I spent 20 years in the US Army, often the only woman in combat-arms units in forward-deployed environments. I broke glass ceilings and commanded units held only by men before me. I am a combat veteran, having been deployed to Iraq three times and once married to another Army officer, with whom I shared a life for 20 years and had two beautiful children.
In my last job in the Army, I served in a strategic-level organization that specialized in transitioning service members out of the Army. In this capacity, I knew how to properly prepare to leave the Army. I knew about all the resources, and when I worked for the US Army as a social media and podcast expert, I developed an extensive network and am known as the "networking queen" in the military community.
However, as I was retiring from the Army, I went through an unexpected divorce. I had to confront my demons from my deployments and my 20-year career (I had been assaulted and survived an IED blasts and other combat-related mission trauma). This sent me on a downward spiral, and I began to plan my suicide, and almost completed it - it was in my cry for help that I couldn't find a mental health resource.
Fast forward, I realized there weren't enough mental health resources for the military community, and I became determined to create change on the topic of military mental health. As a military combat veteran and mental health advocate, I am still tied to the military community. I currently serve as the ambassador for the Veteran Success Resource Group, a nonprofit that presents a range of programs for veterans and their families. I am the Vice President of Communications for Pan-Pacific American Leaders and Mentors, a nonprofit that provides leadership, education, mentorship, and fellowship opportunities for military leaders in the U.S. Army. I am the executive director for Work-Play-Obsession All In Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes healing for the invisible wounds of trauma due to military service. I am also a board member for BRC Recovery, a for-profit organization specializing in healing those affected by alcohol and drug addiction.
All these organizations are about the collective work of giving back to the tribe, telling the Army Story, and bridging the divide between the American People and the military. I learned firsthand that there are not enough mental health resources for the military community, and it takes all of us to create positive change. My business is about communicating these stories for my clients (who are often military-connected) to drive change effectively.