HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On one of America’s darkest and tragic days, Lauren Bristol decided she wanted to commit to military service.
“September 11th happened my junior year of high school. After seeing those events, I just wanted to do something, anything,” said Bristol. “So, that was kind of my push.”
As soon as she graduated, Bristol joined the NRTOC at Vanderbilt University. “I did that for the four years of college and became an active duty nurse corp officer,” said the Hendersonville veteran. “After that, I spent 5 ½ years on active duty, and I am currently in the active reserve and have a little more than 13 years.”
During her military service, Bristol met her husband. “I met my husband through serving in the Navy. I learned a lot about leadership, teamwork most importantly we talk about honor, commitment, and courage.”
Her husband, Hendersonville Master Patrol Office Spencer Bristol, was tragically killed in the line of duty one year ago. In the ten years they spent together, they bonded over their passion for giving back. That’s now something she shares with their four-year-old daughter, Eloise.
Bristol said they always went back to his high school for Veterans Day events. “It’s kind of exciting that we can carry on that tradition because she always saw her dad put on his uniform and kind of go back to his high school and things like that. So, it’s something we’re both excited that we can carry on for him.”
This year, Bristol will step into the role of Grand Marshal for Hendersonville’s annual Veteran’s Day Parade.
“Eloise is very excited to be able to kind of go through the parade,” she said. “She’s excited to wave and have candy – things like that, but definitely an absolute honor to represent veterans.”
Several sacrifices come with service. Bristol said it’s worth it. She hopes to inspire and teach the younger generation that anything is possible.
With Veterans Day around the corner, News 2 has special reports to honor the men and women of the military. Watch our half-hour special ‘Veterans Voices: Honoring Those Who Serve’ Sunday, November 8th at 12:30pm.
Then on Wednesday, News 2’s Alex Denis givs you a rare look inside Fort Campbell. See how men and women of the 101st Airborne Division prepare for the call of duty. Special reports will air all day in every newscast.