TOPEKA (KSNT) – For Brandy Ruby, her time in the military has taken her to where very few have gone before. With most of her time in the service taking place overseas in South and North Korea.
Brandy’s enthusiasm to join the service was strong from an early age, she enlisted in the Army before reaching 18.
“I graduated in May, my birthday was in July, I wanted to move on and hit the road,” Ruby said. “I didn’t want to stay for another couple of months. I just thought why wait, why not just go.
Brandy joined the Army looking for a challenge and found herself traveling farther than she ever imagined.
“I went in and decided to be a heavy wheel mechanic,” Ruby said, “then I went to South Korea for a while.”
Overseas, he has worked on vehicles of 5 tons or more. Changing tires, batteries, alternators and more, his 3 crew members in the engine pool initially underestimated his ability due to his size.
“Go in and change the tire, and the tire is as tall as I am,” Ruby said. “It was fun to prove them wrong. I think that’s what I needed as someone who was young. I needed to go in and prove my worth to the world and show people what I could do and what I was made of.
He would get a chance to prove himself when his team was sent to North Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.
“At the time, about 20 years ago, it was a really controlled setting,” Ruby said. “Seeing a different way, a different kind of government, the whole thing, the whole experience was really eye-opening for me. Because you’re like oh, that’s a lot different than what we know.
Reflecting on what the act of service means to her, Brandy focuses on the importance of giving back.
“It was really a part of growing up for me,” Ruby said. “By giving America back the way it was given to me, I feel safe and secure being an American.”
Brandy went to study after her time in the army. He is a graduate of Washburn University in Topeka and worked in the local 501 district as an educational instructor.