Finding mental health healing through writing

Maggie has found mental health healing through writing. She came home from Iraq in 2004 and went to talk to someone about what she experienced. She couldn’t get the words out. But he told her to use her words through writing. And that advice has helped her not only to find the words, but also to find community. She shared about her experience in the Army, highlighting her deployment to Kuwait and then into Iraq. She also shared her journey of being a military spouse far longer than she expected. Her husband is a CWO5 and has served for 28 years.

Finding mental health healing through writing

Maggie decided to join the military in 2000. She had done a few things after high school but still felt called to serve so she signed up. At first her parents were not supportive, but then when she explained why she was joining they were supportive. Her family took her to the airport and to the gate when she left for basic training as a supply troop (Logistics).

Her first assignment was Ft Bliss. Life was great. She enjoyed her job and met a handsome man. They ended up getting married August 31st, 2001. They took a four day pass to California with plans for a real honeymoon in the next few months. But then 9/11happened and the military changed. They didn’t get their honeymoon and instead found themselves ramping up their training preparing for an inevitable deployment.

Deploying to Iraq

Christmas 2002 she got the call to be ready for her upcoming deployment. Her unit first arrived in Kuwait and she was in charge of purchasing sanitation supplies and built up a supply hub to prepare for the invasion. When the initial invasion happen other units kept coming and taking her supplies. At first, she was frustrated and then a senior leader said, this isn’t our stuff, it is everyone. We are here to support the invasion. It changed her perspective.

After the initial invasion it was time for her and the rest of her unit to come to Iraq. She was in the lead truck and was the gunner. It was hard, long and exhausting work to man the gun. But they made it to camp and were able to set up tents and camp. When she got to their base she was in charge of sanitation. She had to burn waste and take the trash out to designated sites to be burned.

Coming home

There are moments in time when your body remembers things that maybe your mind has tried to forget. She writes about these moments and it has helped her in her mental health journey. She is also an artist and uses other forms of art media to calm her mind and find peace. She continues to look for community and support through writing and art.

If you want to see more of her work check out her blog: www.maggsvibo.comĀ 


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