to realize what’s important,” she says. “I don’t get as stressed out about the small things, because I know the difference between life and death.”
Capulong has been a part of the Irving ISD family for 10 years, holding various positions before joining the Human Resources team in February of this year as an investigations officer. She says her current role is very similar to being in the military.
“The HR team is truly a family, and the camaraderie is similar to that of the military,” she says.
As a medic in the Air Force, some of her fondest memories include traveling and working in various areas, the constant learning and camaraderie amongst the group. For those interested in joining the military, Pamela says to go for it!
“Reach out to recruiters! There are so many opportunities like college, traveling, on-the-job education and discipline that are available to you,” she says.
Although this Veterans Day may look a little different, the feelings are still the same for Capulong. She says this is a time to recognize what it truly means to be American and honor those who put their lives aside to protect our country and its people.