Sot graduated from Alexandria's Thomas Edison High School in 2006 and later enlisted with the U.S. Navy. She is now serving as an aviation ordnanceman and spoke with The Washington Examiner from aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Truman in the Gulf of Oman, where the ship is supporting operations in Afghanistan. Sot, 21, and husband Joshua Harding reside in Alexandria with their two children, Caleb, 2, and 1-year-old Kayce.

Why did you join the Navy?

I saw what was going on in the world and I was tired of hearing people complain. I didn't want to be one of them, so I decided to join.

When did you decide?

When I was 20, it had been on my mind. [The Navy] made me feel like I could help the world, help America, and it sounded fun. And they teach you how to shoot and that was cool. I decided to join when the economy started to go down.

How is it being away from your children?

When I came back [from boot camp] my kids didn't know who I was, they were so afraid that they cried and both hid behind my mother. That broke my heart. I finally got my daughter to open up to me a month before we pulled out, but now that we are gone and won't be back for seven months, I know I will have to build another bond with my kids.

Is this your first time on a ship?

Yes. Actually, I'm not too good with water. I do like swimming, but if I can't see the ground, it kind of frightens me a little bit.

What are you going to do when you get home?

First, I want to go to McDonald's. That really is my plan. I really want to see the family, see the kids, see my husband. And go to a spa. I'm still a girl.

-- Scott McCabe