AmericanMilitaryGriffith.jpg

FORT LEE, Va. -- Spc. Erica Griffith 

Unit: Medical Department Activity

Place of duty: Kenner Orthopedic Clinic

MOS: 68B – orthopedic specialist

Age: 23

Time in service: 2 years, 4 months

Hometown: Tallahassee, Fla.

Describe yourself: “I’m very driven and goal-oriented. I usually have a plan for everything. That’s kind of what led me to join the Army. Also, if I have the means, I’m very giving of my time and money.”

What you omitted: “I can be emotional.”

Pastimes: “I am an avid weightlifter. I have actually competed in two bodybuilding shows. I love to lift. I’m down for doing anything in the gym or something outside.”

Worst fear: “Failure, which is something I definitely have to come to terms with frequently. Whether it is a relationship or setting a goal like completing my degree ... I fear the possibility of failing when I give 100 percent of myself, so I tend to avoid it as a coping mechanism.”

Your favorite read: “I’ve read all of the ‘Harry Potter’ series.”

If you could do anything, right here, right now, where and what would that be? “I would go to Australia or something.”

What you believe: “I believe in something bigger than myself.”

One person you admire: “My mom. She has a heart of gold. She will do anything for anyone. She is so very selfless. I hope to be a mother like her one day.”

A celebrity or historical figure you would like to meet: “I would want to meet Jesus, definitely, because I am a person of faith, and I would want to have eyes on him. I’m a visual person, so just seeing him do his work would be awesome for me.”

Your favorite musician: “I would have to say John Mayer. One, he has a gorgeous voice, and you know, he has a way of playing that guitar.”

If you won the lottery … “I would pay off my student loan, pay off any debt my family has, and I would probably donate a huge chunk of it to St. Jude’s (hospital for children) and anything having to do with women and crisis pregnancy situations.”

One life-changing moment: “Having been hit with the realization (in high school) of who I was as a young woman, who I was in Christ and using my experiences to help others. That’s what kind of led to me going into the medical field and joining the Army. I wanted to serve others because I had been served by others who, honestly, helped me at a time when I didn’t want to help myself.”

Talk about your upbringing: “My brother and I are both in the military. He’s at Fort Bragg (N.C.) right now. My mom and dad were not in the Army. We had some family members who were in the military. We’re not really a military family. We both just wanted to serve. I had a really good upbringing. I played volleyball starting when I was 11, and was always involved in some sport, whether it was track, softball or volleyball. The best thing about my childhood was that my parents were discretionary enough to keep a distance from my brother and me to allow us to make our own mistakes. That’s definitely how we learned the most.”

How you crossed paths with the Army: “My brother wanted to join for the longest and had the hardest time getting in. It took him like two years. I played volleyball and was active in sports, but he kind of got me going in terms of pushing me and having me push myself in the gym. When thoughts of the military and the need to serve others surfaced, I wanted to be a part of something I knew would push me.”

Talk about the expectations: “I’ve seen expectations fulfilled through others, but I personally haven’t found it yet. I realize, however, every sergeant major starts at the bottom of the totem pole, so it just takes time to work your way up.”

What you like about your job: “I like that as an orthopedic specialist, I get to help in some way, shape or form.”

Worst part of your job: “I don’t feel challenged.” (Griffith said the pace in her clinic is sporadic, and slow days can be tedious.)

What it means to wear the uniform: “It means being prideful and being a professional, especially to those who aren’t in and who don’t know what it’s like to serve.”

Worst thing about the Army: “(Laugh) You’re at the mercy of your higher-ups, regardless of whether things make sense or not – like having to do PT even if you have a 300 (PT) score. You still have to do it.”

Where you see yourself in five years? “I would be close to or finished with my degree. I also would be an officer, married and have a family.”