I am a 3rd generation Army soldier who completed my service in 2020.
As a young kid growing up in Puerto Rico, I remember bringing mattresses to my parent's bedroom to sleep all together while my father was on missions. It would give a sense of relief to my mother, who was suddenly the sole protector. I have great memories of Christmas parties on base, eating MREs for fun with my brother, and having the best pictures with an MP vehicle and military tanks. As a teenager, I made a great belt out of empty rounds everyone wished they had. As a little girl, I remember observing my father rescuing neighbors from a massive flood using a tire and robe, bringing everyone to our house to get dry until they received further assistance.
I observed how teamwork could make a person ten times stronger. These moments inspired me to a career as a Clinical Psychologist. After ten years of civilian experience, I joined the Army Medical Service Corps.
Multiple deployments cause a significant impact on the mental well-being of our military as well as their families. However, the therapy process continues to help many find a new balance in their life and new skills to work with who they are today, which might be different from those who join the military.
When I was approached by TWC's Executive Director and saw their work, I felt excited about learning more. So I participated in the facilitator's training and experienced what the participants experience when they attend a retreat. I could see that the combination of holistic exercises and practices worked at a mind-body level, but more than that, at a soul level.
Spending days together with others and learning more about each other created a special bonding, like a brotherhood/sisterhood with lasting connections beyond the days at the retreat. Although this is not a substitute for a therapy process, I recommend the program as it targets areas where traditional therapy is more limited in reach. So let's make 2022 the year of taking a step toward further healing.