Navy Master Chief Raina Hockenberry remembers everything from that day in 2014 when an Afghan soldier shot her five times.
She was serving as the senior enlisted leader position for Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan. Hockenberry was part of a group visiting a basic training facility for Afghan soldiers.
"We stopped for our last briefing of the day, and one of the Afghan soldiers just opened fire through a window," she told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday describing the green-on-blue attack that wounded 13 other military personnel that day. "He just started shooting."
Hockenberry suffered two gunshot wounds to the right leg, shattering her tibia. She was shot once in the groin and twice in the stomach.
While at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, "people tended to assume that I would be medically retired; I can understand why, but I just didn't see it."
Four years later, she won eight gold medals in the recent Warrior Games in Colorado Springs and now serves on the USS Port Royal at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
In four months, she plans to participate in the Invictus Games in Sydney, Australia.
"I was severely injured, to the point where medical retirement made sense, but I can't imagine not serving in the military; it's part of who we are and my fellow brothers and sisters in the military, we all believe in what we do, and to not stand with them is something that I couldn't imagine," Hockenberry said.
"Through the help of a lot of people, I managed to come back and now ... I am back on a ship hopefully showing that an injury or an illness doesn't stop you from continuing."
But Hockenberry's journey to recovery was not an easy path.
She was in inpatient care at Walter Reed for four months, where she soon asked for a laptop so she could continue working.
"That laptop was huge to me," Hockenberry recalls. "That laptop made me stop being a patient and put the power of being a senior chief back."
She did outpatient rehab for about six months at Walter Reed and then spent six months at Tripler Army Medical Center as an outpatient. Hockenberry then returned to Walter Reed for another nine months for more surgery and rehab.
In 2016, she got the chance to return to Afghanistan as part of Operation Proper Exit, a non-military trip sponsored by the Troops First Foundation.
"They take service members who were injured in Iraq and Afghanistan back," Hockenberry said, explaining that she was the first women to participate in the program.
While she was in Afghanistan, she said she visited 11 different forward operating bases, including her own, and talked to troops serving there.
"A lot of young troops out there go out there and are like 'I just want a piece of the action,'" she said. "This is a harsh reality of what that action could be.
"It was a very humbling experience."
Hockenberry still wears a leg brace to help her walk.
"I lost a lot of muscle in my right leg, so from the knee down, I wear a device ... to assist with walking; it takes the pressure off my tibia," she said.
That didn't stop her from taking up rowing, powerlifting, cycling and swimming.
"You can always do anything; it's just you might do it funny, so I definitely do things funny," Hockenberry said.
She won two gold medals in cycling, two golds in rowing and four golds in swimming, an event she set four records in as well.
"I didn't medal in powerlifting," Hockenberry said softly, with an exasperated tone. "But I plan on medaling in in the Invictus in powerlifting."
Aboard ship, she services as the personnel administrative officer, "but the great thing about being on a ship is you are everything and anything, so -- firefighting, antiterrorism, medical -- you name it, we are it," she said.
After the Invictus Games, she plans to focus on her ship.
"They have given me such a great opportunity ... the fact that my command was willing to take someone coming off an injury, I owe them a lot," she said.
As for the future, Hockenberry said she plans on serving "until I am no longer effective."
"Whether that is three years or four years or 10, as long as I can make a difference every day, and I know I am making a difference every day, and I can serve my country in an operational function -- I'm gonna stick around."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.