To the Color: A NIDA Employee Honors the Nation’s Veterans

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Josie Anderson

Eleven years ago, I enlisted in the United States Air Force and learned how to recite the Core Values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in all we do.

Over the next 10 years, I learned what it meant to uphold those values while serving as a combat correspondent and broadcast journalist. My job was to tell the Air Force Story through the lens of a camera and support my fellow service members. It was the best job in the world.

Every day, I woke up to the song of our Nation resonating in my head. Every mission, I was challenged to answer our Nation’s call to serve, both overseas and here at home.

I travelled to 15 countries and heard hundreds of stories from the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and military families I met along the way. I was allowed to capture their experiences with my camera, and I was entrusted with sharing these moments with the world.

I am not able to express any greater honor than in being a veteran serving my fellow veterans.

A year ago, I chose a different kind of public service: I joined the NIDA team. Now, I support NIDA public affairs. My “weapon” is the same, and my mission is similar.

Today, I help to bring the “power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.” Our scope is global, and our vision helps provide the tools needed to be informed, healthy citizens. Most of the videos I shoot and edit are on the NIDA for Teens site and NIDA TV section of our main site.

I still wake up every day to the song of our Nation; I still answer its call.

To all those who have served, and continue to serve, we know our mission doesn’t end when the last bugle calls.


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