By Christie Vanover
Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center public affairs
After two tours to Iraq and non-stop training in between, Sgt. Windy Klein finally got a break.
The medic, who works at Darnall Army Medical Center, got to play softball for the All-Army Women's Softball Team.
The Kansas native has played softball since she was 4 years old, and she dreamed of playing for the Army soon after she enlisted.
"When I first came in the Army, I wanted to do it, but I wasn't in a unit where I was able to," she said. "With deploying every other year and then you come back and you're resetting for deployment, you never get the chance to go. I finally got the chance here."
To join the team, Klein started with an application. She was selected from 75 other female soldiers to attend tryouts in Pennsylvania.
"It's a three-week tryout, and you play in tournaments along the way," she said. "You're ultimately trying out and practicing for the Armed Forces Championship, which was held in Pensacola, Fla."
Klein made the cut and was selected to pitch for the All-Army team.
"It was so nerve racking. We played tournaments to prepare us for the Armed Forces tournament, but it's definitely a different feeling when you're on the mound for the first game and everybody's looking at you," she said. "But the first two games of the tournament, there were no runs scored against us."
Klein and her team shut out every other service's team and won the championship.
"We set a tournament record by only allowing 11 runs scored against us the entire tournament," she added.
Because Klein had the highest batting average in the entire tournament, she was selected to join the All Tournament Team - the All Armed Forces Team.
"We were together for a week, and we played in nationals in Oklahoma City and we got third," she said.
Now that she's returned to Fort Hood, she will continue to travel on weekends and play for local teams.
"I play a lot of softball. It keeps me occupied and out of trouble," she joked.
Klein would like to try out for the All-Army team again next year. She hopes to one day play for a fully-sponsored team. But for now, after nearly six weeks of softball, she is back to being a soldier and working in the orderly room, and she's grateful that she had the chance to live out this dream in her life.
"I'm really thankful the hospital gave me the opportunity to go. They didn't have to let me have the time off work to go," she said. "It's definitely something I've been reiterating to the first sergeant and commander. Hopefully if I see Command Sgt. Maj. (Keith) Seidler in the hallway, I can tell him thanks for the opportunity."