Remarkable Women: Margaret Eggers balances being a soldier and mother

Local

(WJHL)- Every Tuesday in the month of March we will highlight outstanding and remarkable women in the Tri-Cities region.

This week, our focus is on Margaret Eggers, who balances a life of service to her country and her family.

Eggers has proven that with a little help and a lot of faith, mountains can be moved.

She is a nurse at the James H. Quillen Veterans Affairs Medical Center and is also getting ready to deploy again with the 936th Army Reserve Forward Surgical Team.  

Her difficult journey started years ago. While she was in the latter part of her pregnancy, her child’s father passed away.

“At that point in my life,” she said, “I knew I needed to have a career in order to support him.”

Margaret said that’s when she knew she needed to change gears and focus on providing for her son, Hank.

So, she found a way to go back to school. Eggers said it was a struggle to be a mom and a student, while also holding down a job.

“I would go to sleep so tired, but I remember waking up at three o’clock in the morning being able to finish my homework assignment. It was God,” Eggers said.

Through it all, she was able to find support at her church.

“At the same time, we would drive to Butler, Tennessee for church,” she recalled. “That’s where we would get fed and find our strength.”

Margaret obtained her nursing degree and was at the right place at the right time with the Coast Guard Reserve when someone suffered a heart attack during training.

“It was a good moment. I’m glad Mr. Ford made it,” she said.

Margaret switched branches and became a nurse in the Army Reserves.  

That brought another obstacle – being a single mom and deploying. Margaret had to find someone who would care for her son.

“That was the hardest part, leaving Hank behind,” she said.

Margaret’s friends Heather and Kenny Hopland stepped in to help out.

“You can’t put a price tag on it,” Margaret said. “They’re wonderful people, and they’re the people that’s helped shape my life and his. And they do it not wanting anything in return. They just do it because they love us.”

She said her son also gets the credit for sacrificing while she was away.

“He’s done more sacrificing than I have by letting me get deployed, living with other families,” she said.

Margaret described what it was like during deployment as she worked closely with injured soldiers.

“There’s a thing called Golden Hour,” she said. “You want to get your injured soldier to a facility where we can do damage control surgery. We’re able to stop the bleeding, give them lots of blood, get them warm, and then send them somewhere else for more definitive care.”

She even talked about a moment during deployment that changed her whole perspective.

“We got hit with a bomb, our FST, from here to, like, the wall,” she explained. “It came through our hard-shell facility.  We were all in there and got down, luckily, because there was shrapnel that would have really injured us. Sometimes it takes a bomb to make you open your eyes and see the most important things,” she said. “And I’m here for a reason.”

When we spoke to Margaret, she was getting ready to deploy again.

She said she will be away during her son’s high school graduation but will try to watch via live video.

Margaret said she’s comforted knowing her most precious gift is in good hands while she works to make a difference.

“I actually feel like it’s an honor to go over there and help these soldiers, because I know what they’re doing has been good. It’s definitely humbled me,” she said.

We wish Margaret and her team a safe deployment.

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