Joining Forces: Women Veterans Speak Out – No One Told Me
Posted by danielleac on July 4, 2011
No One Told Me by Ginger Miller
I joined the Navy to get the GI Bill to go to college….mission accomplished…well almost. The GI Bill seemed like a sure fire way to get ahead of the game, after being discharged out of the Navy. Yeah that’s right, get out, go to college, and then get a good job. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy!
No one told me about the years of backlog with filing claims at the VA Regional Office, and no one told me that my husband, who was my knight in shining armor, would come back from war a changed man suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
No one told me that there was a strong possibility that I, an honorably discharged disabled female veteran, could become homeless, and that I would have to work three jobs, go to school full-time, take care of my husband with PTSD, and my 3 year old son, all while living in sub-standard housing conditions.
No one told me during the three-day transition course provided exiting military members that I really wasn’t prepared for the real world and that, there was a strong possibility that my life would be turned upside down for years to come.
No one told me that I would cry out to God after 20 years of marriage, wanting to know if my marriage was a blessing or a curse.
No one told me that God would light a fire up under me to start a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at risk veterans.
No one told me that through my efforts to reach out and help other veterans that my healing process would begin.
No one told me that I would reach the lives of so many veterans in need.
No one told me that one day I would be standing next to some of our country’s greatest senators at a senate press conference, advocating to save the HUD VASH Voucher program.
No one told me that I would one day pursue a master’s degree in non-profit management.
No one told me that the little boy who was once homeless with his parents, both disabled veterans, would grow up to be accepted into the University of Maryland at College Park, with aspirations of becoming an anesthesiologist.
No one told me, but now I know, I will stand on the rooftop and tell every veteran, male or female, that there is help available.
I will tell them about the resources to help them make a smooth transition from active duty to civilian status.
I will tell them that there is hope, because I made it and they can too.
I am Ginger Miller, Disabled Veteran-Wife-Mother-Caregiver-Advocate-Commissioner and President & CEO of John 14:2, Inc and I am on a mission to help my brother and sister veterans so that they will never have to say, “No one told me.”