Name: Spc. Erika M. Serra

Unit: Dental Activity

MOS: 68E – dental specialist

Age: 27

Time in service: eight months

Hometown: Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Most recent accomplishments: “I bought a new car, a Honda Civic.”

Family: husband, Spc. Luis D. Serra; son, Angel (6 years old); parents, Manuel and Magdalena Serra

Pastimes: “I just started playing racquetball, but I also like spending time with my family and traveling.”

One life-changing event: “When I fell in love with my husband. He taught me a lot of things about life, and he’s made me more open-minded.”

If I wasn’t in the Army: “I’d be a stay-at-home mom probably having more kids.”

Worst fear: “Losing my son. I often think of all the things in the world that happen to children, so that’s what I fear the most.”

Why I joined the Army: “I thought about joining since I was in high school. My parents didn’t want me to join and wanted me to go to college, so I finished my bachelor’s degree and made the decision to come in. They didn’t accept it but supported me. They’re proud of me now.”

The person I admire the most: “My dad. He’s always been a good example, always taught me right from wrong and guided me. He’s been a good dad and still is.”

What makes a good leader: “A good leader is someone who wouldn’t tell Soldiers to do things she wouldn’t do herself; someone who takes responsibility for their actions, respects Soldiers and is honest.”

What makes a good Soldier: “Someone who has integrity, willing to accomplish the mission to the best of their ability and treats others the way they would want to be treated.”

Best thing about being a Soldier: “The fact that it’s made me a better person.”

Values: “Family – they’re my everything, my world, my life – and friendship.”

Motivations: “My son because I want to raise him well.”

Goals: “I want to do my service in the Army and get a master’s degree.”

— Compiled by T. Anthony Bell

America’s Military is a weekly column featuring the fighting men and women who are committed to their profession and serve with pride. If you know one of these Military members who are deserving of this recognition, call (804) 734-7190 or e-mail