What are the effects of deployment on soldiers? Christian talks about how her deployment affects her life even today.
Christina is an Army Veteran and an Air Force spouse currently stationed in Utah with her husband and two children, ages 6 and 5. Her love for writing has found a home on her blog Heart & Stripes. She loves being a stay-at-home mom, volunteering on base, spending time with her family and she is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree as well. She was raised in Florida but is experiencing her first winter in Utah after spending four years stationed in Belgium.
Joining the Army
Christina joined the Army in 2002. By November 2003 she was on her way to Kuwait for the second wave of Iraqi Freedom. She was a paralegal attached to a finance unit. This meant that even though she was technically stationed in Kuwait she went into Iraq throughout her 15-month deployment. This deployment experience at the age of 20 led to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It took a long time for her to diagnose and get help in her recovery process.
She joined the National Guard in 2002, but with basic training, Advanced Individual Training as a paralegal, and leaving for deployment in 2003. She didn’t experience being part of the National Guard until 2005 after she returned home from her deployment. There she found a full-time job working with the National Guard. She worked for hand in hand with an active-duty unit and got to see more of the active military side than most National Guard members do.
Women in Combat
We also talked about the role women played in the war even before they were allowed to serve in combat units. She was overseas in 2003 and found herself out on the front lines doing her job. And I served in 2010 and deployed with a combat infantry unit. The rule to allow women to serve on the front lines and have any job they wanted to do was only made because women had already proven themselves on the battlefield.]
Coming home she realized she suffered from PTSD and would have panic attacks in different situations. When another deployment was looming in the future and her commitment had ended she decided to get out of the Guard. She was able to get help through counseling.
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Blog: Heart & Stripes
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