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Soldier gets degree, returns as officer
Dorothy Trimmer with her recruiter and her former chief
2nd Lt. Dorothy Trimmer sits with Army recruiter SFC. Liz Cimaglio to sign enlistment paperwork as Trimmer’s former Army chief, Warrant Officer Gregory Cartledge watches Thursday at Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones

That one word describes Dorothy Trimmer best, her friends say.
Most of them have known her since she was an enlisted soldier with what used to be the 3rd Infantry Division’s Alpha Co., 703rd Division Support Command.
“I knew her when she was 23 years old,” her former platoon sergeant Lisa Keesen said.
“She was a petroleum supply specialist at the time,” she continued.
For three years, beginning in 2001, Trimmer worked under the direction of Keesen.
To her, Trimmer was the kind of soldier and comrade any non-commissioned officer would love.
“She definitely wasn’t a problem soldier,” Keesen said. “She was driven and always stayed focused on her tasks.”

 That’s why Keesen, who has since retired from the Army, said that when Trimmer requested she drive from her North Carolina home to be there to watch her re-enlist in the Army a second time, she jumped at the opportunity.   
“I drove six hours to see Dorothy get commissioned, I wouldn’t have done that for anyone else,” she said jokingly in a hall at Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center.
The center was where Trimmer, 31, chose to take the oath of a U.S. Army officer on Thursday.
She had earned an associate degree from the center in 2005 and was a work-study student at the center’s veterans affairs office for two years while taking classes for her degree.
“For me to stand here,” she told friends, AASU professors and advisers after officially becoming a second lieutenant in the Army, “the joy can only come from being with the people who supported my decision.”  
“I could not have done it without your support.”
Trimmer decided to leave the Army in 2004 to pursue a career in nursing. Her objective was to get her degree and re-join the Army.
Her husband, Sgt. John Trimmer, said she had always wanted to do it.
“Her life dream has always been to be in the Army Med Corp,” he said.
But Trimmer said her dream did not always seem within reach. There were times when she said she was too afraid, fearful of how tough the next four years would be.
“I remember I was walking through the PX and I was telling myself, ‘I can’t do this.’ I was too used to getting that ensured paycheck.”
A nudge from a friend helped push her back in the right direction.
“Sgt. Keesen stopped me and said, ‘you’re going to get out and get your [expletive] in school’,” she said.
It didn’t take much more convincing. Despite there being instances of struggle, Trimmer said she did what she had to do.
“I wasn’t there to make friends,” she told the crowd. “I was there to reach my goal.”
And she did.
Trimmer graduated in May from AASU with a 3.3 gpa and a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, which she will use in her renewed military career.
Keesen said she is not surprised.
“I knew she would not stay pumping gas,” she said. “I can see her guiding other soldiers to move in the same direction she went in — moving forward.”

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