Ginny joined the Coast Guard at 18, she turned 19 while at boot camp. She was a chef, first stationed on a Cutter (a coast guard commissioned vessel) in San Diego. She also went to South and Central America doing drug and migrant interdiction. And then she was stationed in Cape Cod, MA.
Ginny always knew she wanted to do something more. She had looked into the military, but also had a passion for culinary and had taken culinary classes. The main military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) didn’t offer what she was looking for and she was still searching for what to do when her mother-in-law suggested the Coast Guard. The recruiter came from Tennessee to talk to her. And it was then she decided to join the Coast Guard.
Her deployment rotation at her first assignment was 3 months on 3 months home. It was out off the coast of Mexico and South America she was able to learn a little bit more about the world and the challenges people faced. They knew every time they caught someone trying to get drugs into America that there could be a high risk for their family back at home. They also were on the lookout for migrants coming to America. It was a hard reality to see what some people do to try and get out of the poverty they are stuck in for a chance for a better life in the states.
She talked about the double standard between males and females. Women who are driven, strong-willed, and independent can be classified as negative words. While men who exhibit the same traits are seen as good leaders. It can be difficult to be a woman in the military. She is also a military sexual trauma survivor. And hearing her story of how her experience was dismissed by leadership and how hard it was for her to get the support that she needed and deserved is sad. It puts a personal touch on the #metoo movement that really explains the challenges some women have faced in the military when exposed to sexual harassment or rape.
She was medically retired in 2008 due to the PTSD caused by the assault. Since leaving the military she has been able to get help through training her dog, Shadow. Her constant companion. He has helped her to get control over her anxiety and she uses her training and her story to help others who have experienced assault or rape.
She helped write “A different way to serve”
After getting the help she needed she went back to her unit and with new leadership, she was able to make her way and move forward. She even had a situation where guys who had been friends with the guy who assaulted her took care of her while deployed in South America.
She encourages women to join the military because of the many positive experiences she had with her military service.
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