Hope Solo, the American soccer goalkeeper and a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Richland, Wash, was in attendance for the reenlistment of Spc. Diana Zuniga at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, on March 27th.
The blog reports that Zuniga, a native of Rochester, N.Y., and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran who has served for the last three years, made the special reenlistment request of Solo.
“I went up to Staff Sergeant [Arthur] Hamilton and said ‘hey, like, there are these national soccer team members, Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe, and it’d be kind of cool if I could have them at my reenlistment ceremony,” Zuniga explained. “I wasn’t sure if he could make it happen, but here we are!”
“I just look up to strong women who are not afraid to go after what they want,” Zuniga said. “You can have anything you want if you go for it and you work for it. I read [Solo’s] memoir a couple months ago and it reiterated all the qualities that I’ve tried to develop as a person; she embodies those.”
You have to understand that serving our country runs in my family,” Solo said. “So, I was really honored when I found out about it.”
Military.com reports that the reenlistment almost didn’t happen because Zuniga and Solo’s schedules were not lining up until the last week of March when Solo returned to Seattle.
“For her to actually wait for both of us to be in town meant a lot, because she’s our hero,” Solo said. “I don’t see us as being her hero; all I do is kick a soccer ball and dive around. But she’s putting her life at risk and I’m honored; truly honored.”