PASSAIC, N.J. -- To her family, Minnie Hiller is a "tough cookie." To the soldiers with whom the grandmother of six works, Hiller is more like a mom.
The 50-year-old sergeant first class will have to play both roles when she arrives in Iraq later this week with the 50th Main Support Battalion of the New Jersey Army National Guard.
Hiller is a family support coordinator for the battalion of roughly 900 soldiers, meaning she offers help with everything from getting a soldier home to see a newborn child to arranging carnivals for the children of soldiers who have left for Iraq.
The position isn't always sent to combat zones, but Hiller pushed to go, saying she could help troops overseas just as she does when working at the Teaneck armory where she's usually based.
"One thing she wants to do is make a difference," said her daughter Torise Hiller, 26. "I know my mother. She wouldn't have it any other way. My mother is a tough cookie
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