Military Hero For August

Lydia Polanco served with the U.S. Army in Iraq

Military Hero 8 31

Our Military Hero for August is Lydia Polanco.

Lydia Oolanco is this month’s Military Hero. In her career of service, Lydia Polanco has worked for the Texas Department Of Corrections, Child Protective Services, and Texas DPS.

“I always wanted to work in education, also law enforcement”, said Polanco. “When I started working in the prison system I met a lot of offenders who told me they wished they had someone who had guided them and steered them in the right way. I started wanting to be in the service because my uncles were in the military. They were all able to help others. ”

When Polanco was a DPS trooper, she joined the Army Reserves in 2000. Three years later, she was deployed to Iraq, where she stayed until 2004.

“We were in danger every day,” said Polanco. “We had to drive unsupported through Iraq. Here being with the 288th, our vehicles were not reinforced. They were older vehicles. We went through Iraq at the beginning of the war, so we were not told when a battle was not in front of you or what you’re driving into. Also, even though we were not really on the front lines, we were support staff if we were on a base. Being on a base you were usually attacked and it’s the other forces that have to protect you. You were always able to receive incoming and you’re never really aware when it’s going to happen until the alarm sounds.”

During her time there, Polanco helped build a water plant in southeast Iraq.

“It was reverse osmosis water purification,” said Polanco. “What we did is we got water from the Euphrates and we purified the water. Usually they start spinning it off, you get rid of all your heavy particles first, and then it goes through a series of filters and then we get to sanitize the water. After the sanitation process, we basically ran a gas station, but it was a water station. People could go in there and fill a simple bottle of water up to a five thousand gallon bag of water.”

Polanco is now in her fourth year as a Spanish teacher at Howell Middle School. Polanco’s next goal is to get her PHD in psychology. As she looks to the future, Lydia Polanco appreciates her past in the military.

“It’s helped me to be a stronger woman,” said Polanco. “It’s given to me a lot of coping mechanisms to where we know that no matter what we go through we can always continue and keep surviving.”

To nominate a Military Hero come to our website, – we want to hear from you.

Thank you to Lydia Polanco and all military veterans out there for the sacrifices made for our freedoms as Americans.

Don Brubaker KAVU-TV – 25 News N