United States Air Force veteran Laura Buys of Saint Paul, Minnesota, enlisted in the Air Force and became an operations intelligence analyst in 2012. In 2014, she deployed to Qatar in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve. She later joined the prestigious Cobra Ball in Alaska and Japan while supporting international treaty verification.
During her military career, Laura delivered more than 600 intelligence briefings to Air Force leadership, aircrew, and government officials around the world. She also supported 160 CENTCOM combat missions, leading to more than 11,000 signals intelligence reports and eight relief airdrops to displaced Yazidi civilians. As a result of her exemplary service, Laura was awarded a medal for Meritorious Service Achievement and recognized as Senior Airman from below-the-zone.
After honorably separating in 2017, she fully immersed herself into a career in human services. Since then, Laura has graduated summa cum laude with a degree in women’s and gender studies from Syracuse University. She later became her school’s disability services liaison for student veterans and is graduating with her Master of Social Work degree this upcoming May. Laura has also been a powerful force in her community, working and volunteering with a wide array of populations including veterans, homeless families, young adults with developmental disabilities, at-risk youth, refugees, and the elderly. Her goal is to continue making a positive impact by dismantling forms of social injustice and helping others overcome trauma.
Laura’s proudest military moments were being selected as a 2020 Pat Tillman scholar, as well as being featured in the National Veteran’s Museum and Memorial in Columbus, Ohio.