Channelle, U.S. Army Veteran
Channelle is a United States Army Veteran who reached out to Home Front Military Network (HFMN) not knowing what kind of assistance she needed but knew she was in need of guidance.
“I wasn’t sure if you [HFMN] could even help me. I saw Home Front Military Network [on a magnet], and I didn’t really know, but maybe they can refer me to someone because I wasn’t deployed. I was in a long time ago. I don’t even know if they can help me or if it applies to me, but at this point I was desperate. I didn’t know who else to call. It was one of those things where I knew I had to do something and I am really glad I did.”
Channelle spoke with Christian Nunez, HFMN Generalist Navigator, and military veteran. She told him she didn’t know what she needed or wanted, “but, in the course of one call, Christian was able to unscramble my thoughts, provide great contacts.”
Channelle joined the military in 2003 right after high school, “I wanted to go over and fight after 9/11. I wanted to go and serve my country.” She went to sign up. She opted to be a Linguist, which meant two years of advanced individual training (AIT) to learn Arabic.
“It was during that time that I developed medical issues. So then I went to the next base and had more medical issues, so I never even made it out of AIT. That was really frustrating because I saw all my friends go out and get deployed. Some of them were deployed around the world and were assigned to Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs), some of them were deployed to combat areas, and some of them did not come back. It was tough for the first couple of years. It’s the guilt thing that every soldier deals with, survivor’s guilt.”
Channelle was eventually medically separated from the service, with the help from a supportive company commander in 2006. She is now in a time of her life where she is able to focus on her health and wants to start a career. “I want a career, I can have a career, and I’ve been pushing for a career, so now is the time to figure out what is going on. I got ahold of him (Christian from HFMN), and I told him I don’t know what to do. I need help. I’m confused. I’m lost. I don’t even know what I’m looking for”.
Channelle saw our magnet during a time when she wasn’t receiving the help that she was seeking, “I grabbed the magnet, and I’m like ‘I just need help!'” (She said through tears). “All of the contacts he gave me were spot on. A lot of them in ways that were not expected, but I trusted him and relied on what he said. It worked. If you’re going to go get help, you just do what they say. You have to trust them because they know what they are doing”.
“It doesn’t matter how long it’s been. It doesn’t matter your situation. It’s a perfect starting place because you guys know so many people and so many places and resources, and even if you guys can’t help, you know someone who will.”
“It’s just frustrating to hear veterans say that it doesn’t mean anything to be a veteran and that no one cares, because I know people do. You just have to figure out how to get ahold of people for them to know that you need the help. And that’s kind of what I did with Christian, and he helped me figure out how to get the help. Now, I feel like I have a team of people to help me. My network is building because I made that phone call”.