Soldier surprises kids, siblings with early return at school

When Private Alexandria Downing returned home from basic training to surprise her siblings at school, it was a special moment for her.

Seeing how much they had grown and their support from each of them was touching, but the best part for PVT Downing was knowing that she was setting a good example for them. Prior to joining the National Guard, Private Downing admits she wasn’t headed in the right direction and that she wanted more for her siblings and step-children.

“I was not on the greatest path, just growing up still young, still trying to get there, school just wasn’t working out so well,” said Downing.

Private Downing explain how she had to overcome different obstacles and health issues to achieve her dream of serving in the military.

“Being back and giving these kids something to look up to–now my youngest son even says he wants to join one day,” she said. “I just want to show them, you don’t have to be a statistic. You can do whatever you put your mind to.”

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