Private Benjamin

Nineteen years ago a somewhat bratty former figure skater and former sorority girl left for Army basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  She signed up for the Army a few short weeks before September 11, 2001 and was worried her loan repayment plan may turn into a little more than she bargained for.  She was excited though to take […]

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Growing up after graduation

A friend once directed me to a TED talk given by Wes Moore called “How to talk to veterans about war.”  I highly recommend you take a listen.  It made me think maybe there are some of you interested in hearing a little more about how I went from sorority girl to soldier.  If you know someone who was in the military, it is always an interesting and unique story that starts with the question “why did you join?”  It’s also a nice way to show a veteran that you are interested and thankful for their service. At the risk of aging myself, I will tell you my story.  I graduated college August 11, 2001.  8/11 may be less famous than 9/11, but I remember it well. My cap said “thanks mom” and both my brothers, mom and nieces and nephews made the out of state trek to see me get my diploma. What I could have told you that day about Iraq was what I learned when I was in middle school while my oldest brother was serving in the Navy during the (first) Gulf War.  What I knew about Afghanistan was even less.  I hope (but doubt) I could have found either of these countries on a map.   At the time of my college graduation, I had been stuffing envelopes with folders of resumes and cover letters inside to all the big magazines in New York City.  Yes there was Internet back at […]

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One Year Later

One year ago Mr. Cabbage, ZimMaster Flash, and I were living in an motel with a litter box, a smelly hockey bag and all our belongings that weren’t in storage. Somehow we lived like this for 44 days through most of the summer. Homeless and hopeless no more In the course of a week: I was in a car accident […]

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Dealing with Diagnosis

My mom raised me alone from the time I was a little girl. She used to say it was you and me against the world (like the Helen Reddy song). Last year my mom was diagnosed with dementia. Long before the diagnosis she has battled her own demons alone. I have to remind myself that this is her choice, even though her three children […]

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