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The Murray State News

The Murray State News

The Murray State News

Chief Copy Editor reflects on life experiences

    I am not your average tvshka. Tvshka is a funny word, mainly because it just looks like a typo or a bunch of letters just thrown together. Tvshka is a Choctaw word meaning warrior and can apply to both women and men. Throughout my life so far, I have been fortunate to partake in varying opportunities — all of which have allowed me to realize how special it is to be a woman.


    Native American Pride

    My dad has taken great pride in his Native American roots for as long as I can remember. Although we aren’t official tribal members because we do not meet the blood quantum requirement, we are still proud to have indigenous roots. For those who don’t know, Choctaw tribes are matrilineal. This means the bloodline and social status was derived from the clan mothers, or matriarchs. To me, this places a special emphasis on women. 


    While Western culture has stereotypical roles of homemaker and provider, the uniqueness of women in Choctaw culture is intriguing. From what I learned, they weren’t afraid of much. Historically, women were given high consultation when it came to any matter, whether it was engaging in a conflict with another tribe or who their son(s) would marry. Some women would go as far as feeding their husbands arrows during active combat and even taking up their husbands’ bows if they fell to injury or sudden death. 


    While Natives are typically overlooked, I am proud to see representation has increased. In 2018, Deb Haaland (D-NM) and Sharice Davids (D-KS) became the first Native women to be elected into congressional office. Lily Gladstone was the first Native American woman nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Actress. Sally Wells, a friend of my late great grandmother, is a Choctaw elder who founded the Native American Indian Association in Nashville and still serves the Native community to this day.  

    Army National Guard Spc. Bri Hunter (left) and Spc. Abigail Potts (right) conduct a training exercise focusing on tactical combat care.


    As a young girl, I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. Some of my peers knew they wanted to become doctors or nurses, some wanted to work in an office and others were stuck just like I was.


    Little did I know I would enlist in the Army at 17 years old. I had never even considered joining the military until a recruiter contacted me and provided details about benefits I could use. While I am still working on my bachelor’s degree in journalism and plan to obtain my master’s degree in business administration, I am switching hats constantly. 


    I joined the Army National Guard as a military police officer before I graduated high school in 2020. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I figured it would at least get me somewhere (and keep me from drowning in student loan debt). I’ve been able to do some once-in-a-lifetime things so far, such as traveling overseas and working in Washington, D.C., and at local events. 


    Some may think that, simply because I am a woman, I don’t have a place in the Army. I’ll still proudly wear the uniform and serve my country regardless of what anyone thinks. Since my initial enlistment, I have definitely developed a greater sense of confidence in myself and what I can do. 

    Hunter alongside her husband, John Parish, at Paris Station.

    Hammers, nails and other tools

    While the Army is the first male-dominated field I’ve tackled, I didn’t know construction would be next. My husband grew up with a background in construction and wanted to open his own business focusing on remodeling and handyman services. While we were deployed, he obtained his limited liability corporation from the state in 2022 and got to work once we got home. 


    With every business, there will be a trial and error phase. I had never considered starting a business, so I didn’t feel very useful. I wasn’t very involved with it in the beginning because I was catching up on school work. I also didn’t care much about physical labor, such as building or repairing.


    Since then, I have learned quite a bit about the construction realm. Although my role is to help manage the business, especially in marketing and advertising, being able to help him with odd jobs and new construction has made me grateful I am on this path. My original plan, aside from my Pony Express dream as a child, was to become a news reporter immediately after graduating from Murray State. 


    Since March is Women’s History Month, I think it is important to recognize how resilient and powerful women are. Women have the capability to bring life to the world while also pursuing something great. Some are meant to be homemakers, some to be mothers and others are meant to go another direction in life. No matter what women choose to do, women’s effects on the world deserve to be celebrated.

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    About the Contributor
    Bri Hunter
    Bri Hunter, Chief Copy Editor
    Bri Hunter is the Chief Copy Editor at The News. Hunter is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in media production. She also is a service member in the Kentucky Army National Guard. Outside of work and college, Hunter enjoys weight lifting, riding motorcycles, camping and reading a good book while drinking a solid cup of coffee.

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      Jan DavisMar 14, 2024 at 1:26 pm

      A very good article Bri. You should be proud!