In honor of Veterans Day earlier this week, The Day asked some local veterans to send us a picture that they felt described their military service and to tell us about it.
Here’s what they had to say:
Willow Clauson, Navy
I love being a corpsman it allows me the opportunity to meet new people as well as keep them healthy. My passions is helping my fellow active-duty (service members) and veterans with PTSD who also have suicidal thoughts. Suicide is a preventable event, given the right tools.
I run a nonprofit called PinUps For Warriors Inc. (www.pinupsforwarriors.org). We put together pin-up-style calendars with the veteran resources readily available in each month. It is vital that we keep them alive and breathing. Every life is important to me.
Being in the Navy reserves has afforded me the opportunity to keep doing what I love, as well.
I have been lucky enough to have traveled the world and to see things I thought I’d never see. Hong Kong being my most exciting port-of-call in 2005. I was stationed in Guam at the time. Being stationed in the South Pacific was fun.
Bonnie Page, Navy
This picture is an important reflection of service because we are often asked if our husbands have served, discounting women who have served, even after we tell them about our service. I’m proud of what I did and in 2020 it’s important to remember that women have served and are still serving.
Mirca Reyes, Navy
The Navy was the greatest experience I have ever had. It shaped me to be strong and never quit.
I was blessed to experience being on a submarine and aircraft carrier before women were allowed and as a Boatswain’s mate, had the opportunity to get on the helm and operate them. I have friends that I still talk to and memories to last a lifetime.
Doug Capazzi, Army
It’s an honor to have served my country and something I will not hesitate to do all over again. It’s a name, classification or title that I am proud of, as it is the same title I share with my father along with so many other wonderful people. I wish I had never gotten out of the Army but I feel that there was a reason it was my time.
Being heavily involved in the veteran community and having the ability to give back is more than an honor, it’s a passion, it’s my “why.”
Through the organization Guardians of the Purple Heart, we have been able to assist numerous combat wounded veterans with what some would call the impossible. In my work with the national organization Irreverent Warriors, my team and I are able to combat mental health and prevent veteran suicide. Through the Veterans Equine Therapeutic Services, I am able to assist veterans (to) manage the many facets of PTSD through the process of working with horses. And if there is a veteran who needs the push to get off the couch and go for a walk, I introduce them to Team RWB (red white and blue) and get them actively involved in the community though active engagement. I guess you could say that being a veteran means to never stop serving those you have served with and those who have served before you.
Just because we have left the battlefield does not mean one is not fighting a war here at home. Being a veteran means you always have someone to fight that battle with you.