CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 24 year old 1st Lieutenant in the Texas Army National Guard Karina Reyna is on a mission to help people have food during this pandemic.
And she is doing so via the Coastal Bend Food Bank.
"In my organic unit, I have around 30 soldiers under me" Lt. Reyna says.
When the pandemic hit, volunteering efforts dropped at the Food Bank.
At time where demand for food increased dramatically, they had no help.
In came the Texas National Guard.
"This pandemic has maintained a lot of these soldiers, while everybody was unemployed, they had a good employment" she says.
Lt. Reyna leads 30 soldiers.
"45 is the eldest and then my youngest is 22."
And even though she's a young leader, she's got a great head on her shoulders.
"I'm a very humble person and I like to see my soldiers as a person. To know you are a father to somebody, i know you're a daughter to somebody. You might be a wife, a son. You have a different role when you take off this uniform" she says.
Lt. Reyna serving her country as a thank you to her parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.
"They know how it is in Mexico, so they pushed to make my life easier and it's just my way of saying thank you to them."
But they didn't want their only daughter in the military.
"They were like 'that's for your brother. You can't do that' I was like 'yeah I can.'"
And she did.
She's the first in her family to serve.
Graduating as an officer.
Now a First Lieutenant.
And her dreams have just begun.
Inspiring those that come after her.
"You have to kind of show them yes I'm young, yes I'm a female but I know what I'm doing">
She wants to be a Lieutenant Colonel and while she knows it's not easy getting there, she has plenty of confidence in herself.
"No one can tell you you can't but youself that's the biggest thing. There's a lot of people that join and don't make it so in that aspect I'm like yeah, I'm pretty awesome" with a laugh.
Pretty awesome indeed.
Lt. Reyna is leading this mission, as of now, until September.
By the way,she says her family couldn't be more proud of her.