Women currently make up just over 14% of our military forces (StatisticBrain) and there are over 2 million women veteran in the United States right now. We have made great strides since the beginning of military wars when women were only “officially” allowed to serve as nurses or administrative personnel. As of last year, all fields were officially opened to women, putting an end to the exclusion of women in combat roles. That whole last statement is completely asinine considering we’ve had military women as prisoners of war prior to that law being changed! I have not personally been in combat, but I’m pretty sure you actually need to be physically in a combat area in order to become a POW! The many women who have been serving or previously served in combat areas – especially those that incurred injuries from IED’s and gunfire – are like “Geeeee thanks for finally allowing us to do what we already have been doing!” Now I’m not here to debate whether women should be able to “be a Ranger or a SEAL” because seriously…men fail out of those programs also. But it just rattles me that in 2017 women are still fighting the stereotype of being mothers who need to stay home and care for their families!!
You may have noticed the image of the book “Shoot Like a Girl” at the top of this story. Well I’m not here to give you a book review or anything like that. This book was just so ON POINT about so many things relating to women in the military and the struggles many of us have faced. But the book is FAR from being a pity party! Mary Jennings Hegar is a living testament to the amazing things women accomplish everyday in our military (and really anywhere). But through her entire career, she went up against man after man telling her what she shouldn’t or couldn’t do. As I read this book, so many memories of my time in service came back to me. I didn’t fly planes and as I said before, I never saw combat. But I did serve almost 18 years – 5 of them aboard ships. Everything she talks about still happens. The powers that be will tell you that things have changed and we have “programs” in place now and “procedures” for reporting incidents of assault or making an EO complaint. Yes, that is all true. They DO have programs and policies. But whether they actually work is something I will go to my deathbed debating. But this discussion isn’t about how F’ed up the military leadership is. I always say to look for the positive in EVERY situation. This woman didn’t give up on her dreams. Door after door (ok, man after man) kept shutting through her entire career, but she had the end goal in her sights through it all. And that, my Ladies, is the key to success in ANY field (military or civilian). That, and giving it to and trusting in the Man Upstairs! You have to really want something bad enough that you keep it in your sights at all times. People are always going to try to get you off course. Why? Many reasons, but many times those that always criticize are shoot down your ideas are probably miserable in their own lives and hate that you have such great ideas. Remember that no one tries getting in your way when you are DOWN. They only do it when you are on a roll to something great.
So why am I raving about this book? I think many of you out there should read it. So many women fall far from reaching their God-given potential because some jack-wad along the way made them feel less than human. Well that just isn’t acceptable to me!! I can say that because I WAS one of those women! Many of you know my story which I began laying out in Transparency is Freedom. And even in the military, although I did make it the rank of Chief Petty Officer, I didn’t reach my full potential. Why? Because of those jack–wads I mentioned earlier lol! But looking back, I also didn’t have any strong, inspiring women to tell me to keep going. I also didn’t know Jesus back then and well now days, I don’t rightly care much about what others think of me because well, you know, he thinks I’m to die for! But back to the book, many times we see an individual that “appears” to have it all together and have success and all that and we sit back thinking, “well, if only I had….” or “if only it hadn’t been for…”. Those are EXCUSES and nothing else. They are crutches for you to stay in your pity party. You have to work for what you want. You have to put in the time, sweat, tears, blood, lack of sleep, and everything else.
***Side story (ya’ll know Dorie was just waiting to jump off-subject!) – so I met this woman last year. She is a veteran and a mom. We met by chance encounter at an event for my group. No one would EVER think by looking at her that she was a veteran (of course I guess I could say that about most of us). She was a waitress. Now my mom was a waitress and I was a waitress for many years before the military and I have the utmost respect for them because of the long hours and CRAP they deal with! Anywho, I got to know her a little better over the next year and was simply amazed at this woman. To the general customer, she appeared to be “just a waitress” decorated in tattoos and colored hair. So what I later found out is that she in fact had a “real job” (you know because being a waitress isn’t a “real job.” She worked for a very large company by day. So why in the heck was she testing her patience by spending her evenings waiting tables? Oh, I forgot to mention, she also suffers severe migraines (I can TOTALLY relate to that!). Well, her son is in a sport and made it to Nationals. Anyone who has ever had kids in sports KNOWS how expensive that is going to be! She knew she would’t be able to afford the cost just on her regular income so she took a second job – literally almost another full-time one to make sure he didn’t miss out on this opportunity. Now THAT is sacrifice and THAT is what a strong woman does!***
Ok back on track lol! So where was I? Oh, yes, ladies get off your tushes and shut down that Pity Party and start making it happen for yourself!! My Pastor (Bill Cornelius) said some really great things last week in his message. My daughter wrote them down and has them on our fridge. He said this: 1) “Feel the fears. Do it anyway; 2) Push yourself to failure and you’ll succeed; and 3) Failure is an EVENT, not a person.” You can’t fail if you don’t attempt anything and believe it or not, failure is a huge and important piece of every single success story!
That’s all for now! Always remember that you are awesome and God loves you!
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