When were you drafted or when did you enlist?
I enlisted in the Navy on December 2, 2014 and served until December 2017.
If deployed, please list location & dates:
USS GEORGE H.W.BUSH (CVN-77) Jan 2017-Aug 2017 Greece, Bahrain, Dubai, Israel, UK
Why did you choose your branch of service?
I like to think the Navy chose me. I initially planned to join the Air Force because I was a part of the AFJROTC for 4 years, but due to some logistical errors and a recruiter who cared enough about me, I ended up joining the Navy instead.
What do you remember about that day?
I remember it being the first time I left home alone and almost regretted it. Then, I made friends who were just as scared as I was.
Can you describe a happy moment from your time in the service?
One of the happiest moments I can think of was receiving my ESWS warfare pin. I had failed the board before so the moment I was told I passed I felt as if I could achieve anything.
Did your military experience inform the way you think about war or the military in general?
I think sometimes due to our jobs, we get complacent. I felt that what the military did was significant when times were really scary at sea. At that moment, I felt the utmost respect for war veterans because, in my own moment, I realized how quickly things could shift.
Who was your best friend in the military during your time at war? Do you still keep in touch with them today?
I didn’t have a lot of friends, but the few that stuck around I kept in touch with. Those 3 are Milena, Maddy, and DeJanae. During a time when I struggled the most, these women took me in and cared enough about me to support me. I am so thankful for them, and they inspire me to extend that to others.
What were the first few months out of the service like?
Rough, extremely rough. I spent most of my time crying and not understanding why and feeling so out of place everywhere I went.
Do you have advice for those transitioning out of the military?
You matter, you have a purpose. Don’t make a permanent decision to a temporary problem. It’s okay to miss it but surround yourself with a community that sees you and hears you.
If you hadn’t gone into the service, what do you imagine your career life would have been? Did you explore a different career after service?
I may not have had the best experience in the military but I’m thankful. I don’t think I would be the woman I am today without the military. Every lesson is an opportunity to learn something about yourself and how resilient you truly are.
Please add any additional stories or meaningful memories that you’d like to share.
Since leaving the military, I struggled with bouts of suicide and not feeling worthy. Because someone cared enough to ask me the tough questions and help lift me up when I was broken, I try to help advocate for those suffering from suicidal ideation. There is always a way out. Sometimes, we just need to look up at those offering us a hand.