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Published: Monday, 5/5/2008

3 Ohio sisters enlist in Army National Guard

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Tavissa Granger, 24, center, of Newtown joins her sisters Domanie, left, and Maewellyn in the Ohio Army National Guard. Tavissa was sworn in April 24 in Columbus. Tavissa Granger, 24, center, of Newtown joins her sisters Domanie, left, and Maewellyn in the Ohio Army National Guard. Tavissa was sworn in April 24 in Columbus.
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COLUMBUS - A University of Cincinnati medical student overcame an initial case of nerves to join her two sisters in enlisting in the Ohio Army National Guard, making the trio a rarity, a Guard spokesman said.

Tavissa Granger, 24, took the oath April 24 after her older sister, Domanie, gave her a pep talk. "We finally got her to come in," Domanie said. "We've kind of been after her for a bit."

The three women all have joined since July. Domanie, 27, is training to be an officer and hopes to serve on Apache helicopters, while Maewellyn, 20, is an international affairs student.

"Nobody's more surprised than I am," said their father, David, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

The trio from Newtown in suburban Cincinnati may be the first set of three sisters ever to enlist in the Ohio National Guard, Maj. Nicole Gabriel said.

A total of 1,344 of the Guard's 9,677 enlisted members are women, she said.

"I'm thrilled. Get out there and do something," said their mother, Rebecca.

Tavissa is scheduled to begin nine weeks of basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, on May 20. After that, she'll undergo 16 weeks of initial active duty training specializing in health care at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

Tavissa will get the first half of her $20,000 signing bonus once she finishes basic training. She'll also receive full tuition and up to $1,400 a month in pay during school and will get the second half of her bonus after three years of service.

During school, Tavissa must train one weekend a month and two weeks every summer. Her air defense unit likely will be activated for homeland security duties in Washington - possibly in 2010.

"It's definitely a scary thought, especially since there's so much unknown in that," she said about the possibility of participating in combat. "It's definitely something that makes me nervous. Hopefully, the benefits outweigh the negative aspects."



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