Veronica Bell, United States Army (retired),
Corp of Engineers, Purple Heart Recipient
This month we’re excited to honor and salute retired U.S. Army Captain Veronica Bell, a true hero who has bravely answered the call of duty to serve and protect our state and our nation. Ret. Captain Bell is also a Purple Heart recipient, and we could not be more proud to share her story.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Capt. Bell is a proud graduate of Byrd High School. Upon graduating, she joined the U.S. Army Reserves, and after only two drill weekends she received orders to deploy to Europe in support of the war in Bosnia. She served for one year in Heidelberg, Germany and then returned to the United States to work in the private sector. After about a year, she transitioned to the Active Guard Reserve as a full time Army soldier. Her assignments included Amarillo, TX, San Pablo, CA, Fort Knox, KY, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and Weirton, WV. Among her many accomplishments, she became the first woman to command the 336th Engineer Company. In 2003, Capt. Bell was deployed to Iraq, which is when she was assigned to the 974th Quartermaster Company and was wounded when an IED exploded near a vehicle in which she was a passenger. She suffered hearing loss and shrapnel wounds and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. After twelve long months of “boots on the ground”, she prepared to board an aircraft to leave Iraq but received word that her orders had been changed and her tour of duty had been extended for six more months. In 2008, she received her commission as a 1st Lieutenant and in 2018, she retired at the rank of Captain with 24 years of service to our nation. Grateful to be alive, realizing she is here to make a difference and with a heart for service, Capt. Bell moved back home to Shreveport in 2019. She is active in numerous volunteer organizations, an entrepreneur with her own business and is employed at LA Workforce Development as the local Veterans Employment Representative.
While women make up less than two percent of the U.S. Military, their service and sacrifice help keep our country free for 100 percent of Americans. We owe Capt. Bell and others just like her a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay.