Spc. Vannak Kuy

Spc. Vannak Kuy, 111th QM Company

Unit: 111th Quartermaster Company, 11th Transportation Battalion, 7th Trans. Brigade (Expeditionary)

Military occupational specialty: 92M – mortuary affairs specialist

Home: San Diego

Age: 25

Time in service: three and a half years

Describe your personality: “I’m happy, positive, outgoing, patient and outdoorsy – not like a homebody.”

Pastimes: “I like going to Richmond and eating out.”

Favorite foods: “I like Asian foods from Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.”

Pet peeves: “My greatest one is when people don’t do things right the first time.”

Dream car: “It changes from time to time. Right now, it’s the 2018 Kia Stinger GT2.”

Dream vacation: “I guess backpacking all around Europe.”

Your talent: “Bringing happiness to a crowd.” 

If you won the lottery … “I would help my family out first, donate to some charities, invest and try to figure out life.”

The historical figure or celebrity you would like to meet: “Abraham Lincoln. I’d want to sit and talk with him one-to-one and figure out what his perspectives are on the world and why he chose to make certain decisions.”

When and where you were the happiest? “I’d say I’m pretty happy now. I’m further along than I was years ago.”

One defining moment: “When I came out as a LGBT person (2015). That was the moment my life and mind processes changed.”

Greatest achievement: “Getting to where I am now versus four years ago when I was on the verge of homelessness. The military helped me pave a path toward my future.”

Talk about being homeless: “We were moving state to state. More specifically, we were moving from California to Wisconsin. I am the oldest of nine and took care of my younger siblings. My mother was present for legal reasons, but she wasn’t a day-to-day parent. My dad got deported. I had to step up and (become the adult). I dropped out of high school right before my senior year was over. I worked and provided for my family. It came easy to me. When my siblings got older, they got jobs. After that, I went back to San Diego and got my high school diploma. I then went to Arizona where my siblings had moved because they were struggling. My biological mother and I were having issues, so she kicked me out. That’s when I joined the military.”

Thoughts about joining the Army: “It wasn’t a last resort, but it was something I thought could get me somewhere. My uncle was in the Army.”

Why you chose the mortuary affairs MOS: “At first, the recruiters tried to talk me out of it, but I wanted to learn about the human body before I went into the medical field.” (Editor’s note: mortuary affairs Soldiers also help to perform autopsies.)

What you love about your job: “Having the opportunity to go on different missions to help other countries.”

What it means to wear the uniform: “You’re are honoring America, what it stands for and all of the Soldiers who came before us. We wouldn’t be where we are now if they didn’t serve the country.”

Best thing about the Army: “The people you meet from every corner of the world. They come from different backgrounds and have different stories, and you learn through them.”

What your future holds: “Within the next seven months to a year, there are a few certifications I want to earn. One of them is a 12-week cybersecurity certification. I can work as a DOD contractor. My higher aspiration is to get a degree in the medical field, not as a doctor or something like that, but as a hospital administrator.”