Stories of strength from Navy Veterans

Stories of strength from Navy Veterans


I knew since I was eight
years old I was gonna go in the Navy. So it’s like, now’s
the time to do it. I love the Navy. I met a lot of good friends,
lot of good people. I still keep in contact with
a lot of my friends. I love the whole idea
of having structure. A lot of things that we did
were like shipboard operations, taking on fuel,
cargo, line handling, steering the ship, and a number
of other things. I mean, the job is
very detailed. But it makes you responsible. During deployment, you had up
to about anywhere near 5,000 people on that ship from all
over who are away from their families and going through a lot
of frustrations, you know, just like myself. You just push it away. And there’s no time
for emotion. There’s no time for feeling. It is not the place. It’s not the place. You really can’t escape it. It’s not like you can just
leave the ship, like especially when you’re
out to sea. You can’t just leave and just
say, no, I don’t want to deal with this today. You had to deal with it. Well, when I got out, I can
honestly say that the difference between a civilian
life and military life, it’s two different cultures. It’s almost to the extent of
living in another country. Your mannerisms are different. The respect level’s different. How you view your job and how
hard you work is different. How you treat each other
is way different. I was having issues with
proximity of people coming close to me or loud
sounds and stuff. So much was on my mind. I wouldn’t be able to sleep. Or I was just totally drained. And I would just want
to sleep all day. Didn’t really want to
be around people. I was a hermit, I guess
you would say. I tried to isolate myself and
stay away from others, just ’cause I wasn’t really
comfortable speaking with them and talking about what was
going on in my life. I would see people
that were happy. I would see people having
a good time. And honestly, I didn’t
fit into that. I couldn’t be happy. I didn’t want to
be successful. I just didn’t care. Also, the biggest thing
for me is that I felt very out of place. I’m in a college environment. I’m working with kids that are
my age, but still feeling like they’re perceiving me as being
this very hard military girl. And I was trying so hard
to get out of that. And I couldn’t, no matter what
I did, seem to change that about myself. The bad dreams, the nightmares,
they all started coming in. And it was like, I need help. Well, family more or
less encouraged me. You know, go to the VA. You’re a Veteran. See what they can
do to help you. Once I got around other
Veterans, and I heard their stories, and I began to hear
things that sounded like me. And it helped me realize that
you need to talk to somebody. You need to get some help. You need to work this out. That was the turning point
there, going to the VA center. I had a hard time sharing
things with my friends. But knowing that they’re
licensed and that they are there to help and they do see
these things quite often, it was encouraging to
open up to them. It’s given me some strength
and confidence, and I know some things to work
with a little bit. I know I can go on
and go forward. It’s kind of like you’ve had
this burden and this heavy pressure that’s just
been lifted right off your shoulders. And you feel a lot better. Whenever you’re going in battle
or doing whatever you were doing, you did it because
you wanted to fight for your country, for your freedom. Going to see somebody to help is
gonna also help you to take that first step to get your
freedom back so that you can be free from whatever is trying
to take you down in your head, in your mind, in
your body, in your spirit. You gotta fight for who you
are and what you are. Because of therapy, because of
the things that I was able to learn through the VA, I have
the courage to still go forward what I want to
do with my life.

3 comments

  1. I try joining the team. but I was neglected because of citizenship even though I came from Mexico country. it's not far away.

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