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Veterans Day: Honoring One of Our Own!

If you’ve spent any time at Pioneer this year – it’s likely you’ve met our Store Manager, Ashley. Her colorful hair and intricate tattoos catch your eye but what makes you remember her, is her extensive product knowledge and her cheerful attitude. What many might not know about Ash is that she proudly served our country within the US Army. On this Veteran’s Day we thank her for her service and offer you a spotlight on one of Pioneer’s most valued team members!

Tell us About Yourself: Hi! I’m Ash, your local cannabis connoisseur! I started in the cannabis industry about 12 years ago as a budtender in Hollywood, California and have been heavily involved ever since. Besides weed; I enjoy traveling, food, music, and good company. A few of my hobbies include snowboarding, skateboarding, trying to play the drums, and video games. I’m happily married and a proud mom of 3 furbabies!

Tell us about your time in the military? I joined the Army on my 17th birthday, my mom actually had to sign a parental release. I took the rest of my high school classes in summer school so that I could graduate early and head to boot camp. I scored very high on my ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test) and planned to become a pilot, however the military offered a very large bonus to learn a vital MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). My first MOS was 92W, Water Purification Specialist. I learned how to set up, test, and use reverse osmosis systems in the field, to get clean water to those in need. My second MOS was 25Q, Multichannel Transmissions Systems Operator-Maintainer. I was responsible for installing, repairing, and operating radio, satellite, and multichannel transmissions. I would also set up transmitters, receivers, cable modems, and ultra-high frequency antennas.

What made you join? I moved to Las Vegas (from Massachusetts) when I was 13 and found the school systems to be very slow moving and boring, compared to my previous education. I wanted to travel the world and have an opportunity to go to college, but my family didn’t come from much so I knew I had to find a way to make this happen. I was playing a lot of Call of Duty video games at the time and realized I could be a part of that comradery in real life and fulfill my dream of being a pilot. All signs pointed toward joining and serving my country.

Did you spend time overseas? My unit was activated to go to Afghanistan around 2013. I sold my car and ended the lease on my apartment. We had 3 months of additional desert training in California preparing, I received all of my overseas shots (including Anthrax), and was ready to mobilize. At the last minute, my Commander asked me to be on the Rear Detachment. This meant staying in Las Vegas to help with paperwork and anything needed to help the deployed families while they were away. It was surreal to prepare for war and then be told you don’t have to go. I felt guilty that my battle buddies would all be there without me, but I did my best to fulfill my new mission and take care of them from afar.

Proudest Moment in the Service? I had a lot of them, but I think graduating boot camp with one of the highest basic rifle marksmanship scores and as a distinguished honor graduate are at the top of the list. My mom and grandmother were both there for the closing ceremony and making them proud was the best feeling in the world.

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