WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Newschannel 6 recognized a USAF Master Sergeant who has served our country for nearly 20 years.
Raneisha Russum enlisted in 1998.
"I've always known that I was going to be Air Force," she said.
Russum came from a military family and could not wait to serve her country. Her career began in Arizona and took her to Korea, Nevada and then Sheppard Air Force Base.
"I've done nine different deployments to places like Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan," she said.
The single mother of three boys spent some time away from her oldest son who is now 17 years old.
"It really took an emotional toll on him that I think he still deals with today because I missed all the formative years. I deployed for the first time when he was less than one. At one point in time between deployments and remotes I didn't even see him for two years," she said.
In 2011, Raneisha was new to Wichita Falls and only months after arriving she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I've seen her go through the hardest part of her life, and she has done nothing but overcome the obstacles that she's faced," family friend, Sierra Wells said.
"Fortunately, I had some friends and my church family that kind of just took us in and adopted us and helped us through those problems," Russum said.
In 2014, Russum had a stroke and had recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. But these things are not keeping her down.
"It's all what you make it, but I have a lot of faith. My spirit is a big part of my life so I just kind of pray through it," she said.
Post retirement Russum is planning to move closer to family and pursue her passion for teaching. On top of being a mother of three and her medical issues, Russum has received seven degrees and is working on her eighth, a master's in education.
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