Veterans Voices

Veteran’s Voice: Small town farm girl turns hero

Local News

Diane Martin grew up on a farm outside of Dickinson with eight siblings. She’s the only one who decided to go to the military.

“So this little farm girl, coming from the south of Southheart, coming to the big city of Bismarck to go to the airport for the first time,” says Martin.

At 17 years old, Diane’s mind was set on going to college. While visiting with her high school counselor, this small town girl was introduced to the armed forces.

“He said we need your parents income tax and land prices were sky high, I saw this poster on the wall and it said ‘Uncle Sam wants you’ and not knowing what Uncle Sam was, he explained it was from the military,” says Martin.

Her father was not thrilled at her decision, but Diane said she knows he was proud. Shortly after signing paperwork, she was off to basic in Fort Dix in New Jersey.

“My father was very old fashioned, women didn’t do things like that. They got married, had babies, cooked, cleaned,” says Martin.

In August of 1985 she signed up to go on a 3 week tour, to Korea.

“It was so exciting. We worked out of a cave and you would never know it was a cave,” explains Martin.

While in the military, Diane served as administrative assistant. In this role she was able to do more than just complete paperwork, she was able to be a mother figure.

“Watching kids come in and they have the world by the tail and then they come to reality like what did I get myself into,” says Martin.

She was able to retire in July of 1999. Diane and her husband Kim now have three sons, two of which decided to follow in their mother’s footsteps and enlist.

“I think that’s probably the biggest take back from the military, it teaches you to be respectable and how to be compassionate to a degree, and strong ethics,” says Martin.

Diane did eventually attend college at BSC to pursue a legal assistant degree.

“In between being a farm child and in the military, it brought me to a whole different perspective of life,
but the only thing that kept me going is my father taught me, ‘you’re not a quitter,'” says Martin.

Martin now lives in Bismarck and says she’s very proud to be an American.

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