Missoula native and Army National Guard veteran Julie (North) Vacura, CW5 (retired), whose military service spanned five decades, served a pair of overseas tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Blackhawk pilot Julie “Jules” North, Camp Taji, Iraq, circa 2011
“I loved doing hoist missions and hoist training,” Vacura related in an email from her home in the Garden City, when asked about her career highlights. “It was challenging and exciting as a pilot, to make sure the medic and crew chief had a steady platform to work from in all conditions.
“I also really enjoyed my time as the State Command Chief Warrant Officer, helping to recruit and build the Warrant Officer Corps of the future.”
Although she completed numerous active duty schools and two deployments to the desert, “Jules” as her friends call her, noted that “my entire career was in the National Guard.”
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The daughter of Dan and Shirley North, she graduated from Missoula Sentinel in 1985, where her favorite sport was basketball. She was also