Laura Lane describes herself as "the most unlikely Marine who ever raised her hand to take an oath." Her fiancé William, however, sees things differently.

In nominating Laura for this month's Vet Who Rocks, William says that because she's a woman, the former Marine had to work twice as hard but still succeeded in "far surpassing her peers." Lane was an honor grad in boot camp, received three Navy Achievement medals and still found time to be a mentor for the kids on base at 29 Palms School.

Before announcing to everyone that she was joining the military, the self-proclaimed "overweight foster kid from Red Hook" played the flute and wrote for the school newspaper.

I was consistently picked last in gym class. People were shocked - it seemed so outrageous.  My sanity was questioned.  I was told I was throwing opportunities away.

None of that mattered to Lane, though. She says she knew what she wanted and believed that she had the strength to get herself there.  "I lost the weight I needed to in order to ship to boot camp and off I went."  This was the beginning of a highly successful four-year tour in the United States Marine Corps as a Legal Services Specialist for the JAG.  But after making it to Sergeant and completing four years, Lane knew she had to go back to New York and take care of her family.

William says the veteran went right from military life to taking custody of her two younger siblings and raising them until they were old enough to be able to live on their own. Lane says the decision to sacrifice her successful military career for family was "easy."  And that willingness to put others first continues today.

As a Program Coordinator for Literacy Connections, Lane teaches the illiterate to read and English as a second language. The former Marine says still takes her oath seriously. "I help where I can, when I can. I am able to do just that by helping people to read, write and reach their full potential."

If there's a veteran in your life you'd like us to recognize for the WPDH Vets Who Rock program, you can nominate them right here. Each month, one veteran is selected to win a $500 gift card courtesy of Tompkins-Mahopac Bank, MHA of Dutchess County and Unity Ambulette.

WPDH Vets Who Rock Honorees