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Oral History interview of Daila Espuet-Jones. Interview conducted by Samuel Stevenson at Colbourn Hall, University of Central Florida.


0:01 Introduction; 0:35 Circumstances of birth in Jamaica; 2:06 Moving with grandparents to Portland, Jamaica; 2:27 Childhood in Jamaica; 4:36 Description of rural upbringing; 6:40 Moving to Boston with mother; 8:15 Traumatic effect of the move; 11:28 Education in Jamaica; 14:19 Education in Boston; 15:18 Living conditions in Boston; 16:35 Inspiration to join the Army; 17:39 Recruitment process in delayed entry program; 18:40 Experience with the ASVAB; 19:48 Location of basic training (Fort Dix); 20:15 Trepidation upon arrival; 21:01 Average day in basic training; 22:17 Perception of drill sergeants; 24:32 Feelings of camaraderie in basic training; 25:33 Day of graduation from basic training; 26:47 Christmas exodus; 27:57 Transfer to advanced training at Fort Eustace; 28:39 Stevedoring on cargo ships; 29:30 Switching orders to stay in Fort Eustace; 31:11 Being chosen for honor guard; 32:40 Changing MOS and leaving Virginia; 33:38 Transfer to Seoul and circumstances of getting new job; 34:50 Difficulties in learning new position; 36:26 Responsibilities in Seoul; 37:52 Modeling and recreational activities while in Korea; 38:15 Learning Korean language; 39:11 Communicating with family and friends; 39:42 Transfer to Fort Bragg; 40:26 Motivation to become a paratrooper; 41:34 Feelings about being a female in the 82nd Airborne; 42:14 Training to become a paratrooper at Fort Benning; 45:23 Uncertainty about number of jumps completed; 45:42 Transfer to Germany and initial impressions; 46:37 Station at Hanau; 47:33 Experiences with German culture and travel; 49:27 Mission to Haiti in Operation Uphold Democracy; 50:57 Attachment to combat engineer brigade in Bosnia; 52:04 Duration of operation in Bosnia; 52:23 Transfer to 143rd transportation command in Orlando; 52:56 Deployment after 9/11; 54:28 Stationed in Kuwait; 55:05 Perspective on peers in the Army; 55:56 Duration of time in Kuwait; 56:20 Motivation to retire from the Army; 57:28 Last day in the service; 59:28 Application and acceptance of job in Hanau; 1:00:01 Responsibilities in Hanau; 1:01:10 Promotion to position in Bahrain; 1:01:37 Description of Bahrain; 1:04:00 Culture clash and issues concerning femininity in Kuwait; 1:05:35 Regret of military career taking time away from family; 1:07:04 Maintaining contact with military colleagues; 1:09:54 Involvement in veteran's organizations; 1:11:43 Closing words; 1:11:56 End of interview.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Manchester (Jamaica)




Black or African American

Home State


War or Conflict

Operation Iraqi Freedom



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

119th Fort Eustis; HHC 7th Group; 264th Transportation Co., 8th US Army Korea; 34th Support Group Korea; 18th Airborne Fort Bragg, NC; 82nd Airborne Div.; 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, Fort Bragg; 130th Engineer Brigade; HHC 3rd Corps Support Command; 143rd Transportation Orlando Command; CFLCC

Location of Service

Fort Eustis (Va.); Korea; Germany; Fort Bragg (N. C.); Southwest Asia; Orlando (Fla.)

Highest Rank

First Sergeant; 1SG

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury





Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Humanitarian Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Army Achievement Medal; Army Commendation Medal


See video for details.


Was in Operation Uphold Democracy, Bosnian War and Albanian War.

City of Birth


Country of Birth



Stevenson, Samuel

Interview Date

Fall 11-28-2017

Location of Interview

Colbourn Hall, University of Central Florida


Espuet-Jones, Daila; Iraq War, 2003-2011 -- Personal Narratives; Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, 2001-present -- Personal Narratives; Women and the military -- United States; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES University of Central Florida


Stevenson, Samuel

Length of Interview

72 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type