Until recently, Maj. Heather Herrera’s only extended period of time outside of Fort Collins was the four years of undergraduate college at the University of Arkansas, according to her father, Michael McCormick.
Now Herrera, also a CSU assistant professor of military science, is stationed in the Gulf Region as the commander of Charlie Company, 109 Area Support Medical Battalion assigned to the 62 Medical Brigade and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
“It’s very hard to have her gone,” McCormick said. “(Herrera’s) so far away and out of touch. You can’t pick up a phone and call her.”
Herrera has been with the Army National Guard for 11 years and was called to join the fight in the Gulf January 25, where she will remain for one year. She is part of the Colorado Army National Guard Unit 109 based in Montrose.
Herrera commands about 70 people. She oversees doctors, nurses, EMTs, cooks and maintenance workers, which provide medical support to soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and civilians.
“She is primarily responsible for every one of those personnel,” said Abe Herrera, her husband and a business marketing student at CSU. “Bringing her troops home safely is her primary focus.”
Heather Herrera grew up in Fort Collins. She attended Fort Collins High School and started working at CSU in 1994. She worked as a CSU Police Department officer and is currently an assistant professor of Military Science working with the CSU ROTC program.
Both of Heather Herrera’s parents also work at CSU. Karen McCormick is the special projects coordinator for the Lory Student Center Director’s office and Michael McCormick is the new construction coordinator for Campus Housing.
“We are very proud that she’s serving her country and doing good,” Karen McCormick said. “We support her 100 percent.”
Abe Herrera, a retired command sergeant major for the Army National Guard, said Heather Herrera had no hesitation when she was called up.
“She is very happy with what she’s doing,” he said.
Heather Herrera has reported back that there are thousands of people wearing uniforms there and they are not all American. Also, she has been referred to as “sir” since she arrived in the Gulf Region, especially by Kuwaiti civilian personnel, Abe Herrera said. She also said that it is “damn hot,” reporting temperatures around 116 degrees.
“She would like to say thanks for all the support from students here in ROTC and graduated ROTC,” Abe Herrera said. “She is truly missed at home by all of us, including (her step-daughter) Andrea (Herrera).”