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Month: March 2018

#TransThriving Through Adversity

My name is Mak Vaden, and I am a 30 year old transgender soldier with 12 years of honorable service and am still serving on active duty orders in the National Guard. I enlisted in 2006 after my first year of college and went into the reserves, shortly thereafter transferring to active duty until 2010 when I transferred into the Army National Guard and have been in the guard ever since. Prior to my coming out…

Warrior Spirit Service

By: Haliehana “Alagum Ayagaa” Stepetin My dad raised me to hunt, fish, and hike, camp, build fires, and drive a skiff. He taught me to cast a line on the beach, take the hook out of a fish mouth, slide my fingers under the gills, crack the neck and bleed it. He taught me to wait until the tide gets really low to walk out onto the rocks on the reef. He showed me where…

Bridging the Gap ~ Vanessa Jenkins

The miles that separate us causes my heart to pound Every beat is synchronized with the chimes from your heart. The miles that separate us form a bridge that is endless…bending….curving.. Winding across the continent like a gentle whisper……shhhh.. Bridging two worlds….two cultures….two families…..into one unit…. Bound by determination and love. The miles that separate us will bring us together… Mende and American… One voice…one heart….ONE LOVE…. #VetsLikeUs #HerStoryOurStory #OneFight #SheServed

Call Sign Newt: Reclaiming the Veteran Identity

By: Katherine Pratt I knew that I was always going to serve in the military, but I never thought I would be a veteran.  Veterans were people like my dad, who served over 20 years and had insane declassified stories that were standards at the holiday dinner table.  Or they wore hats and jackets displaying their service or engagements. They were white, male, and conservative. I am none of those things.  I’m a progressive, atheist,…

Speak Freely, Speak Loudly, Disrupt

By: Joy Turner During the last few weeks of my first quarter as a grad student, I received a phone call from my mother saying that my two nieces had no clothes to wear. She asked me if I could send some clothes to them as a sort of Christmas present. I was devastated to think about kids with no clothes during winter and to think that at the time I had no relationship with…

Feminism!? Who needs that crap?

By: Amber Mathwig In late January of 2012, I was 29 years old and just beginning my first on campus college experience. I was excited for college. I was excited to be leaving the military after 10 very long years. I purposefully wore sweatpants and tie-dyed arm warmers most of the first month of classes – simply because I could. I was less excited for some of the classes I was being asked to take….

“We learn Russian, so you don’t have to.”

By: Heather Nicholson I was failing out of college and I lacked direction in my life.  Across the street from the apartment I lived in was a recruiting station.  I was coming out of a very confusing first relationship with a woman and so I guess I thought, “What the hell, let’s join the Army!” All the service branches were located in the same building and I chose the Army because my uncle, brother and…

Counseling on the Battlefield: When the Abyss Stares Back

By M.B. Dallocchio Summer 2005 in Ramadi, Iraq was hell.  However, the blistering 138 degree heat paled in comparison to the hellfire my fellow troops and I endured with constant rocket and mortar attacks accompanied with daily firefights between us and insurgents on the streets. At this point in time, I had just returned from my R&R leave which was a relief to me as the whole time I was away from Iraq, I somehow…

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