<bt>Capt. Michelle Harriss is serving in Baghdad with the Army's 3rd Division, 3rd Brigade. She was sent to Kuwait on New Year's Day. Harriss and her troops crossed the Iraqi border on March 20. She took part in the victories at Hussein Airport and the City of Baghdad. This was Harriss' second service to an area in conflict. She was deployed to Israel in 1998-99.
Although Harriss' mother and stepfather, Elaine and Jack Garretson of Springfield, watched as the war progressed and tried to track their daughter's whereabouts through the news, they had not heard from Harriss until recently, when they began receiving phone calls and e-mails from their daughter.
Harriss was a member of the Junior ROTC program at Buena High School in Sierra Vista, Ariz., and attended Louisiana's Northwestern University on a four-year ROTC scholarship.
She is also a fourth-generation soldier. Members of her family have served during every major conflict of the past century. Her father, Richard Gill, is a U.S. Army veteran of the Gulf War era. Her uncle, Joseph Mirabella Jr., served in Vietnam with the U.S. Marines. Her grandmother, Doris Mirabella, was a member of the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her grandfather, Joseph Mirabella Sr., is a 100-percent-disabled amputee from injuries he received as a soldier in the Normandy invasion during World War II. Another grandfather, Harold Gill, saw combat with the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Her great-grandfather, Leroy O'Rork, served in Europe during World War I.
Harriss' husband, Staff Sgt. Robert Harriss, is on duty at Fort Benning, Ga. Her uncle, Maj. Glenn Mirabella, serves stateside as a reservist. Another uncle several times removed fought in the American Civil War.