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Soldier finds healing, support, and new mission from Army family during recovery:When Army veteran Monemany Xaysana walks into a room, the first thing you notice is her contagious smile. The Virginia native has a bubbly personality that stands in contrast to the true grit she’s shown in showcasing the obstacles life has thrown her way.

A few years ago, Xaysana — who goes by “Mimi” — was a typical college student: preparing to graduate from George Mason University with a degree in sociology and trying to figure out her next steps.

“All I knew was school,” Xaysana said. “After I got my bachelors, I was like, ‘What do I want to do now?'”

Unsure about pursuing the additional education and clinical work required to advance in sociology, Xaysana sought the advice of her boyfriend at the time — a Marine — who encouraged her to join military.

“I always wanted to help people. So I figured what better way than joining the coolest team ever?” Xaysana laughed.

It was a path less traveled within her family. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Laos, making her a first generation American. Nonetheless, she accepted the call to serve without hesitation.

Unfortunately, her military career ended before she ever made it to her unit.

After completing basic training in 2016, she found herself with a strange, constant pain in her left knee.

“I thought maybe I just needed to stretch out, maybe I was sore,” Xaysana said.

An x-ray revealed a mass growing in her leg. At 24 years old, Xaysana was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer typically seen in children that begins in the bones.

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Soldier finds healing, support, and new mission from Army family during recovery:When Army veteran Monemany Xaysana walks into a room, the first thing you notice is her contagious smile. The Virginia native has a bubbly personality that stands in contrast to the true grit she’s shown in s

Soldier finds healing 

howcasing the obstacles life has thrown her way.