Quote stealing again. The title was a quote from Tarana Burke, activist and founder of the #metoo movement. (Fun fact: Me Too movement began in 2006.) WARNING: The topic is sexual assault. If you feel you will be triggered, read it with a friend, family or therapist or wait until you feel you are in a good state of mind.

A few years back I was asked to be part of a medical board for veteran non-profit. One of the conditions, before accepting the position, was to observe one of their retreats. …


“And the truth is all Veterans pay with their lives. Some pay all at once, while others pay over a lifetime.” ~ JM Storm

Last Monday, as we honored our fallen soldiers, many of my friends, both military and civilian, posted on social media, reminding us of the importance of the holiday. One friend posted the quote above and it inspired this week’s blog. (Thank you Kristy!)

A good chunk of the service members I had the privilege to take care of, dealt (and are dealing) with varying levels of trauma and PTSD. Some could continue to function with the…


Okay, the title and concept is a total steal from Brene’ Brown. All you Brene’ Brown naysayers, hush. Witty, sassy, middle aged, type A chic trying to better herself (and inturn, others) by being a badass researcher on vulnerability and shame. Oh, and she swears. Yeah, I’m not ashamed to admit it..she’s my people.

I was listening to her podcast while out jogging with the dog…sloowww jog. (I now realize the whole reason we really wear headphones is so you don’t hear yourself sucking air.) The topic was growth. Specifically, how growth stops when we stop putting ourselves in challenging…


Armor. No, not the stuff knights wear; the stuff we have been slowly and inconspicuously putting on since childhood. If I were a betting girl, I bet it weighs more than any suit of armor.

For those that joined the military, armor not only was issued physically, but emotionally it was handed out at every uncomfortable interaction. We were aware we did it; it was how we survived.

When I retired, I was well aware I had over 20 years of armor built up. The degree, the career, the uniform, the rank, the emotionless exterior, the pragmatic think through; learning…


Vulnerability is Ego’s Nemesis

I crashed and burned a couple weeks ago. Out. Of. The. Blue. Okay, if I am being honest with myself, out of the blue might be a little stretch. However, my reaction completely shocked me. I’ll rewind.

I have been retired for nearly 6 months now. Overall, it has been pretty dang nice. I still don’t get to sleep in with two school-aged kiddos, but coming home to walk the dogs, meditate, eat breakfast, and getting errands done during the daytime has felt luxurious. Yet, in the background, my mind continues to whir. I’m still planning…


kavehadel.com

Since last week’s post was in regards to QTC’s customer service, I thought I’d continue the discussion on customer service.

I might have mentioned a time or two that I am newly retired (and I’m liking it…a lot). My last job was working with wounded/ill/injured Guard and Reservist; initially as a clinical case manager and ending as a subject matter expert in policy pertaining to medical care for guard and reserves.

Customer service was critical in my job. Most of my career was assisting people when they were at their most vulnerable. That may be to first time parents giving…


“Did you check e-benefits this week?” my husband asked.

“Nope, not feeling hopeful it has changed much” was my defeated response.

Let me back up a little. If you read my first post, you learned I retired on 1 Oct 2020. Like an orderly troop I went to TAP; took copious notes; got my medical records in order; met with the DAV rep and had everything submitted to him prior to my retirement, ready to go. My rep had everything uploaded in e-benefits on my first day of retirement. It all went perfectly smooth.

By December, the VA medical appointments…


commons.wikimedia.org

Welcome to The Taking Off The Armor!

This is the first of many weekly blogs pertaining to various aspects of the military affecting service members that have, are, or will be transitioning back to civilian status. I also plan to include a heavy emphasis on Guard and Reserves because honestly, their challenges are rarely afforded the time and attention they warrant.

While some blogs will be more general and applicable to Total Force members; others will be more specific on issues pertaining to a particular section of the military, and then there will just be those that are more personal…

TAKING OFF THE ARMOR

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