2013-09-20 / News Update

Indiana Guardsman shaves head for cancer charity

By 1st Lt. Tyler Mitchell
38th Combat Aviation Brigade


GuardSoldiers look on as Sgt 1st Class. Bernie Crafton, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, 38th Combat Aviation Brigade, begins clipping off Staff Sgt. Erin Emminger’s hair, after reaching her fundraising goal, Sept. 14, at the Shelbyville Ind., National Guard Armory. 
Photo by Sgt. Dana Brewer / U.S. Army National Guard GuardSoldiers look on as Sgt 1st Class. Bernie Crafton, of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, 38th Combat Aviation Brigade, begins clipping off Staff Sgt. Erin Emminger’s hair, after reaching her fundraising goal, Sept. 14, at the Shelbyville Ind., National Guard Armory. Photo by Sgt. Dana Brewer / U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers keep their hair closely cropped per regulation, but one female Indiana National Guard Soldier shaved her head for cancer awareness during an event to help a fellow Guardsman on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Shelbyville, Ind., National Guard Armory.

Since the beginning of September, Staff Sgt. Erin Emminger’s goal was raising $500 for Spc. Jeremiah Morgan, an infantryman with the 1st Battalion, 293rd Infantry Regiment. Once her target amount was reached, she would shave her head.

Emminger, a personnel sergeant with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-238th General Support Aviation Battalion, said she cut her hair as a way to raise money because it was considered “extreme” for a female soldier.

In the past, Emminger has seen the effects of cancer.

“I’ve had a couple of family friends that have gone to school dances bald. I can go for a year without having hair,” said Emminger.

Soldiers in Emminger’s battalion cut off locks of her hair after donating money. The remaining portions of her hair were shaved off.

“I think what she did was exemplary in terms of Army values,” said GSAB commander, Lt. Col. Dan Degelow, (who also cut off a lock of Emminger’s hair).

Emminger’s family supported her choice to go bald. She said her 5-yearold daughter, Ana, understood why she was going to cut her hair off, but was worried about what her mother would look like.

Prior to Emminger raising money for Morgan, the two had never met. They did meet the next day at a charity run in Fort Wayne, Ind., in support of Morgan.

In her efforts, Emminger raised more than $1,000 for Morgan and his family.

Army regulations prohibit women from shaving portions of their scalp, but Emminger’s commander granted an exception to policy for this event.

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