As most of you know, over the past year and a half I’ve had some pretty severe medical issues pop up out of nowhere. I preferred to keep the bad news off my Facebook page for as long as I could. I have been going through an “MEB” which is Military lingo for a medical discharge. The Medical Evaluation Board determined I was unfit for continued military service today. Apparently, when you have five major surgeries and a couple dozen emergency incisions with no end in sight, they don’t want you anymore. To be honest, it is completely understandable even if I hate the decision.
Although, I am extremely ashamed and disappointed in myself for “Not making it,” my health is more important in the long run. I feel like I let a lot of people down. To be honest it’s more guilt than anything. My legs haven’t been blown off. I can see, hear, walk, and breath on my own. But I’m considered a disabled veteran. It doesn’t make sense and it completely boggles my mind. Why I should receive benefits for anything? I didn’t get hurt in combat, my body just decided to start hating me.
I was explaining this to my medical provider today when one of the other employees spoke up. He told me he had served 12 years in the Army until he was medically discharged. He explained that not all disabled veterans look like they have been through the ringer and back. He said, “For those who couldn’t come back, you owe it to them to live well. Because they can’t be happy, healthy and with their families.” I’ll never forget that, but it doesn’t seem to lift the veil of embarrassment or disappointment.
I love the military, it completed straightened me out as an individual. Changed my attitude and turned me into an adult. It gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment every day. The feeling when a random stranger thanks you for your service is unparalleled by any other. The smile on your family’s face when they see you accomplishing your goals is amazing, especially when you have let them down in the past. If you have ever spent just one day in a uniform you know what I’m talking about. We are 0.45% of the United States population. In my eyes it says a lot just to make it through basic training and tech school. Overcoming the odds and taking a chance. But I sure wish I could have made it a career and not a sob story.
I want to thank my incredible husband for all he had done. From wound changings, hundreds of doctors’ appointments, dealing with a wife who reeks of iodine, ruining vacations due to emergency room visits, to pushing me in a wheel chair for countless hours. He is the greatest husband, and so much more than anyone I could have ever dreamed of. I will always say the military spouse is sometimes stronger than the military member. Atilla is my proof, because he definitely didn’t sign up for this crap, but he did it all with a smile and a few jokes.
For the rest of my family and friends who have kept up or even felt concern for my health, thank you. I couldn’t have gone through this without your support. I can’t wait to thank each and every one of you personally. If I let you down in anyway, just know I have plans for making you proud again. I will be heading back to Alabama by Christmas time. I plan to get back in college and start over again. I have been talking with the Wounded Warrior project, the VA and the future looks promising.