Forced To Let Go

A fellow veteran sent me this me this message on LinkedIn recently.

This message hit me really hard and made me think about how much I tried to cling to my veteran identity but was ultimately forced to let it go.

Some of y'all have been able to see my harmful journey with the veteran community but for those who haven't seen let me break it down.

1. In 2019 when I was medically retired I joined LinkedIn and received so much help from other veterans there. They seemed almost too eager to share their experiences and tips needed to safely transition. Towards the end of 2019, I wrote a post that describe my experiences as a "woman veteran".

On that post I had a lot of veterans from different backgrounds gaslit me.

It was extremely eye opening and made me take a huge step back from the veteran community.


2. In May of 2020, I began posting a lot on Facebook and LinkedIn about the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. I also began sharing some of my experiences while in uniform including the discrimination I faced throughout my service. I had several veterans including veterans I served with show their whole asses.

My favorite comment from that era. Cute right?

3. The last kick in the chest I received from the community happened when I attended a networking event held by VETS2INDUSTRY. The event was supposed to focus on diversity in the veteran space but throughout multiple speakers used phrases like “don’t be too sensitive” and “don’t play the victim”. Someone even asked the key speaker how to be the “token” in an organization and the speaker recommended not being “overly sensitive” and spoke of a time she was able to be ‘one of the guys’.

After posting these experiences to LinkedIn, several people from that organization reached out to me to gaslight and silence me. I even had people in that organization tell me I was being