Being a Marine Corps veteran is one of my greatest sources of pride. Yesterday was yet another indicator of my over-commitment due to that pride and fear of disappointing others I care about. We hosted a military care package drive at work to send to troops deployed to Turkey. Because we had never organized an event like this, we tried to keep it small scale so we could assess how we can execute drives in the future.
Clearly, we exceeded the amount we thought we would get. I had to enlist the help of my husband to get everything transported home so all the paperwork can be filled out and these boxes taken to the post office. A task I put solely on myself.
Supporting deployed service members is something I find as a great honor to do, but I didn’t always feel that way. I spent many years after my divorce unable to muster empathy or support for military members overseas. The dynamic of infidelity abroad and at home left a sour taste in my mouth and didn’t want to continue supporting in my opinion, the destruction of families that military deployment inflicted. I felt so disgusted with some of the behavior that I felt ashamed to be a military veteran during that time.
My passion for veterans and the military was reignited when I started working for Disney. I was very fortunate to have a manager that submitted my name to be involved in the first Veteran’s Institute where I got to stand on stage with Michelle Obama.
This event led to the formation of our military diversity resource group at Disney Parks and Resorts. I’m very fortunate and grateful to work with a pretty incredible group of people.
This is an older photo of the team, actually the first photo. Since December 2014, I worked with this group and only a few faces have changed and a few new ones have been added. Working alongside these folks is something I truly enjoy but again I have to force myself to take a step back and look at how all these activities are impacting me. With the three year anniversary of this group coming in December, at what point do I pass the baton? How do I empower others to want to be involved and continue to support this group in the future?
Contemplating this puts me into almost an immediate panic attack because I worry about how I will be perceived if I step away, and how I will feel about myself if I do. The thing is, I want to keep doing it, I do like it and truly enjoy everything and everyone involved with it. Something I will have to continue to work on, work out and work with as time goes on.
I have the honor to be your Obedient Servant,