There was an added bonus, too: enlisting in the Marine Corps meant that Ihrke traveled the world while serving her country. And while she was eventually shipped out to Afghanistan – facing conditions that would test any serviceperson – she still told the Military Times that she had reveled in the experience. In 2019 Ihrke said, “Joining the Marine Corps was the best decision of my life and truly set me up for success. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”