Norma Dealcala (Courtesy photo)
KILLEEN (February 23, 2014) Long-distance running didn’t used to be a normal activity for retired Army Master Sergeant Norma Dealcala, but that changed after she got out of the military last year.
"I found myself really depressed like I didn't have anything anymore, because once you start transitioning you feel like you're left with nothing, like you're out there on your own, and nobody is there to welcome you to the civilian world," Dealcala said.
So she invested in a pair of running shoes and linked up with the Fort Hood Red, White, and Blue running group.
"In the military when I look back at running I really never liked running," she said.
Dealcala spent 24 years in the military, and deployed twice to Iraq.
Dealcala has since completed several half-marathons, and last year she ran in the inaugural Army Marathon.
"I started running because I wanted to make sure that the community here did not forget those, not only in the Fort Hood shooting, but those who have made that ultimate sacrifice," she said.
Running not only helped her with the transition into civilian life, but also allowed her a way to honor and pay tribute to her fallen soldiers.
Dealcala is training now for the second annual Army Marathon next week.
She said she's running the marathon in honor of Sgt. Princess Samuels, who died in a rocket attack in 2007 in Iraq.
"So I run in memory of them and sometimes when I run a race I dedicate that medal to that survivor," she said.
The Army Marathon is March 2.
The course winds from Killeen to Temple.