"I AM just setting an example to women that we can perform the job just as well as men can or even become better than them," disclosed Private First Class Coleen Esther Molen, a Bacolodnon who has enlisted herself in the military service at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, USA.
She is currently designated in the Army Combat Medic following the completion of the Basic and Advanced Individual Training in the said military service.
She is a Bacolodnon who studied in Montevista Elementary School, St. Joseph School - La Salle and once enrolled herself in a nursing course but later decided to go to California to finish her education.
She went to Diablo Valley College and majored in Kinesiology, which she is still working on getting her degree.
She is the niece of Mary Joy Castillon-Cañonero who works in the Bacolod City Water District.
Cañonero helped raised her when she was young until she left abroad to pursue her dreams.
Private First Class Molen is the fourth of the five siblings coming from a conservative, religious and traditional family.
Molen said, "when I decided to join the army, my family quite resisted it especially my aunt Joy whom I considered my second Mom. She helped raise me. My mom passed away in 2007 when I was only 13 years old."
When asked why she invaded the works of men, she said she just wants to motivate other women and set an example for them that women can also do the job of men and can even do better.
"The only thing that limits us is ourselves. You have to believe that you can do it when you aspire to do or achieve something greater in life," she said.
The challenges of being a woman in the military are the constant struggle to prove worth to yourself, to meet the standards in all aspects such as physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, among others, she said.
Molen fondly shared that she learned a lot in her training. The tough training in the military taught her patience, persistence, confidence, endurance, mental and physical toughness, leadership, self-motivation, excellent work ethics, teamwork, able to function under stress, accountability, and a lot more.
On the other hand, her second mom is grateful for what she has become.
"She has indicated her fondness for adventures and risk when she was little and even up to now", Cañonero said.
Cañonero prays that Molen will continue to be a better version of herself as she continues living her life according to her dreams and aspirations.
She loves Molen dearly because she was with her since she was little, and only hopes for the best for Private First Class Molen.