Why I Serve: Sgt. Megan Perkins finds purpose in helping others

In the military, there are people from all walks of life. Each volunteered to serve the United States for a reason— many times, for multiple reasons.

Army Sgt. Megan Perkins, a combat medic specialist with the Minnesota National Guard’s Cottage Grove-based Charlie Company, 134th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard on April 4th, 2019, to find her purpose in life.

“I have always wanted to join the military,” said Perkins. “After my first year of college, I found myself looking for a greater purpose, something to push me out of my comfort zone completely.”

Perkins recently returned from a deployment to Kuwait in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Afghanistan in support of Operation Allies Refuge. As a medic, she is responsible for administering emergency medical care in combat and humanitarian situations.

“As a medic in the Army, I want to be the person to help my fellow Soldiers on what could be their worst day,” she added. “I want to be the one to get them back home.”

She says her favorite part about serving has been working with the people inside the formation. Serving in the Minnesota National Guard has allowed her to make lifelong friends inside and outside her career field.

“The camaraderie in the military is unmatched,” said Perkins, “and whenever the going gets tough, I always know that there is someone that has my back.”

Last year, Perkins had the unique opportunity to participate in a training event in Norway as part of the Minnesota National Guard’s State Partnership Program with the country.

In 2022, Minnesota and Norway celebrated a half-century of training together and officially became partners through the program. Before that, the Minnesota National Guard had a long relationship with Norway’s Heimevernet, or Home Guard, the DoD’s longest-running military exchange known as the U.S. – Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, or NOREX.

“The highlight of the exchange for me was our time spent skiing and conducting arctic training with the Norwegian Home Guard,” added Perkins. “I learned a lot of valuable survival skills for winter conditions, such as how to layer properly and navigate different terrain.”

Perkins plans to continue her service and reach her goal of becoming a flight paramedic in the military. She says she is glad she decided to join the military and serve in Minnesota.

“It is one of the best decisions I have made,” added Perkins. “I am the only person in my immediate family who has served, and I am incredibly grateful for their unwavering support throughout my years in the military.”

Staff Sgt. Mahsima Alkamooneh
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs