Welcome!! My name is LeeAnn and I AM A VETERAN!! I was medically retired just shy of my 18 year mark and let me tell you – that first year was a roller coaster (and not the fun kind!!) I went from being a Navy Chief (for those not familiar with that title, it basically means “know-it-all” to being unemployed, overly depressed, and almost homeless! WOW is right! All the pride I once had became completely non-existent and I was utterly embarrassed and ashamed that this is what my life had become. I was so lost in the transition of Sailor to Civilian!! What I did not know at the time is that I WAS NOT ALONE!!! After being hired as a veteran employment specialist with the Texas Veterans Commission, I started meeting more and more veterans – both men and women – and a large majority of them had struggled (or were currently struggling) with much of the same things I had. How could this be? We are trained to solve problems and get the job done – yet here we are struggling to pay our bills, struggling with being overmedicated by doctors, isolating ourselves and struggling with addictions like drugs and alcohol to cope with things, living in our cars or worse, and committing suicide at an alarming rate!! WHAT THE HELL??
It’s been five years since I took of my uniform for the last time and I survived the transition – AND SO CAN YOU!! Life isn’t hunky-dory by any means, but I’ve learned how to cope with many of my issues, and I’ve learned of all the many resources out there that no one seems to tell you about. I’ve also learned that as a WOMAN VETERAN, there are things that do set me apart from by Brothers in Arms. While veterans in general may struggle in transition, there are things very specific and unique to the growing population of women veterans out there. I’m hoping that by journaling my, daily interactions with the peanut gallery (aka civilians), my daily struggles both emotionally and otherwise, I can shed light on what it’s like to be a woman veteran in today’s world. I also hope that I can give hope to other women veterans out there who might be thinking that what they are feeling or going through isn’t normal. WRONG!! We are all in this together sisters!! Additionally, I want to highlight the MANY accomplishments of the women veterans that I have the privilege of serving with now as a civilian. I want to show the world just exactly what a veteran looks like!!
So sit back and enjoy the ride – because things could get a bit crazy!!!