BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Tami Potirala has experienced her share of traveling between her service in the US Navy and her current career as a truck driver.
Despite being out of the military for years, there is still one phone call she would drop everything to answer.
“If I had to go back, I would. I’m not in the best shape anymore, but I would definitely go. I wouldn’t hesitate. If they called me right now and said, ‘hey, we need you to go’, I’m gone,” she said.
Potirala, of Burlington, left for boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, when she was 20 years old.
“I went to Norfolk, Virginia, and I was stationed on the USS Enterprise for four years from 99 to 2003 then I transferred to HC-8, also in Norfolk, and I was there from early 2004 to 2006 when I got discharged,” she said.
She was an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate – Equipment.
Potirala was part of the military response that went after the Taliban after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which is a mission she says she’s most proud of.
“The fact that I was part of the retaliation of 911, I would have to say, to get some justice for all those people that were killed that day,” she said.
Potirala went to truck driving school in Virginia Beach a few months before getting out of the service.
After some stints working for other people, she decided to head out on her own and launch her own: business Potirala Trucking LLC.
“I got my LLC in 2019…last year, of course, the rates were really good, so I decided if I’m going to do it, now’s the time to do it,” she said.
She rarely hits the road without wearing her hat that says “Navy Veteran.”
“It’s hard to explain. Unless you’ve served, you probably would never understand the level of pride that veterans have,” she said. “Our oath doesn’t expire just because we’re discharged.”
Potirala has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice since serving in the US Navy.