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Month: February 2018

She Served, I Served: How This All Began

By: Lindsay Church Service. It’s all I’ve ever known. Before I knew anything about the military or about what it meant to serve my country, I watched my mom embody what it meant to be a military woman. She was strong, she was resilient, she was a force to be reckoned with, and she was my mom. She taught me what it meant to be a woman in this world from a very young age….

Something They Can Never Take Away from You

By: Timothy Phillips As a child, I never dreamed I’d go to college. Actually, I did dream of college, quite a bit. Growing up as a young Black male in Pittsburgh under challenging economic, personal, and familial conditions, I was lucky enough to be very cognizant of the world around me to know that I wanted more than what the blighted environment around me, presented, and my entire life the mantra of “more education” was…

Demons in the Closet

By: David Keener I wasn’t always the most confident kid growing up in Georgia. Discovering early that I was gay certainly didn’t make life any easier. Most of my childhood was spent hiding. I’m no psychologist but I’m going to bet that it didn’t do any good for my transition into adulthood. I had every reason to believe that I wasn’t worthy of the military or any thing else for that matter. My confidence was…

A Resurrected Woman: Nothing Shall Hinder Me Because I am Veteran Strong

By: Venita R. Thomas Recently I was introduced to an audience, and I was asked to share some information about myself. The response starts the same way, every time. “Thank you. I’d like to start with the fact that I’m most proud of – I am a Veteran. I was honored to serve my country, and although I was injured in the line of duty, I would do it all over again.” Ideally, it never…

The Strongest Purpose is the One We Build Together

By: Eric Ballentine I was 17 years old. I stood inside a small room with about twenty others at the Philadelphia Military Entrance Processing Station in Philadelphia as I swore that solemn oath. As far back as I could remember, I always wanted to be in the military. My father retired in the Navy as a Master Chief. His leadership always motivated me to be a leader. I was attracted to the challenges. The uniform….

Survival in the Bering Sea: One Veteran’s Story of #metoomilitary

By: Trina McDonald In 1987 I made the decision to join the Navy, I was on delayed enlistment for a year and during that time I prepared for the big day to leave which was October of 1988, just a few months after graduation. I had no idea what to expect other than my first experience on an airplane! But, I had a secret, I was gay. My experience in boot camp was like most,…

FOB Hope: One Vet’s Story of Finding Purpose After Service

FOB Hope: One Vet’s Story of Finding Purpose After Service By: Monique Brown In 1987, I was literally sitting on my bed contemplating the next move I would make in my life.  I was about to start my fourth year in a two-year college and I just could not see myself doing that!  At that moment, the phone rang.  It was a recruiter from the United States Army.  She asked what I was planning to…

A Veteran Finds Solace in the Outdoors

A Veteran Finds Solace in the Outdoors By: Lornett Vestal Working with Sierra Club… What Veterans Day Means to Me Every year on November 11th, America celebrates a day that honors men and women who currently or used to wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. We as a country, despite our differences in religion, race, sexuality, creed, or political leanings, should do our best to respect those who served and still serve. The men…

Denial of Coverage

The VA is Denying Me Lifesaving Healthcare Because I am a Transgender Veteran By: Nicole Vanderheiden  I faithfully served six years in the U.S. Air Force as an Arabic language intelligence analyst. I achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was highly decorated and praised for my leadership and my contributions to accomplishing our missions. Because of my sacrifices, I am entitled to receive my…

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