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Making The Impossible Possible

If you were on an Acela train from Washington DC to New York City on the afternoon of August 24th, 2018, you might have seen a woman wearing earbuds doing a very poor job of not crying in public. That woman was me, and those were tears of joy. When I left the military at the end of 2012, I did not think I could ever identify as a “veteran” given that I fit approximately…

“Inspection” By Samantha Fergus

For what it’s worth, you swept me up like I was dirt. Those hips and lips on me that I use to love, now scorn and torn like a rug. Images of me in those cracked reflections. Standing in formation as you look me up and down in those Inspections. You knew what I look like underneath those dress blues, but took away all those rights and my decisions, I turned into a muse. The…

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,…

“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…

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….