Cancer survivor serves with the 278th

Story by Staff Sgt. Thomas Greene
Photos by Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika
and Staff Sgt. Thomas Greene
278th Armored Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office
13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) Public Affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATION BASE TAJI, Iraq — Twenty three-year-old Spc. Rose Lee Myers has a lot in common with many young soldiers deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but has gone through one experience that is not so common.

The intelligence analyst, deployed to Contingency Operating Base Taji, Iraq with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) and Sweetwater, Tenn., native, said she has been trained well and loves the service.

This is Meyers’ first deployment overseas, but she has fought in a battle before.

Meyers won a personal battle with cancer.

She grew up in Sweetwater attending school and helping with the Family botanical nursery. Her father, Hugh is a retired Soldier, and met and married her mother, Myung-ja while stationed in Korea, Meyers said.

Meyers joined the Tennessee Army National Guard in June 2005 as a member of the Military Intelligence Company, 278th ACR out of Nashville, Tenn., and attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif.

Midway through the 63-week language course, she began hemorrhaging and was taken to the emergency room, where she was told her blood count was one-third what it should be and needed a transfusion immediately.

In June 2007 she was diagnosed with cancer of the uterus and was told it had spread to her lungs.

“The doctors told me that only two percent of women ever had this type of cancer and the cause was unknown,” Meyers said.

Meyers was declared free of the disease after six months of chemotherapy and required to receive only biannual checkups.

In January 2008 she attended the Military Intelligence School at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. and has worked for the 278th ACR ever since.

“Meyers is a very dedicated soldier,” said Master Sgt. Joel Gibbons, intelligence section noncommissioned officer-in-charge of with the 278th ACR. “She is very knowledgeable in her work and is one of our best analysts. I wouldn’t trade her for any other.”

The battle with cancer was scary, she said.

“It made me thankful for every new day” Meyers said. “I feel like faith in God and friends got me through it.”

Meyers offered advice for people facing similar battles, explain that it always gets worse before it gets better.

She said she has worked hard to stay in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

“I just kept fighting because I wanted to stay in,” she said.


news photo
Spc. Rose Lee Myers, an intelligence analyst with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (expeditionary) and a Sweetwater, Tenn., native, stands in front of the regimental mural at Contingency Operating Base Taji, Iraq. Meyers was diagnosed with cancer in June 2007, but battled through and is now free of the disease.