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Stories of Us

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    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
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    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.
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    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
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    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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    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.
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

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