Halfway to the finish line!
September 02, 2017
I served in the Marine Corps nearly four years and deployed to war twice. When I came home from Iraq, I was lost. No purpose, no mission, no connection to myself or others. I was diagnosed with PTSD. I didn't fit in at home. I didn't have a purpose to move towards. I was drifting.
After a few years of heavy drinking to avoid the pain of combat memories, I changed my life and sobered up. I found connection with family, community, and a purpose - to help others heal just as my counselors helped me. I found triathlon and began racing to honor my fallen friends. I wear the names of 29 Marines each race. It's my way of honoring them - by striving to be the best version of myself.
I don't need pity and I am not broken. I just needed an opportunity to succeed.
Sentinels of Freedom provide severely wounded veterans with that opportunity to succeed. They have treated veterans with dignity while providing scholarships that focus support in Education, Housing, Mentoring, Employment, Career and Networking Assistance, and Financial Planning. Essentially, they let veterans and their families focus on earning a degree and finding a fulfilling career by taking care of the extraneous costs the G.I. Bill does not address.
As a licensed clinical social worker with the Department of Veterans Affairs, I serve fellow vets each day. I have seen the impact that Sentinels of Freedom has provided in my own community and across the country.
Please join me in assisting those who have already served our country and are looking for the opportunity to do so again. I picked $18,000 as my fundraising goal because it seems audacious and because of my roots with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines!