A fortuitous encounter between a food delivery driver and an Army brigadier general set the driver onto a path that culminated with her May 11 graduation from basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Pfc. Patricia Limbaga, an immigrant from the Philippines, was working for the food delivery company DoorDash when she crossed paths with Brig. Gen. Richard A. Harrison, the deputy chief of staff at Army Training and Doctrine Command, after the officer put in an order for two Subway sandwiches.
Limbaga wanted to join the armed forces, she told Harrison, but her struggles with learning English were preventing success on the military aptitude exam.
“This young lady was just about ready to give up her Army journey,” Harrison told ABC Columbia. “And she came by my house to deliver DoorDash … and she got out of the car and walked towards me and said, ‘Oh my God you’re a sign from God.’”
Harrison introduced Limbaga to the Army’s Future Soldier Prep Course, which helps candidates raise their performance physically or academically so they can enlist.
“That afternoon, he was a clear sign … the sign,” Limbaga said, according to an Army release. “It was a star sign.”
Limbaga arrived at Fort Jackson three weeks before her fellow recruits to participate in the prep course and the hard work paid off.
Harrison, who previously served as the commandant of the Army’s Air Defense Artillery School, traveled from Fort Eustis, Virginia, to see Limbaga graduate alongside soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment.
“He guided me not as a [s]oldier, but like his own daughter,” Limbaga said of Harrison’s support throughout her enlistment process. “He lifted me up and gave me hope.”
Limbaga is now slated to head to Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia, to train as a culinary specialist.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media
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