February 2012. This month’s featured veteran is Ginger Miller. This is her unedited
story, in her own words.
“No One Told Me”
By Ginger Miller
U.S. Navy Veteran & Advocate
I joined the Navy to get the GI Bill to go to college….mission accomplished…well almost. The GI Bill, seemed like a sure fire way to get ahead of the game, after being discharged out of the Navy. Yeah that’s right, get out, go to college, and then get a good job.
However, wait, it wasn’t that easy, no one explained the years of backlog with filing claims at the VA Regional Office, and no one told me that my husband, who was my knight in shining armor, would come back from war a change man that would suffer from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
No one told me that there was a strong possibility that I could become a homeless honorably discharged disabled female veteran and that I would have to work three jobs, go to school full time, take care of my husband with PTSD and my 3 year old son, all while living in sub-standard housing conditions.
No one told me in the three-day transition course upon exiting the military that I really wasn’t prepared for the real world and that, there was a strong possibility that my life would be turned upside down for years to come.
No one told me that I would cry out to God after 20 years of marriage, wanting to know if my marriage was a blessing or a curse. No one told me that God would light a fire up under me to start a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and at risk veterans.
No one told me that through my efforts to reach out and help other veterans that my healing process would begin. No one told me that I would reach the lives of so many veterans in need.
No one told me that through my advocating efforts that I would be appointed to the Maryland Caregivers Support Coordinating Council, the Maryland Commission for Women and the Prince George’s County Commission for veterans.
No one told me that one day I would be standing next to some of our country’s greatest senators at a senate press conference, advocating to save the HUD VASH Voucher program. No one told me that I would one day grace the pages of Essence magazine telling my story so that I may be an inspiration and a beacon of light for veterans is need of hope.
No one told me that I would one day peruse a Masters Degree in Non-Profit and Association Management and an MBA. No one told me that the little boy who was once homeless with his parents, who are both disabled veterans, would grow up to be accepted into the University of Maryland at College Park, with aspirations of becoming an anesthesiologist.
No one told me, but know that I know I will stand up on the rooftop and tell every veteran male or female, that there is help available. I will tell them about the resources to help them make a smooth transition from active duty to civilian status. I will tell them that it is hope, because I made it and they can to.
My name is Ginger Miller-Disabled Veteran-Wife-Mother-Caregiver-Advocate-Commissioner and President & CEO of John 14:2, Inc and I am on a mission to help my brother and sister veteran, so that they will never have to say, “No one