FORT HOOD, Texas (FOX 44) – Living in a military community means celebrating the history and legacy of past and present Soldiers.

Two active duty Soldiers at different points in their career spoke to us at FOX 44 News about what it means to, one day, be a veteran.

“People always ask me like, ‘When did you want to become a Soldier?’ And I guess I never thought about doing anything other than that,” says 1st Lt. Cameron Curtin.

1st Lt. Curtin went on to say that his grandfather, a veteran officer of the Air Force, is the one who set the example for his military career. He has seen the change in the way veterans are treated and the resources that are now available when compared to his grandfather’s stories.

“He wasn’t in combat, but he’d see infantrymen come back, and they were treated really negatively,” says 1st Lt. Curtin. “It’s funny to talk to him about it now, because now I walk around, especially places like Texas, and it’s almost like I need to hide that I’m in the military because everyone’s always saying thank you for your service.”

In the same office is Sgt. 1st Class Miranda Ryan, whose Army career has spanned almost 20 years and began when she was just 17. Although she is about to hit her career mark, she has no plans of leaving the active duty life.

“You know, as a young Soldier, I always thought, ‘Oh, I’ll do a few years and stay longer,'” says Sgt. 1st Class Ryan. “Even as a very young NCO, I thought, ‘Once I hit 20, I’ll be ready.’ And I’m definitely not. So I guess I’ll just know when it comes that time.”

Her time in Korea and her time at the NCO Academy is where she felt like she made the largest impact on others. The best moment of her career?

“Probably the day I came home from my first deployment. That was a great day for me, because it was a it was a very, very crazy time, you know? In the war,” says Sgt. 1st Class Ryan. “So there was a lot of stuff that, you know, I’ve seen and experienced. And I was only 18 at the time.”

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan says she is grateful for the experiences she’s had and the changes she has seen in resources for active duty service members and veterans.

1st Lt. Curtin echoed her remarks – also thanking those who have stepped up to make those resources possible.

“Those are all from the veterans,” says 1st Lt. Curtin. “Most of it is from guys who came back and didn’t have anything. And I’m so grateful for them – being that expanded community.”