EVERETT, Wash. -- Just a month after the Pentagon lifted all restrictions on women in combat, a Snohomish County teen is already on a mission to serve her country from the front lines.
"I will be there, I will make America proud," Loren Ross said, smiling.
Loren is already making her hometown of Monroe proud by becoming the second woman in the nation to enlist in the Army and commit to combat infantry units.
"When I told her that the infantry was open, her face lit up like a Christmas tree," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Hyde at the Everett Army Career Center. "She was extremely excited. She didn't want to hear about any other jobs. She was convinced that she was the job she wants."
The 17-year-old reports to basic training in June 2017, so she has one year to prepare. And she is doing that at the Everett Army Career Center.
"I prepare every day. I go out there and get my stuff done. Sergeant pushes me to my limits," Loren said.
Army Staff Sgt, Carl Pleimann said, "I feel great about it. It's giving women an opportunity to do something that was previously closed to them."
Loren isn't the only Washington woman on a mission. According tot he News Tribune of Tacoma, a Port Orchard woman took an oath of enlistment to join an Army armored brigade. And Military.com reports the Army could have as many as 44 female infantry officers by this time next year.
Loren said she's making the commitment not only to be part of history, but also to carry on a tradition -- many of the men in her family served, too.
"They were infantry men; some were in the Navy, some were in the Marines, one was in the Air Force," she said.
"I feel pumped, I'm ready and America will be proud," Loren declared with a smile.