Melia Meichelbock served as a Civil Affairs Sergeant in the United States Army Reserve Special Operations Command from 2000-2008. She served in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) I and OIF II, where she helped to facilitate the country’s first free election process. Melia received the Army Commendation Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal for her service in Iraq.
Melia currently works as a marketing executive in the financial industry. She is a life-long learner, obtaining her doctorate degree in psychology and her master’s in business degree post deployment. She enjoys writing, reading, and volunteering; and enjoys regular visits with her family to their cabin in the mountains where they hike, fish, and bike.
A Personal Note from the Author about her Iraq Memoir
Looking back on my experiences in Iraq I now understand the phrase “it was the best of times and the worst of times.” Never in my life did I have so much fear, anger, and confusion, yet at the same time also experience the most freedom, joy, and comradery.
I began my journey alone. From day one I was isolated. There was a mix up with my orders. So while my battalion went off to Kuwait to continue training, I was sent directly to Baghdad, alone. Soon after, I was assigned to a new battalion where I knew and trusted no one. My battalion began an investigation against my former company commander for misconduct and I was caught in the middle.
This journal follows me from day to day as I tried to survive and do my best to fit in to a world far from anything I had ever known. I searched for something to read before I left for Iraq, something that could tell me what to expect. There was nothing. My vision in publishing this journal is to give female soldiers an idea of what to expect when deploying, and to also give civilians insight to what life was really like over there. It’s a viewpoint far different from anything a reporter could tell you—a very personal one.
A Personal Note from the Author about The Fork in the Galaxy
The characters in my Collection of stories are near and dear to my heart. Some of these characters I started work on twenty years ago, only to step away from and come back years later to revisit. Other characters are new and reflective of my life and the people I know today. Each story in the collection is different, and I suspect everyone will have their favorites. Some stories may make you think, some may make you laugh, and some may make you cry. Above all I hope they help you forget your day job for a spell and slip into a new world of imagination. In other words, stop and smell the roses of possibility.