The Portraits

Miyoko Hikiji

U.S. Army • Specialist

Miyoko Hikiji was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to an Iowan mother and a father from Kauai, Hawaii. She joined the Army in 1995, three months after her 18th birthday. After completing initial training in Fort Jackson, SC and Fort Lee, VA, Hikiji reported for duty as a supply clerk and armorer with an Air Defense Artillery unit in Fort Polk, LA. She was later stationed in Fort Bliss, TX. In 1998, when her initial three-year enlistment contract ended, Hikiji moved back home and signed a five-year contract with the Iowa Army National Guard and enrolled full-time at Iowa State University to study journalism and psychology. She was mobilized for six months after the attacks of September 11, 2001 for the Force Protection Security Team at Camp Dodge. Hikiji was mobilized again in 2003 just a few days before her Guard contract was to end. This time she deployed to Iraq for over a year with the 2133rd Transportation Company in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She completed over 70 supply convoy, security and raid missions throughout the northwest quadrant of Iraq. During this time, she worked simultaneously as the unit correspondent and administrative sergeant. Hikiji earned 16 military decorations during her nine years of service. In 2004 she earned two B.S. degrees from Iowa State University. She is a Greenlee School of Journalism Scholarship recipient, a passionate veteran’s advocate, and an expert on the issues of military sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress, and suicide. Miyoko Hikiji and her family reside in Iowa.