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On the Front Lines

“As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.” -Virginia Woolf

In 1994, at the age of seventeen, I joined the United States Marine Corps. Often, I am asked what led me to make this decision and it is a very difficult question for me to answer because looking back the true motive seems so naiveté that it screams childhood optimism-”I joined the Marine Corps because I wanted to save the world.” I wanted to know that my daily actions could make a difference on a global scale. I was fearless and I wanted to be on the front lines of global change. There is no doubt that my daily actions made a difference during my ten years serving as a United States Marine, however the time came when I questioned whether my contributions were contributing to the global changes that I wanted to see in the world.

Web 2.0 gives me that opportunity to to be a part of creating and contributing to these global changes. It puts me on the front lines of conflict resolution, the front lines of peace activism, the front lines of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In 2005, I decided to leave active duty military service and became a therapist who specializes in addictions. Every day I work with Veterans of the United States Armed Services assisting them in healing their emotional wounds of war. My passion to make a difference globally only intensified since becoming a therapist for those who have experienced war. I feel great fulfillment and passion for my work but I crave the opportunity to be a part of healing on a global level. I crave being a global citizen-particularly connecting with women from all corners of the world and help others heal from the wounds of war. We must hear each other into speech and action.

I am fearless and I want to be on the front lines of global change.

Comments

antoniamichaela's picture

greetings

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for sharing some of your story! I would love to hear more. Wow - very inspiring to read how you have had the courage to follow your mind and heart and become a therapist for people affected by the pain of being directly involved in warfare, after being a Marine. Your work must be very difficult to do, but incredibly important for those receiving it and for the healing of society as a whole. How might you like to use your skills to be a part of healing on a global level, as you mention? Maybe through providing therapy to those affected by war from other regions too? Or are you thinking about other ways? It would be great to hear more on this and how Web 2.0 might assist you with what you might want to do! Thank you again for your piece which is full of passion to continue to add healing and wellbeing to the world.

Take care!

Antonia

JessiSchimmel's picture

A very interesting path

Hi Jennifer,

That is a fascinating path you have taken to get where you are today. On the front lines is a very apt double entendre! What drove you to transition to the therapist role?

I wholeheartedly agree that we must "hear each other into speech and action." I think it's at the heart of the social media movement. What would be the one thing you would take on? What action should I take from your words?

Looking forward to reading more, thanks,
Jessi

Jennifer Brier's picture

Thank you so much for such

Thank you so much for such wonderful feedback and thoughful questions!

What drove you to transition to the therapist role?
I don't know that there was a specific reason or event that drove me to become a therapist, but there was always a part of me that knew I would work in a capacity that supported healing in others. I was always the one my fellow Marines came to for support. I have definitely found that the invisible wounds of war are often the most detrimental to individual lives and communities. I have such an passion to assist others in healing these wounds.

What would be the one thing you would take on?
This is an excellent question. I am currently feeling led to write a self-care guide for woman veterans and create workshops to support women veterans in their healing. I also hold the intention to expand the opportunity for healing to all women affected by war globally.
I also have a dream to create a deeper understanding of our "duty" as American Women. There is a clear conversation for American men and their 'duty' to country. It is my desire to deepen our understading of our 'duty' to the global community…creating a dialog between women around "Matriotism" rather than limiting our service within "Patriotism."

What action should I take from your words?
Be Fierce! Take on whatever action feels most aligned with your passion and values and bring the fierceness that only a women sourcing her authentic power can…

Jennifer

"I am a woman, that's my weapon!" ~Catherine Robbins

Carri Pence's picture

I remember working at a

I remember working at a Senators office in Albuquerque and our largest concern were the veterans, due to the fact that they served our country but had such a hard time transitioning back. It is amazing what work you do and I am very impressed. Do you use the internet to assist with your work?

Jennifer Brier's picture

Thank you for commenting,

Thank you for commenting, Carri. Transitioning is an immense concern with veterans. Particularly, it is a difficult dynamic for combat veterans to "turn off" the fight or flight response required to survive in combat and then transition to every day life. We are not 'wired for war' and the cost is always great to the wellness of those directly involved with warfare.
I am particularly interested in assisting women veterans with their transition from active duty to 'civilian life' along with supporting wellness for women veterans while actively serving in the military. The intense desire for women veterans to be accepted into male dominant environments and roles often prevents women from advocating for their needs. A dynamic that is not only harmful for the individual wellness of our women veterans but it is detrimental to the overall readiness of our military.
I love that the internet offers an additional means for communication and connection for veterans. The dissemination of information is essential for assisting veterans in becoming their own best advocates. The earlier generations of veterans-particularly the Vietnam Era veterans-often did not access the care available to them simply because they did know it was available. Access to care is impoving with this generation of veterans and the internet is playing a significant role in making transitions easier.

Jennifer

"I am a woman, that's my weapon!" ~Catherine Robbins

Tina's picture

On the front lines

Dear Jennifer,
I am amazed by your post and I admire your courage and your continuing conviction to work for planetary healing and global change - one person, one community at a time. You have truly put yourself on the frontlines of conflict resolution and peace activism through your life's work and indeed by being here on Pulsewire now. I am keen to read more from you. All the best in all that you do and good luck with your application.
Tina

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