Where did you serve and what did you do?
OIF 1 (Jan-Sep 2003) as a Shock Trauma Platoon Nurse with CSSB-10, CSSG-1
11th MEU as STP Nurse, training and presence in the middle east 2011-2012
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
I started out “rescuing” them but, when I returned from Iraq in September 2003, my brood of dogs rallied around me. They were my sanctuary and buoyed me in years of confusion, isolation and depression. I still adopted out but realized that each of them was supporting me in their unique way. I have many pictures but I will post one of me with Freedom. I found her critically injured on Hwy 101 in LA when I was there for trauma refresher training for 4 weeks. I named her Freedom because, in the moment I helped her, she helped me remember the freedom of being in the moment, of being present and responding as I felt moved to do. I was also preparing to deploy with the 11th MEU. I am working with VA Voc Rehab to re-license as a Nurse Coach and create an animal companion friendly transitional living program for veterans. I want to provide for other veterans what I had on a property closer to nature with animals as my companions and in community with others who are seeking ways to renew their bodies, minds and spirits as they are transitioning both personally and professionally.
Why do you do it?
I loved being a nurse and serving fellow military, their families and our fellow citizens. I want to continue to serve in a way that supports the whole person and the healing capacity of our bond with animals and nature.