GLEN ROSE — When Laurell Galindo’s first novel, “Vet-Onation” came out earlier this year, it fulfilled a dream hatched while she was in high school in neighboring Meridian. 

“I had a teacher who really pushed me to write,” she said. “I just wrote mostly tongue-in-cheek stuff and never took anything seriously. When I got ready to graduate high school he (Larry Davis) said to me, ‘One of these days, I need you to write something serious.’”

Some 15 years later, that dream came to fruition, but there were plenty of trials, roadblocks and heartache along the way.

After graduation from high school, Galindo studied at Lutheran Christian College for a time before enlisting in the Army where she worked with the American Forces Network and drew her first assignment as a correspondent in Japan. She eventually served a tour in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-06. 

Although her book is fiction, she drew inspiration for it from her personal life and experiences while the military.

“I think all writers do that though. I am very proud of it,” she said. “The girl (in the book) is a hot mess in Lauren Mayer, the protagonist, and I myself have had those moments. I have certainly had my failures along the way.”

In May 2016, she viciously began working on “Vet-onation.”

In the meantime, she hit road bumps along the way, including the illness and death of her husband in April 2017. Facing the challenges of a widowed mother of three, she sat down and completed her first book.

“I sat down and for six straight weeks, I got the first six chapters out, and I looked at the next parts that were outlined, and I couldn’t do those,” she said.

They would require a lot of self-reflection, she said, because the final chapters would deal with war, a sexual assault, mental illness and post-traumatic stress disorder.

She eventually finished it earlier this year. and she is proud of the final product.

“It’s something beautiful and it was a goal I wanted to accomplish, and I did it,” she said. “I hope (readers) will related in some way at some point, even if you’re not in the military.”

Galindo, 34, owns a home and lives in Walnut Springs, and she is currently working on her second book.