The Morning Formation Podcast

A Complete Guide to VA Burial Rights, Compensation, and Overcoming Trauma with Elder Kimcherian Johnson

December 16, 2021 KP Season 1 Episode 28
The Morning Formation Podcast
A Complete Guide to VA Burial Rights, Compensation, and Overcoming Trauma with Elder Kimcherian Johnson
Show Notes Transcript

Today we’re speaking with a VA Specialist, licensed minister, published author, life coach, podcaster, and a founder of several different organizations and support groups, which we’ll get into during our interview today. A MUST LISTEN episode, if you want to learn about some lesser known burial rights, VA Comp information, and how to deal with trauma.

The ultimate goal is for this professional military spouse is to provide encouragement, direction, and support for today’s issues dealing with mental health and simply a guiding light for those who have lost their identities in the journey of life. I’d like to welcome Elder Kimcherian Johnson to the show.

Kimcherian Johnson's Website:
https://www.kimjohnsonempowers.com

Kimcherian Johnson Amazon "It Happened, Now What?" Book:
https://www.amazon.com/Kimcherian-Johnson/e/B096YC1G46%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Kimcherian Johnson's LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimcherian-johnson-9a2b77215/

Kimcherian Johnson's Email:
kimjohnsonempowers@gmail.com

KP:

This episode is powered by act now education, go to www dot act now education.com For free comprehensive educational resources and opportunities for active duty veterans, military spouses, and children.

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

I remember my husband telling me about the conditions and things when he was overseas so that trauma, if not dealt with, it doesn't just go away, we have to be able to acknowledge it. And just like we were talking about how, you know, soldiers, or sailors or whomever, you know, don't want to go to the doctor. They're like, Oh, I'm just pushing on. It's the same thing with trauma. Oftentimes, we never deal with it. We just keep going. And we think we're good. But we're really not good because we're making decisions from a hurt place and not even realizing it.

Unknown:

For years fall in, it's time for formation. Thank you for joining us today. Today, we are fortunate to be speaking with a licensed minister published author, life coach podcaster, and a founder of several different organizations and support groups, which we'll get into during our interview today. But first and foremost, I'd like to introduce our podcast assistant and co host, Avi. How you doing today, sir? Pretty good KP. So the ultimate goal for this professional military spouse is to provide encouragement, direction and support for today's issues dealing with mental health and simply a guiding light for those who have lost their identities in the journey of life. I'd like to welcome elder Kim cheryan Johnson to the show. Thank you for joining us today, ma'am.

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Hello, thank you. Okay, baby. That's so great to be here today,

Unknown:

honors all on our end. And I really appreciate you giving us your time because I know you're extremely busy. And want to start off. I understand that your husband is retired is a retired Army veteran. Just wanted to talk about your experiences as a military spouse, as a career military wife, raising five children, what was it like to move? And what advice would you give to someone starting out as a new military spouse?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Great question. You know, it was so awesome. My husband actually got hurt downrange, so you've medically retired out. And it was kind of short for us. Because we loved it. We were planning to do the whole 20. I'm just learning how to be flexible. Be patient, we got married right when he went active duty. And it grew us as a couple. We started off our tours in Germany, we were over there a total of seven years away from family and we learned how to bond with your millet with our military families. So you have people from all over the world that come together and just have each other. So it really was a great experience. You know, any advice I would have is, you know, as a spouse is to be patient, you learn patients learn how to be fake, flexible, because the military is all about change. You can ask anybody that, you know, it's about change. And then just keeping that Home Front strong. You know, our soldiers, sailors, all of the active duty service, they work so hard, and they need to be focused on their assignment. So it's our job to keep that Homefront strong, because a soldier, a sailor, a cosca, whoever, they're just as good as their family is at home, worrying about you. If you're going to be okay if the bills are going to get paid or if the kids are okay. If they're in that mindset, it alters them being the best that they can be at the jobs that they're doing for us every day. So that would be just some advice that I would give.

Unknown:

So continuing on, you know, now that your husband is out of the military, you know, from what I've read about you, you're involved in so much what is your current full time position with a VA?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Yes, I am a legal administrative specialist with the Department of Veterans Affairs, something that I am very proud to do. I have previously worked for the Department of Defense on the medic side. This is a new assignment for me the last make three years coming up. And I am so honored to serve our veterans as well as I was our active duty. servicemen and women so it's such an honor to serve veterans and their family members.

Unknown:

Wow. Yeah, I think it really helps to because you were in those shoes once upon a time. And I think one of the most challenging things for some, some folks that are transitioning is the the compensation piece. Folks that are transitioning out don't fully understand it and getting a veteran to even put in for compensation is a personal obstacle and once you're past that navigating the system is ready Tough Would you mind explaining the claims process?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

And, and great point KP because, you know, our servicemen and women, they're taught discipline, they're taught to endure a lot, their bodies go through a lot with just regular PT training exercises, and even more time, so oftentimes, they just taught to move on, oh, I got a little hurt a little pain, you know, press through. And so when their careers with the military, active duty ends, they have all these ailments. And sometimes they're still in that mindset of I'm good, you know? Oh, yeah, it's okay. But you know, so So as, as family members, that spouses, we have to be able to convince them, you need to get take care of yourself, go and report these things that are service connected to get compensation. And that's what compensation is, it's any type of injury that you receive, that was service connected. And so when you apply for compensation, what you're doing is you're saying that whatever your injuries are, they weren't they had happened or was associated when you were in the military. So that that's what compensation is. And the way that you would apply for that is a couple of ways. You can go on to the website, www.va.gov. And you could set up an account, and you can actually apply online, all the information walks you through how to apply for compensation online, you can also mail or fax in the claim forms to file your claim from compensation. If you are not aware how to find those claim forms online, you can actually call into the office as well, the 1-800-827-1000. And we can email our fax you or even mail you those claim forms, so that you can apply for your compensation.

Unknown:

So that's, that's the toughest part, I think, for many veterans is just for one, getting past the personal aspect of it. And then number two, figuring out how to even get started. But I guess in today's day and age with the internet and everything, you know, simply going online is the first step. But would you mind explaining the difference between compensation versus pension?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Absolutely. So again, compensation is injuries or that you receive from a service that was service connected when you were in a service. pension is income based, okay? pension is a certain amount that you could qualify for, and is based on your income. So that's the difference in the two, we have a lot of veterans that their injuries were not necessarily traced back to being in the military, but they can still possibly receive pension, but it will be based on their income, you have to be at a certain income level to be able to receive that benefit.

Unknown:

Now, Kim, I just want to build off what Kp is saying here. He was saying that as a new newcomer to the VA, it can be difficult to understand all of the different things going on. And I want to know, as someone who's very involved in many aspects of it, what are some ways that newcomers can help navigate all the different aspects and terminologies to make it easier?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Okay, great question. The biggest thing is going online to va.gov. There is there are so many resources on there, just taking the time they break it down by category. There's a q&a section where people have asked familiar questions that you could probably find the exact answer to your question. It is a great tool to use just sitting down going through on www.va.gov. Another way there are veteran service organizations out there. You are veteran service officers that can assist you on the claim side with filing a claim. Some of these organizations are the Disabled American Veterans, the American Legions, the VFW, which is Veterans of Foreign Wars. You can find some of these organizations, or contact numbers, you can find them on va.gov. You can google veteran service organizations and find one close in your area. But they assist family members and veterans with filing claims and some of them will actually file the claim for you. So that's another great resource with filing claims.

Unknown:

So Kim just following that. What are some common mistakes you see people making when trying to navigate Oh, Have these tools without being knowledgeable the different ways they can capitalize on them?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Yeah, again, just not using the site. Or a lot of times, I think there's, you know, there's a community of people that share information about their claims. So getting wrong getting bad information. So you have a buddy that maybe he filed his claim. And let's say it took him a week, but you know, or he'll or people giving advice, that's not the latest, most updated information. That's why that va.gov or calling in is your best tool to get the most updated information, even more so than just Googling it. Because a lot of that information has not been updated, a lot of information gets updated. So you want to go to the actual site, or you want to call in to the national contact center, so we can give you the most current information available.

Unknown:

Yeah, that's, that's actually really, really important is to get the most updated information, because things do change. And there is some things that are outdated. With the military, it's, you know, I've been out since 2007. Myself, and everything from uniforms to the way basic training is being ran to the way folks can actually get into the military and get commissioning has changed so much. So I can't even imagine how much has changed with the compensation and, and that side of the house in itself. And I got to mention this too, because I know folks out there will be able to relate to this as well. I remember when I came back from my deployment, and I had a bulging disc in my lower back and my L five. And I remember it was dirt it was during PT It happened when it actually slipped. And I remember, I lost all functions to my legs, like I literally couldn't walk. And so I was on the ground on all fours, like crawling on the ground, trying to continue on, and trying to tell my body to basically do something that it couldn't do, and it wouldn't do. And it was so frustrating for me. And that's the mentality that a lot of military folks have is just to suck it up and drive on. And that's the mentality that I had, it got to a point where I had to get carried into sick call, and I was in so much pain at that time. What advice would you give to folks out there who still carry that mentality of you know, suck it up and drive on, and just deal with the pain? You know, as we get older and time those those scars, they don't, they don't go away, they just they just get worse. And so what advice would you give to someone out there this kind of within themselves to not file the compensation that's necessary for them?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Yeah, great question. First of all, these benefits are not, it's not charity, you earned these benefits, you sacrifice your life for your country. So you deserve for us to take care of you. If it's something that happened on our watch, that should be something that we take care of you for no one's giving you anything. Also, you have to think about your family. It's not just about you, but you want to be in the best physical health that you can be. So you can be there for your family, or you can continue to do the things now that you want to do, now that you've moved on from the military. So I just think it's a shift in mindset. I think transitioning from the from the military side to civilian side is so important. And if you still struggle with that, you know, you may meet, you may want to look into even possibly talking to someone getting some counseling about it. Because a lot of times mentally, for some people, it's hard to transition out of that you're not still active, you know, things have shifted, and the older you get the impact of the things that you did on your body, the impact of that is going to be more and more prevalent. So you want to take care of it. Now you want to get it under control now. So you can live out the rest of your days. Having that energy and being able to do all the things that you desire to do. You deserve your benefit. So go get them.

Unknown:

Right my dad did 20 years was drafted in 71 and did 20 years in the military got out at 0% and he was Army Ranger everything drill sergeant for five years and he he had that same mentality when he got out was just suck it up and drive on. I'm fine continue on but now that he's much older, those injuries that he got while he was in are extremely magnified. And you know, now he's trying to go back and get The service connection and it's much harder. The longer you wait is what I'm is what I'm learning. But I wanted to ask you about the mat, the actual math behind compensation itself, it's extremely confusing. Could you explain how the VA calculates percentages?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Absolutely. So we don't add your individual Disability Percentages to determine the combined presented. So if you have 70, for your knee, 2% for your foot, we're not adding that. And that makes 80. And I think that's the big frustrating thing for people, because they're like, I know how to add 70. With VA, okay, we use a table from our regulations. And this table is based on the whole person theory. And this means that an individual with no disabilities is 100% able, that means if you don't have any disabilities, they consider you 100% APR, this table reduces this total ability by the percentage of your most disabling issue. So if you got 70%, and 10%, so you go from 100% to seven, if you have 70%. That means you're 30% APR. So that's how they look at it, they don't look at it, like you're 70%, this disabled, they look at it like you're 30% APR. So I'm gonna give you an example how they calculate it. So let's just say we have someone, you had 70% for your knee, and 10 70% for your back 10% For your knee, we first consider that 70% Again, because it's the highest condition. And for VA purposes, you are considered a being that 30% APR, so you got the 70. But for that 10%, okay, you're not gonna get that 10%, you're only going to get a percentage of the 10% and you get three, it'll be 10% of the 3%, which is three. So it will be 73%. So once you get your number, then they either round up, or they round down. So if you're at 73%, then you're 70%. If it was over 75 or 75 or above, you'd be 80%. And that is what the most frustrating thing. And the hardest thing for people to understand is the pie chart. It's a pie chart. And it's just regulation, and it's the way that they calculate your disability. So

Unknown:

now, Kim, is that chart? Is that table publicly available? It is it is on va.gov Oh, yeah, definitely would help to see it visualize and get those percentages out in order when it comes to getting compensation. And being simply rated. It's a huge egotistical thing, in my opinion, because even for myself when I got out of the military, they they told me, they said, you know, you need to file for compensation. And I said, no, like, I don't want that, like I don't, I'm 27 years old, I'm fine, like, leave me alone. And it just so happened that I had an NCO that basically made me like file because I had the medical paperwork there, made me file the paperwork to put in for stuff. And then when they said, Well, what about all this other stuff? And I said, Look, I didn't want to do this stuff to begin with. So I was kind of like my own worst enemy in a way. And I'm very grateful that I had the NCO that was working with me out processing, step in and tell me like, Look, you need to put in for this stuff, because you're fine today, but down the road, things will change for you. This injury will come back up again. So you know, and that's that's the kind of intervention that we need, I guess, because sometimes we're our own worst enemies when it comes to that kind of stuff. And can you mentioned earlier about the veteran service officers? What is the best way someone can locate their their local VSO

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

va.gov. has information about veteran service officers. You can also Google veteran service officers in your area. I mentioned a few of them, that pretty much have one each each state, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, the VFW or Veterans of Foreign Wars. So those are some in your area that will be able to assist the your normal, your local regional office has people that can assist as well. You can go into the office during the hours for that location. And they can assist with filing claims as well. So

Unknown:

the one thing that you mentioned to me before is you mentioned the burial plans. And that's something that I didn't even know anything about. What's one, what's one thing or what's several things that folks may not know about that and how does that work and what benefits are available?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Okay, yeah. Great question. And to be honest, this is one of the things that I think does get overlooked. We just, we just, again it think about it, if if most servicemen and women aren't really thinking about benefits or taking care of their physical, they're surely not thinking that they're going to pass away. But it's very important. There is there are benefits that are available. One is the flag, each service member can receive a flag, there is barely a burial reimbursement amount that they can apply for, or the surviving spouse can apply for, from zero to $2,000, just depending. But it has to be applied for it's nothing that you get, like, if the veteran passes away, it's nothing that you're going to get before the funeral, you actually have to fill out the forms and submit those, and then the VA will make a determination and send out the decision letter. Also, the veterans have the ability to be buried in a national cemetery. If there is availability in the particular cemetery, they want to be buried in at no charge, there is a pre neat form that you can fill out to kind of pre certify for that. And that's something you can do today. I mean, if you're a veteran, you can get that pre nice form, you can go online va.gov To get it, or you can call into the office, and we can mail or fax, or email you that form and it kind of pre qualifies you for that burial. You know, or, or it presets up that you have a desire to be buried at a national cemetery and that information. Also, for as the surviving spouses, there's a couple of things, there's two forms what we talked about the burial reimbursement, one, but there's another form that you fill out and it covers three big, it covers DIC, which is called dependency indemnity compensation. And it's a benefit you receive. And what it is, is if you're the veteran is receiving compensation, you're applying to see if you can receive a portion of that benefit. The second thing that they look forward to see if you qualify for his survivor's pension, to see if based on your income, you qualify to receive any type of pension. And then the third is called a cured benefits, which is to see if your spouse was do any benefits. Let's say your spouse had filed a claim for disability, but he passed before it was done. So they're going to look at if you are have the ability to take over that claim, or your do any money based on what was already in the works for him. So that one claim covers three things. So normally, when a veteran passes away, you call into the one 800 Number. And then you report the passing. And then we send you these forms, we go over everything that that you're eligible to receive or apply for. Another thing is they give you a headstone, marker or medallion, you can choose one of those, as well as if the veteran had honorable service, they have what's called a presidential Memorial certificate. It is a certificate signed by the sitting President honoring the veteran. So these are just some of the benefits that they have. There is what's called a burial planner packet. And you can call in and request this as well. And it may be on va.gov in this packet is everything you need to know about if the veteran passes away, it's like walks you through. It also has additional pages where you can make certain arrangements or write down your plan about burial. Maybe who you want to oversee things, it is a phenomenal tool that I feel every veteran should have, because everything is right there. So I hope I didn't go on too much. But I just want to kind of review

Unknown:

know that check. That's really great information. So it's a very well planned packet. And you can go to the go to the VA website and get that ordered and sent to you. Right. You're right.

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Or you could call into the office then 1-800-827-1000. And we can see new one as well. Wow.

Unknown:

And now this might be a stupid question. But once once the veteran has passed away if they are service connected, does is there anything to get that service connection transferred to the spouse or does that go when the veteran passes away?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Right? So that's why those forms I just got done telling you that you fill out the watch they feel out the VA will then look to see if there's anything that the veteran that the surviving spouse can receive, or, you know, if there's a child or that that's what that's for. So when you feel that out, because we don't read or adjudicate, so we can't ever tell you, if you're gonna get something or not, the Raiders are the ones that review that. And then they make a determination and send you a decision letter in the

Unknown:

mail. Okay. And you can do all that pretty much today, or, you know, obviously, before you, you know, pass, yeah, your spouse doesn't have to do that. But you can actually do that as kind of a pre certification is what you said,

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

you can you can, you can request a pre needs eligibility, and fill that out and submit it. And they'll already have that in the system as it relates to burial or that type of thing. So it's called the pre meets eligibility. Wow.

Unknown:

That's excellent information. I didn't know anything about that. That's insane. So, Kim, you're so involved with so much, would you mind talking about trauma? And let's tie that to your book that you wrote, which is called it happened? And now what? And can you also talk about PTSD? And how you're familiar with that spectrum as well?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Exactly. Thank you. I'll be glad to in the military, you know, you deal with so much, not just militaries, you know, family members deal with a lot. So for me, the book it happened now, what was my personal story of trauma, grief and loss, experiencing many things in my life, you know, sexual assault, human trafficking, domestic violence, many traumatic things that happened in my life, and I was able to get over them walk out my healing. And now I'm assisting and helping other people ministry, coaching and in other areas. And just like, for instance, my husband, my husband, he was in Afghanistan, he was in Iraq, he was in Macedonia. My husband experienced a lot in the military, and even with him later finding out you know, he had PTSD, just like many of our servicemembers, that's trauma, that's, that's, that's trauma, you know, or grief, many many servicemembers have, I've lost buddies, you know, I remember my husband telling me about the the conditions and things when he was overseas, so that trauma, if not dealt with, it doesn't just go away, we have to be able to acknowledge it. And just like we were talking about how, you know, soldiers, or sailors or whomever, you know, don't want to go to the doctor, they're like, Oh, I'm just pushing on, it's the same thing with trauma. Oftentimes, we never deal with it, we just keep going. And we think we're good, but we're really not good. Because we're making decisions from a hurt place and not even realizing it, it can show up in domestic violence. And you know, having problems dealing with in relationships, dealing with leadership, it can show up in intimacy. So we have to be able to acknowledge the trauma and and deal with and get the counseling get what we need to be able to move beyond and so that's what the book was all about is the acknowledgement something happened to me. And, and being able to move beyond it, you know, the, the analogy that God gave me about it is like a multi car pileup. A very bad accident, you know, the ambulance came, the fire department came the wrecker service, everybody came, everything was done, everything's been cleaned up. But you're still stuck at the scene of the accident, years have gone by, you may be driving, well, you may be doing well you think physically, but you're triggered, there are things that are triggering you things that are still you have an issue with dealing with. And until we deal with those things, we're going to be trapped at that scene of the accident. And so that's what PTSD feels like. That's what MST feels like. And so we just need to get to the place where we can acknowledge so we can get the help we need. So we can get moving. We have to do it for us. We have to do it for our children and for our children's children. And that's what the book is about.

Unknown:

That's absolutely amazing. And I'll tell you, for me, my moment of realizing that everybody's reality is so different was when I was in Iraq, and we would constantly you know, go outside the wire almost every single night. What that means is go outside the wires, obviously, you're leaving the the base and you're going somewhere else, and we would do that every night. And there was a certain place that we would go through almost every night we experienced IEDs small arms fire. I mean, it was just common. We knew it right. So one night I was I had a guest in my Humvee with me and it was a captain who knows He stayed on base at the time I was a lieutenant. And we were driving through the city. And it was just like tracer rounds everywhere RPGs IDs, and we're just trying to get through this stuff as fast as possible. And he sat in the back seat. And he's like, he says, Oh, my God, lt is it like this every night. And at the moment, I was kind of involved with making sure that the element was moving, and everybody was safe. And we're getting through as fast as possible. And I had a pause. I had, I had just like a 10 to 15 second pause, and I thought to myself, like, this isn't everybody's reality. And so and so in a sense, the same can be said, for military and civilian as well. A lot of folks that are in the military go through a lot of sacrifice, a lot of stressful situations, a lot of anxiety. So we can be our own worst enemy at times and not realize it. But um,

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

so yeah, absolutely. And I asked why I honor my husband, so much, because he was strong enough to know he needed to help. Sometimes we think his his, his person is weak, to go to counseling, like who wants to go to counseling, but you're, you're really strong, when you know that you need it. And you and you submit to that, that takes a strong person, not a weak person, there's nothing weak about. And that's what we have to do.

Unknown:

Now, Kim, I personally love your message, and the messages you promote, whether it be resilience, or mental fortitude, all of these messages that you promote through your stories and through the work you do is truly inspirational to everybody who might be going through the same thing. And following that, you alluded to the trauma that you've endured in your past and how it motivated you to write your book. And I think that those stories, while some looking from the outside in may sound extreme. But in the military scene, they're a bit more common than some people might think. And that's one way a lot of people can relate to you your stories, your book, and can gain valuable information, both professionally and personally from it. Yeah. And that's one reason I really look up to everything you stand for. And I look forward to reading your book, too. But I want to segue that into a question here. For military spouses that are or were in a very similar situation to what you were in? How would you recommend those men and women proceed through their lives, especially those who are having a particularly hard time?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Mm hmm. Definitely, for me, it was always my face. Because I was going to kill mice, I was going to end my life, because it was just that bad. But I found I found Christ. So I would say, you know, and I know people believe differently. But for me, I know that when I understood that God loved me. And when I understood that I belong to him, and I was validated, someone saw me I was loved, I was validated, and I embrace that, then I begin to love myself, I understood that I had a responsibility, and I couldn't, you know, just in my life, but I had children, I had people dependent on me. And so then I began to seek the help. So you know, I would tell anyone, you know, get around people that are going to encourage you don't be alone. A lot of times when we get depressed, we want to be alone. That's the first thing, we don't want to be bothered with anybody. Because we feel like nobody cares, we want to be alone. Don't do that. Get around people that can strengthen you can encourage you, if you're around negative people, you want to get away from that, and then begin to reach out to someone stronger than you. And for me, it was God. That was my encounter, then I began to get around people that were living the life that was a functional life, people that were, you know, loving and encouraging. And, and, and that helped me you need a tribe. It's all about your tribe, who you surround yourself with. And then being open to counseling, and then dealing with forgiveness. A lot of times we have to forgive ourselves, I have five tips in the book. The first one is seek the father, which as I said, was my source. Then I talked about finding a safe place to land, you need a safe place, that you can be able to lean on someone and talk to someone and you're not going to be judged, but they're going to strengthen you. And then I talked about forgiveness, you know, not necessarily of the other person. Because yes, we do need to forgive, but sometimes we have to forgive ourselves first. You know, even if it had nothing to do with us, you know, we need to be able to forgive and then consider counseling. Consider it, you know, or coaching some people. Some people just, you know, don't want to go to a counselor. They may just need a coach, someone that can coach them along the way and come up with strategy for them to move forward, and then make it count everything that happened to you, everything that stressed you out everything that got you in this place, turn it around from pain, to power, and purpose. And that would be my advice.

Unknown:

Definitely, definitely. Now, Kim, building off that same principle of everything you're preaching, does the VA or any other veteran organizations offer what you mentioned, whether it be counseling, or mentorship, or support?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Absolutely, the VA does have counseling, they provide that and they're very visual about putting that out. They have PTSD counseling, you know, even even virtual, well, you don't even have to go into the office, you can do it virtually. They have MST counselors that can help you if you've been a victim of military sexual trauma. So they do provide those resources. I would say your local local ministry, if you know if you have a local ministry or assembly that you can be a part of, and then just getting around people that are really going to support you, but they do provide some services for PTSD MST if you're active duty, the family support groups as a wife, were very great for me. And I actually became a family support group leader. At one point where I was checking on on my wife on the ladies, I was making sure. So you know, the biggest thing is to connect, connect, connect, and don't isolate yourself.

Unknown:

Yeah, I certainly understand what you're saying. And I love your message. And I have to say this, that you are the perfect professional for your position. Everything from your whole life to the the publication that you wrote, has to do with healing and has to do with overcoming those personal obstacles. And I can tell you that even for myself, I was there like I was that person that you needed to talk to, because I was my own worst enemy at one time. And, you know, I didn't, I didn't want to talk to the VA, because the VA has a stereotype about it that a lot of folks that are not in the military tend to unknowingly see in a negative light. I mean, I've heard several times from family, friends or whatever about all the military, PTSD, the military and PTSD. But in reality, there's a lot of folks that have never been in the military that have PTSD, and they just die, and they just don't know it. So the association in itself is not exclusive to the military. And I gotta say this, too, that a lot of folks that joined the military, you know, from my experience, including myself, like weren't born with a silver spoon in our mouth. So there was a lot of things that I had to fight growing up to achieve and accomplish. And then you stack the whole military aspect on top of that. And then you throw me back into a world where 90 Some percent have never served before and don't understand the environment that I just came from. It can be quite some, some difficult waters to navigate on your own. So I love your message when it comes to seek help seek help seek help. Because now that I am where I am in life, I definitely agree with you, 100%. And I want to ask you for your book. Mm hmm. What was your inspiration for that?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

That I was I wanted to be the voice of those that didn't have a voice. Yeah, I want it to it to end with me. And I wanted to be the voice because for many years, I didn't even tell, you know that I was violated by three by three minute 10. I didn't tell anyone that caused me to run away multiple times, running into sexual assault running into human trafficking, and then running right into a marriage of domestic violence for seven years. And and I just kept quiet. And so I wanted to expose it, that there is no shame and be that voice for those that didn't have a voice. And so that that that was the inspiration.

Unknown:

Wow. Yeah, it's it's good. It's nice to hear the background behind it and to better understand what was the motivation and what was the drive? And in your opinion, who best is served by reading this book that you wrote? Is anyone in the military community any folks who had experienced trauma in their life who would you best suggest?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Absolutely. Anyone that has experienced trauma, grief and loss, male or female, it could be p et PTSD. MST it could be stress, it could be childhood trauma. It could be it could just be you lost your job. You know, it could be read, you know, maybe you've dealt with racial injustice, you know, Any if you don't COVID PTSD, if you had COVID, and or, you know, or you have we had 12 family members, between my husband and I, that died last year from COVID-19. Wow, that's PTSD, when you don't want to use the thought of even hearing anything about COVID, because you look, you're losing one family. I mean, this was within a 90 day period. So any any type, this is not exclusive to any age group, any demographics, any type of trauma that gets you stuck to where you cannot move forward, and you're not excelling. And if you're not moving forward and increasing in your goals. If that's what it's for, we want we want you to get free and get moving obedient.

Unknown:

Yeah, I'm glad that you underline that, because I want to make sure that folks out there if you're listening, you've never been in the military before, but you've experienced trauma. Kim's book is for you, too. It's like I said earlier, a lot of folks don't realize that they have the PTSD issues. Just because you've never been in the military. The two don't necessarily go hand in hand. And Kim, I want to ask you, for anyone out there interested in finding your book or contacting you? Where can they get in touch with you? What social media platforms do you use? Or what is your website?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Yes, of course. So I'm on Instagram. At Kim Johnson empowers, you can visit my website at WWW dot Kim Johnson empowers.com You can email me at Kim Johnson empowers@gmail.com. I provide one on one coaching if you just need someone to help coach you through. Also, I developed a women's support group called the Bella group. And what it is is a eight week program free of charge. For women that have experienced trauma, grief and loss, we have a team of subject matter experts. If you're interested in that, definitely send me a DM or email. I would love to get you in that program. But yeah, just available. If even if you need counseling, I can connect you with someone in your state. If you don't want to do the VA, we can find you someone to get you the help that you need.

Unknown:

Awesome. And before we wrap up the show today, Avi, I want to give you a chance to ask any final questions or to summarize anything to finish up? Well, I mean, I have any questions, but I can definitely attest to everything Kim is doing and has done for her male spouse, community, the VA office and anybody else who needs help everything from your book to the VA work you do. It perfectly embodies the messages that you want to send, and the lessons you've learned from your past trauma. And your relationships in the military scene goddess say admire that a lot. And I'm happy that we had you as a guest on our podcast today.

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

Awesome. Thank you, Avi. You're amazing. Guy. great things in store for you. I see. He's going places. KP I see it.

Unknown:

Thank you. Thank you apps. Absolutely amazing, young man. Obvious. And, uh, you know, I have him involved in these podcasts mainly because I want to expose him to some of the issues that many folks that join the military get commissioned, you know, the young leaders out there don't get a chance to learn. And so it's important for me to bring him in and have him speak to some of the folks that have been there done that before. And I appreciate you giving us the time today, Kim to talk and I just want to ask you, is there anything that you want to summarize or finish up the show and and any messages to our audience out there?

Elder Kimcherian Johnson:

No, I just I love I love what you all are doing on this platform. And KP thank you so much. Just for your diligence and pressing forward in this I see your heart and doing this. And I just love the fact that you got that dad t shirt on. You know and you always talking about your your mommy so much of my husband, keep doing what you're doing. And thank you for your transparency and sharing your story today. Thank you for your service.

Unknown:

No, I appreciate I appreciate you coming on. And thank you for giving us the time. And for anyone listening out there. If you missed anything as far as the links for her website or social media platform, all that stuff is going to be in the show notes. So you just scroll down to the bottom of the podcast you can see in the show notes, all the links that you need to get to to contact Kim and also where you can find her book as far as if you're interested in ordering it. So for everyone out there, I appreciate you guys listening to us. Remember stay tuned stay focused and stay motivated. Warriors Fallout