After 31 years of a career that involved serving during the wars in Iraq, a Moss Bluff Army reservist is retiring.
Michelle Hagerich got into the Army Reserve right out of high school. Her father said if she wanted to go to college, she needed to earn her way. She's glad she did.
"Just the opportunity to experience other cultures and experience life in other places that you've always lived in. And the opportunities that the military has afforded me and my family is life lasting."
Hagerich served through many conflicts, helping command one unit in 2003.
"We readied the troops to be deployed overseas. So my units basically handled training, medical, any of the finances, getting them situated via to their family needs. Prior to them getting ready to go overseas."
During that period, Hagerich had to leave her three boys at home.
"They were always supportive. They never really asked why I had to go. I know that's what they were thinking. It was always an understanding that Mom's going away because she's going to help or do Army work, as they would call it when they were a lot younger."
She also left behind a classroom of 6 and 7 year olds who had plenty of questions.
"It was definitely something for us to communicate about and for me to teach them about what serving in military forces really is. And for them to truly understand what commitment and value that we have for living in this country.
Michelle Hagerich retired from the Army Reserve this past weekend with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
Hagerich will continue teaching at Western Heights Elementary in Westlake.