Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served as a combat medic in the Army. 1990-2010 retired as a SFC/E7 with 20 years of proud service. In those 20 years I served in Germany, Georgia,S.Korea,Texas and was deployed during the initial invasion of Iraq and in 2007. I served as trauma station NCOIC and treatment team squad leader both rotations. I held many different leadership positions and additional duties such as EO/SH,SA NCO.
How are you #StillServing?
I am currently the commander of VFW 7420 Don Diego located in historic Barrio Logan, Ca. We have 67 years of amazing years of history, I am honored to be the first female commander in those 67 years, I don’t take this responsibility
lightlyOur post has aimed to highlight the contributions of all veterans but especially our Hispanic American Veterans whose stories of heroism were not told nor acknowledged. We proudly display 61 Hispanic medal of Honor recipients on our Wall of Honor, the most MOH recipients of any ethnic group. One of our priorities is to affect legislation, support and assist in getting our deported veterans back home to the country they took an oath to protect. I have developed Repatriated Veteran Mentorship Program to help our veterans navigate life after deportation and ensure they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to. We aim to grow this program as big as we possibly can.
Why do you do it?
In the Army I was taught to take care of troops as a family, especially when in distress. I found myself battling with PTSD, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression the works after my retirement. I had no idea what was happening to me and eventually in 10 years I had hit rock bottom in many ways. PTSD had changed who I was, my behavior did not reflect my values, or my training. 2 years ago I began I new psychedelic treatment at La Jolla VA ( Jennifer Moreno VA), it has helped me begin healing more than any other medication, treatment, or therapy had been able to do in 10 years!. I can now see those years more clearly and how I felt I was screaming, asking for help but I wasn’t. I did not know how to advocate for myself. I felt ashamed to explain how I felt and why I was making so many bad decisions and mistakes. I felt helpless, hopeless and voiceless, I became homeless for a bit.
I feel the experiences I have had in the Army and after as a veteran helps me understand the voiceless, those who need our voice. Being that my generation of service members was trained by old school ways and traditions but retired with our new generation of SM, we were privileged to learn form both. We know how to honor and respect what came before us, so we dont lose our traditions yet we know how to communicate with the new generation as well and understand what drives them, this makes for us being perfect to bridge the gap. We can honor and respect the past, add our history to our VFW’s and history and teach the new generation of VFW members how to respect and continue the legacy of our VFW.