COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Midlands Army veteran battling ALS is able to fulfill a bucket list item. This week, she was back in uniform to lead the latest group of soldiers to complete basic training at Fort Jackson, as the soldiers marched off of Hilton Field for their graduation ceremony.
Sergeant Kristi Driggers of Chapin also completed basic training at Fort Jackson back in 1992, a period she describes as the best time of her life. She has 10 years of military experience, but says an accident on the job led to a back injury.
Sergeant Driggers says she fully intended to continue serving, but the injury never healed. In 2015, she was diagnosed with ALS and is now living in a wheelchair. Driggers has been hoping to get back in the military in some capacity since her diagnosis. When Ft. Jackson found out, they invited her to suit up and take part in this week’s graduation ceremony by leading the graduates from Hilton Field.
“I am so grateful for this honor. It has meant everything to me. In fact, my bucket list is limited, but one thing that I really wanted to do was to serve in some way back in the military. I always have. I’ve always wanted to come back in,” Sergeant Driggers said.
She says she also suffers from dementia. Since her diagnosis, Driggers says she rarely gets out of the house, which made being a part of this week’s graduation at Fort Jackson even better.