She chose to enlist as an alternative to college.
“At the time, I wasn’t doing very well in class, and it was something that would get me away from school and also pay for school when I got back,” Keeton said.
When she first enlisted she worked as a medic assigned to a military police company. She was deployed with them in 2003-2004 to Iraq. Previously, her only experience out of the country was a trip to Mexico.
In Iraq, Keeton learned that she was a strong individual, she said.
“It was educational. It was difficult,” she said. “I did a lot of growing up that year.
“There were things that I went through over there that I know I wouldn’t have been able to handle without the training.”
In 2005, Keeton finished her bachelor’s in behavioral science at Hardin Simmons University. Then in 2006, she commissioned and became an officer. Now she is in charge of medical plans.
“If the brigade gets an assignment I would be the one to look at the mission and decide what kind of medical assets are needed,” she said.
Currently, she works as a patient care technician at Texas Health Resources Harris Emergency Room and attends TCC. She is trying to get into the accelerated nursing program at UTA. Because she already has a bachelor’s, the program is a quick way for her to get in the nursing field, she said.
“I really get satisfaction out of improving people’s lives,” she said.
Keeton is keeping her options open though. She wants to get an assignment overseas and live in Europe.
“I’ve actually been thinking about trying to go back active duty,” she said.