Class of '14
2nd Lieutenant in the South Dakota National Guard
Julieanne Morse, 2nd Lieutenant in the South Dakota National Guard, deployed to Afghanistan during her third year of college at BHSU. That experience, combined with her education, opened her eyes to many possible career paths. She’s now focused on serving at the national level – perhaps even at the Pentagon.
In 2012 Julieanne told her family and friends she received her orders to serve overseas. She also shared the information with her mentor and photography professor at BHSU, Steve Babbitt. Steve suggested she take self-portraits while preparing for deployment to build a portfolio for a senior-level class in Contemporary Issues.
“It’s an emotional rollercoaster when you realize you’re going to another country that’s war-torn. You never know what you’re going to come out of there like,” said Julieanne.
She heard from her professor throughout her time overseas and he encouraged her to continue capturing images for the portfolio.
“I was a photojournalist overseas, that was my job,” said Julieanne. “I took pictures on mission, I took pictures off mission. I was always taking pictures!”
Julieanne says she remembers using photography to relax during deployment, capturing time-lapse and long-exposure photographs. Looking back on those photos now, Julieanne says she always sees something new.
“After I returned to the states, I remember Steve looking at the photo of me and my buddy in the bunker. I explained that we were taking cover from indirect fire, that the base was getting hit at that time,” she said. “It was initially very difficult to look at the images, but it definitely helped me with re-integrating and getting back to normal life in the states.”
In both preparing for deployment and re-integrating, Julieanne says faculty, staff and fellow military students at BHSU supported and helped her with student loan paperwork, registering for classes, and navigating the re-entry process.
With her mass communication degree from BHSU, Julieanne is able to pursue the rank of captain in the National Guard.
“My next big goal is serving at the national level in the military, for the National Guard Bureau or at the Pentagon,” said Julieanne. “That’s where I’m aiming for next.”