Sitting down to write this I have discovered that it’s not as easy to talk about yourself as one would think! Let’s give it a whirl anyway… I’m Steph…yes, I have a full name but let’s not worry about the particulars.
I am originally from Memphis TN but I made it to Texas as fast as I could. I am a mom to two insanely handsome boys, three dogs, and two cats. Some may say that should fill my plate but there’s more. I work in the music industry part-time as a VIP Production Assistant. Not going to lie, its super fun! Yes, I wear many hats, but the most important hat I wear is that of wife. Wife to a Navy veteran. This hat, this is the hat that not only lead me to LSF but it shaped me into the person that I am today.
My husband and I married on June 30, 2007, he went on his first deployment July 10, 2007. That’s right, after just marrying my best friend I was alone and would be for the next 7 months. Back then, I was quiet, reserved, and I was actually borderline shy. Being put in this impossible situation I felt I had one choice….I had to change. Deployment isn’t necessarily the best time to make changes because your spouse isn’t there.
More deployments brought on more changes, for both of us. Some good, some not so good. Every time he came home I remember saying a prayer of thanks because we were still making it. As a military spouse I watched our friends, neighbors, even family bust apart at the seams. The stress of deployment took away dads, husbands, brothers, sisters, wives…..deployments took away everything at times. We were lucky.
When my husband was discharged, and we relocated back to Texas, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had to try and help because with one different circumstance, we could have been broken. I started researching organizations and talking to people in my community, yes me, that reserved girl from 2007 was gone. She was replaced with a confident, outgoing, passionate woman that had and still has a mission. That mission is simply to help, that mission led me straight to LSF.
I get asked all the time why with such a busy life I choose to give my time for free. That answer is always the same….because it could have been me. I could be the caregiver at the retreat fighting for my loved one’s lives. I could be the spouse trying to keep our family together when the PTSD gets out of control. I could have been the soldier that saw unspeakable things that forever changed me. I serve, I help, because it could have been me.
Lone Survivor Foundation provides a high impact program lead by licensed trauma experts for veterans, active duty service members & their families. To learn more about our program, please visit https://lonesurvivorfoundation.org/service-members/