Natasha Suddreth Schoonover was born in Boone, North Carolina and raised in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Due to learning difficulties Schoonover dropped out of high school a few months before her graduation and decided to pursue a career in the Army National Guard. She attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and was then assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, where she learned to drive tractor trailers.
Once she returned to Boone, Schoonover was assigned to the 1451st Transportation Company, where she worked with Active Duty for Special Work [ADSW], as well as helping with the recovery from Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
In January 2003, Schoonover was activated to go to Iraq, but having given birth three months prior she was granted the option of staying in the United States. Feeling personally obligated to deploy with her unit, Schoonover left for Iraq in March 2003, where, for thirteen months, she and her unit ran supply convoys between various cities.
While in Iraq, Schoonover realized her calling to become a minister. When she returned to Blowing Rock, she applied to and subsequently graduated from Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina, before receiving a full scholarship to attend the Divinity School at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
In 2005, when Schoonover’s Expiration of Time and Service [ETS] date came up, she decided to leave the Army National Guard. She now speaks to many women’s groups about her time in the service, wanting them to see a women’s perspective of the military, as well as the hopeful side of her story and everything the military has done for her.