The Morning Formation Podcast

Journey From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to a Military Women's Influencer with Althea From She Vets It

March 09, 2022 KP Season 2 Episode 11
The Morning Formation Podcast
Journey From Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to a Military Women's Influencer with Althea From She Vets It
Show Notes Transcript

I’m joined with an Army Combat Veteran today, who is not only an influencer for our women veterans, but she is also a mother of five. She was stationed in Germany and served a nine-month deployment in Afghanistan as aviation operations specialist.

 While serving in the military, our guest today suffered a major setback when she was involved in a terrible accident that caused Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that would eventually end her military career. Today, we are joined with Althea Willliams, who is the founder of “She Vets It, which is a support group for women veterans that was born from three things: 

1. The growing issues facing our women veterans today 

2. To help other women Veterans overcome obstacles and 

3. She Vets It was also created to harness as a therapy mechanism for her own battle with Post Traumatic Stress.

 Today, we are going to talk about her organization’s mission, the many issues facing women veterans, and learn a little more about Althea.

Check out She Vets It Website:
https://shevetsit.com

Connect with She Vets It Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/she_vets_it/

KP:

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

Althea Williams:

Went to my appointment. I did not get home for the next morning. I was in route to Austria. I actually spent the night in the Munich train station. I was confused. I didn't know where I was going. And so there I knew something was wrong. But this was months after my my accident because they didn't diagnose me with a traumatic brain injury right away. I just knew something wasn't right.

KP:

Warriors fall in, it's time for formation. Thank you for joining us today. I'm joined with an Army combat veteran who's not only an influencer for women veterans, but she's also a mother of five. She was stationed in Germany while in the army and served a nine month deployment in Afghanistan as an aviation operations specialist. While serving in the military. Our guest today suffered a major setback when she was involved in a terrible accident that caused traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI that would eventually lead to her ending her military career. Unfortunately, today, we're joined with Miss Althea Williams, who is the founder of she bedsit, which is a support group for women veterans that was born from three things, the growing issues facing our women veterans today.

Unknown:

She wanted to help other women veterans overcome their obstacles that she also encountered. And she vets it was also created the hardest as a therapy mechanism for her own battle with post traumatic stress. Today we're going to talk about her organization's mission, the many issues facing women veterans, and learn a little bit more about Althea Sophia, welcome to the show. Hey, hi, KP, thank you for having me. The honor is all mine. I really appreciate you joining us and giving us your time cuz I know you're extremely busy. Before we get started, can you tell us the main mission of she vets it? Wow, the main mission of she vets it is to normalize the the presence of women veterans in the voices of women veterans, just to make make people know that women veterans serve too. Because many times when we go to the hospital, we go places. People always assume that the spouse is the veteran and not the woman. So that tells me you know what? People forget that we serve to a number of women dawn the uniform and serve our country. But how did you find the strength to create a place for women veterans to find and provide support to one another? Wow, it actually came from a point of where I was like kind of in a dark space of after getting injured, not quite being the same. I knew at that time that community was going to be something important to me because I was dealing with, you know, anxiety, depression, PTSD, I knew that I couldn't do it by myself. And I knew that I needed to be around women that could relate to what it's like to experience trauma. Also, you know, being a veteran, a lot of times we we have different, you know, injuries or things that are going on with us. I want to I wanted to make sure I surround myself with women that could relate. And so that again, community was very important to me because I wanted to make sure that I held myself accountable, but to be well, and also that I'm there for someone else to be well as well. So was it tough for you to get started? Um, yes, because I really didn't choose this route. I didn't even know I was going to do do this at all. It was just like I said, I was in a really dark place you know, getting injured, I couldn't remember people. I would leave lose my purse, I would lose my credit card or go to the store in I think like in maybe a couple of months, I lost my credit card like five times I had to order it back to back so I knew something was going on. But like I said, it really caused me to be in a really dark place so that I knew that, oh, I need to find out what's going on with me. Once I went to watch a read to actually get the training the brain therapy, seeing a neurologist dealing with mental health debt, kind of like kind of helped with the symptoms. And so I kind of knew what My triggers were I started learning, okay, don't get too stressed, you know, know your limits body boundaries, those things kind of helped me deal with my symptoms a lot better. So now I know, okay, don't do too much, you know, you can you this is your limit. And so I know if I go past that limit, I know is going to cause me to have different symptoms. But that is probably one reason. Once I got through that I was able to figure out, you know, what I really really need to be around women, veterans that under served because I didn't think that my civilian friends would get it, you know, in so and I found that being around other women when I was in the WTO, which is a Warrior Transition Unit, being around other women veterans that had injuries and different issues going on, I knew that I wasn't by myself. And that's what community is about is being around people you can relate to. And knowing that you're not by yourself. And when you isolate, and you're not in a community setting or you're not around people that you can relate to. You feel like you're by yourself. You don't feel like they're you're you feel like you're the only person going through something. Yeah, I didn't realize that there was so much involved with TBI specifically. And all those things that you mentioned, imagine other folks out there who aren't diagnosed, and they go undiagnosed, and they have to deal with all those things on their own. You're talking about triggers, you're talking about just navigating that whole thing of fully understanding yourself, I could not imagine what that must be like to try to figure that out on your own. Not just through a specialist or a doctor, but then also having that sense of no community. And that would that must be a very, very dark place for you to be in. Can you just really briefly talk about what that was? Like? Was it was it like going from a dark room to the sunlight? Once you started learning these things about yourself? Well, I would say that I was going through a mourning process to from the joining the military, how am I be MBA, you know, go getter, you know, very sharp, independent, you know, and then getting an injury where half the time I couldn't remember things or remember people. And so that became really, really tough that I couldn't even trust my own thinking or own memory. Where I was so used to being the go to and it got to the point where people like, they asked me hey, do you know where they're mine? Do you know where boba cuz they, and I could see it and other people because they knew that I didn't remember. And so it was just, it was just so hard to man it. Like I said, I went through a mourning process of accepting that I had not a disability, but I had a different ability. And that part took some time. Now before every time I would lose something or every time something would happen. It would really I would get emotional. I would it would just make me cry that I left my parents or I left my credit card or this happened or I remember this, or someone came up to me and they were excited to see me. And they're like, Oh, we served in the military together. We we were stationed here, and I couldn't remember but they were excited to see me. And that really bothered me. And I remember being in the car with my NCO. And I was just crying because I was like, I just can't believe this is going on and she was like, You need to go to the doctor and tell them everything that's going on. And so like I said, it really was even the point where I was supposed to go to a doctor's appointment, I went to the doctor's appointment, supposed to be I took the train, and I've I was the go to person on catching the train like people knew in Germany. Althea she she knows how to navigate around here, went to went to my appointment. I did not get home till the next morning. I was in route to Austria. I actually spent the night in the Munich train station. I was confused. I didn't know where I was going. And so there I knew something was wrong. But this was months after my my accident because they didn't diagnose me with a traumatic brain injury right away. I just knew something wasn't right. And you just slept right there in the train station on a bus. Am I? Yeah, I was, I was at the training session. Yeah, I slept matter of fact, I was just sharing with somebody today. There, I want to say I was at a, like a Starbucks until they, they were closing maybe one or something crazy in the morning or something. And I just, and one of my good friends, Jackie, I don't even know she remember, she's the one who kind of kept calling to kind of figure out where was at. And she somehow I was able to, by the time I could figure out how to get home or where I was at. I actually, it was too late to go home. So I had to kind of stay because I couldn't figure out where I was at. And so I had to kind of stay there. And I end up being there with some homeless people. Wow, that sounds like that was probably one of your lowest points. And, you know, after having served in Afghanistan, and this was after your accident that where you had TBI, can you tell us a time? Or can you tell us a little bit more about how you ended up pulling yourself up off the ground and overcoming your depression, your anxiety and your stress that that you were feeling at that time. Um, I would say like I said, I was really, really going through trying to figure out this new person that I become like a person I never met before. I didn't know this person who couldn't, who couldn't remember things. And so I remember, you know, my lowest point was, I just really just didn't think I had any purpose anymore. I just thought my life was over. I was alive. But I felt like my purpose in life was like, it was done. I can't remember. I'm like, everyone's taking me to my doctor's appointments. I couldn't remember this. And so I just felt really useless. I didn't I just didn't, I didn't feel like I had a purpose. And so I really just didn't want to be around. I just didn't. I was here, but I wasn't here. And so I remember watching the movie, the shack, I'm sorry, making me a little watch the movie shack. And I remember the gentleman. His I want to say he lost his daughter. And I don't want to tell the whole story. But he lost his daughter. And in this movie, he goes on this journey with his conversation with God about why things were happening in his life. And it was like I was so like, the questions that he had with God. I was having the same question. And I was like, and then God was taking him on this journey. But in this movie, I was going on the same journey. Because some of the questions I was asking why when I was in Afghanistan, some of the people that I knew didn't come back. When you know, you see people hug their families, but and you go you book all go to Afghanistan, and then some people don't come back. So a lot of those different questions not only my accident, a different things, I prayed about joining the military. And then all of this is happening. And I'm like, I prayed about it. You confirm I went to church, you get I got a confirmation. I'm supposed to be in the military. And then I go through all of this. And so once I watched that movie, it opened my eyes, I went through this eight step program with women veterans, and we talked about our traumas from childhood to present day. And when we went through those, and we cried pretty much every day, we were, we were it was just eight weeks of just sharing, and talking about the things that we went through. And it was guided a guided process through mental health program. And so when I got out, I was like, I need to, I need to get a community of women. Actually, what I didn't wasn't trying to do if she vets it. I just wanted a meetup group of women that I can kind of meet and know that they're veterans and and just go to the movies or do this or just a woman girls group. And, and I did it on the meetup app. And that's how I got that's how I got started. And so once I started meeting people, I start, you know, we start doing things together. And then this work. This actor in Hollywood contacted me and invited my little group to the Kennedy Center, the John F. Kennedy Center in DC. He was doing a live taping on ABC. And he was given proceeds to wounded warrior programs, not to me, but to what it was, but he invited my group and I'm like, Why, like, why my little group like I'm just trying to hang I'm just trying to be what a community of women that I get. So that kind of pulled me into where I'm at now. Wow, that's fascinating to hear how it all started, but not just that, but fascinating to hear the personal side of it as well. And just recently, you know, I, I had some complications from COVID. And I was talking to another fellow veteran buddy of mine, and I was telling him about it. And I said all but it's okay. It's just, it's just such and such. And he laughed, and he goes, Oh, you know, what I always hear that from veterans is Oh, don't worry about it's just such and such. And I'm going to drive on. And we have that stubborn resiliency about us, sometimes that is sometimes our worst enemy. And for you to have the courage to look within yourself and realize, hey, I need I need some help here. I highly respect that about you, Althea? And I'd like to ask you, you know, from your perspective of being in this space, what are some of the major issues facing our women veterans today? Well, things that I noticed, and I've heard about is that women veterans, we, we have a high rate of suicide. And then we also have the fastest were the fact fastest segment of the homeless population. And so it just doesn't surprise me. And if, for some reason, as a woman, I really, really wanted to really, kind of build that community of women veterans, because we're so unique. We're not like our brothers in arms, because for one, male soldiers they go, you know, even without being a soldier, and just being a civilian, you know, the wife usually take care of the kids and the husband go to work or the husband go to war, though husband take, you know, goes out in the wife is home. But it's a different situation, when the wife goes to war, and the kids are away from the Mother, you know, the kids are already socialized to be away from the dad, the dad is the provider, he goes out, you know, the mother do too. But for a woman to leave her Chow, the way we process things, we're more emotional. And so when you're at war, for me, it was hard for me to call home. Because I'm like, I'm going to call home, I don't know, he's probably not doing the things that you know how I would do it. And it would stress me to even want to call home where everyone else would be calling. But for me, it was not a trigger, but it really stressed me to call home because I knew that I couldn't be there to help in certain things. So that was a big deal for me. So and I'm sure it is for our males. So I don't want to downplay what our male veterans go through, because they miss their families as well. I'm just saying I think that we as women, we may process it differently from a maternal standpoint. Oh, yeah. Yeah, certainly, I would have to definitely agree with that. Especially you have this human being growing in your body for nine months. How could you not have that connection? So I completely understand. And you mentioned that the suicide rates in the homeless rates for women facing facing our women veterans today. For anyone out there that is suffering in silence with either one of those two? What advice would you provide to help them to identify and help face their own demons? I would say, get connected. Get Connected. I would say from my experience, that I went through everything I went through to be here to help someone else. And I would say everything in our lives happened for a reason. And sometimes even the worst things that happen for us can we can use it if we turn it around and figure out what our purposes. I think that helps because when you have a community and you are connecting with different people, you you feel like you're part of something and that's what community is finding people you can relate to. And I would say getting out the military to transition out the military. Sometimes that's when those rates are high homelessness, not having the proper transition. I would say outside of the homelessness part is get a chance to know yourself, reconnect with who you are, because being in the military is so easy to lose who you are It's so easy to lose you, you know. So fall in love with yourself again, take yourself to lunch, take yourself, give yourself flowers for those small for those small wins, don't wait for your boyfriend, your whoever, or your girlfriend, whoever, to give you flowers, give yourself flowers, celebrate yourself, your small wins, you know, when you went somewhere when you don't go out in public, and you but you went and you did something that you normally wouldn't do. Give yourself something for that, you know, those small wins, you know, oh, you know what? They triggered me. But guess what I didn't tell like, like they should have total. But I you know, just those little small wins. You know, just just do that. Just like I said, fall in love with yourself in homelessness. There's a lot of programs out there. There's a lot of programs out there for mental health. I see counselor every week, and I'm not ashamed to say that. And sometimes people think when you see a counselor, it's always talking about the dark things. Sometimes you could just talk to a counselor, sometimes my counselor, I'm talking to her about sometimes like things like, am I going to go to school back to school? Or am I going to do or the things that was she vetted, I'm like, you know, I remember when I started she vets it. And I was telling her, I don't know if I could do this, this is too much for me. It's just I don't know if I could do this. And she said, Well, let me tell you this. What if you don't do it, and you're just at home, then what? And I was like, Do you got a point. So she so she helped me process through things to lead me towards my purpose. So it wasn't just talking about medication or where I am mentally, but it was also processing things through you know, through life. So, you know, seek, seek counseling, if you need help, it's okay. You know, don't do it alone. Try to find a community of women are not necessarily just women. But you know, if you're a male soldier, find people you can relate to get in a group, if you like drawing or painting or whatever. Rock climbing, hiking, get reconnect with those things that you love to do, so that you can surround yourself with people. And once you start surrounding yourself with people, somehow it will spark that purpose that you have the things that you used to love, that stuff may start coming back. And so don't do it alone. Community is everything and connect with some of them. The VFW is a DA vs. And all these different military organizations that have resources out there for you. So you know, if you need financial assistance, I think combined, combined arms, they provide resources for soldiers. So if you are homeless, you need mental health or, you know, you have Wounded Warrior Project, there's tons of programs out there. And that's what I do with what she vets it is I connected with combat arms to be a resource. So when people had someone called This Week in, their car broke down, and another person who's homeless, so what I did is I plugged their names into combat arms, and gave them their information, combat arms, contacted them to make sure that they connect them with the right resources. Wow. So that was a long one. No, that was great. Because at the end of the day, it's good to sort of be the center point of referencing, you know, and pointing people in the right direction. They're looking at you as sort of a navigation or a compass. And, hey, I don't know where to go. And kudos to them for asking to begin with, you know, somebody, you know, say, I don't know which way to go, can you tell me where to go, but they're looking at you as somebody who is heavily networked and would know how to point in that direction. So that's great that that you know that you're doing that as well as she vets it. And I just want to let everyone know out there, because I can imagine that you went through the same thing to without asking you. A lot of times for military folks, folks within the military community because I'll say male spouses too. It's not cool, to not be okay. And I want to tell you that it's okay to not be okay. And that you really have to recognize that within yourself. Just like Althea mentioned, that she had to do within because if not, you're going to drive yourself absolutely crazy and you're going to lose yourself. And it takes a lot of courage to actually come to the table and say look, I need to talk to someone, because I know I can speak from my time in the military. And I'm interested to hear your side of it as well. But they used to kind of talk about people who would go seek help. And I'm talking about commanders NCOs, they will say, Oh, such and such, as you know, he's, he's claiming he's got such and such. And, you know, you really need to put stuff all that inside. And don't worry about it. You know, this is the reason why we have the 22 a day. Because that stuff catches up with you. Did you experience the same type of environment where folks were trying to compartmentalize and put that stuff inside and continue on and try to be resilient without processing, loss or trauma? I would say so, especially what when you said that what came to mind is being in Afghanistan, and after one of our aircrafts went down, I just realized that we had five days apart, we had two aircraft that went down. And I just thought to myself, you really don't have time to process anything. It's like you go through the process, the ramp ceremony, you do everything. But guess what the Mission Continues. But all in fairness, we're a military force in in all fairness, it has to continue. You know, I'm saying we're at war. We don't have time to, to, you know, we have a team that will, that will, that will seek are going to say they'll go back and get our loss. But the Mission Continues. So yes, it's just part of the culture of being in the military. And like you said, the tiny heart syndrome, where, you know, like, you have a little tiny heart when you are seeking help, and something's wrong. And and then when something happens, we're like, Oh, my goodness. How did you know? And so? Yeah, I definitely, I definitely could relate to that. Yeah, that's, that's unfortunate that it's that way. And I think it's still that way today that we have this resiliency about us that we you know, we're fine. We don't need any help. And I, you know, we at some point, we're going to have to break that and take care of ourselves and take care of our own mentality because it took me I think it took me years before I was actually mentally back here. And I felt like I was in a sleepwalk almost during my entire deployment is how I would best describe it. And Althea will also touch on your transition out of the military. Would you mind talking to us about how your transition took place? Were you able to find a job when you got out of the military, were you able to transition properly, looking back at how things panned out for you. I would say I didn't transition like your typical veteran who may have just regular retired, I was medically retired. And when I ended up getting the traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized, they put in paperwork for me to go to a WT u, which is a Warrior Transition Unit. And that was like in the DC area. So I spent like two years there, you know, getting seeking medical help. So not only did I have a TBI, and PTSD, but I also fractured my mid back. So I had a lot of different things going on. So as my doctor would say, I went to Costco and got everything. So I could laugh now, but you know, back then I probably would have cried if I probably teared up when he said it. But so, but I, I would say that they actually took me through the process. You know, I had everyday instead of me going when I fell into formation, it was like, You got a doctor's appointment, you got to see your neurologist, they had a shuttle that would take me to my doctor's appointment. If if my husband couldn't take me or if someone couldn't take me, they made sure I was able to get there my place of duty was my medical appointments. So when I got out, that's where the I was like also still during that time, I was going through the mourning process of the new me now what you know, I joined the military and at some point I was going to get out get my PhD I was going to go to school and you know go to go to school and get like I said get the PhD and maybe go back and Brenna chamber commerce and write and do this and that but I'm in a space where I have a brain injury. You know, I get you know, I get tired a lot easier. My my anxiety causes the anxiety when I do I'm doing too much So your, your 60% is my 100%. So when too much is going on too much noise and too much this, I get anxious. And so I had to learn before I can even jump somewhere else I had to learn what, what, what is my, my baseline. And then not only that, but I deal with chronic pain or migraines. So dealing with migraines, I was like, Oh man, who is gonna, you know, when I have really bad days, how many jobs are going to allow me to have bad days without having to let me go. And so with me doing this, she vets it on clubhouse and whatever. I can not be feeling good. And I can introduce a guest. And I can close the mic and be so good. Like, one day I was doing the Instagram Live and my back was aching. And as soon as I was off, I was like, Whew, okay, I can rest because my back is aching. So those are, you know, doing that. So this, the social media platform allows me to be able to still connect people still deal with by chronic issues without people really knowing. Because a lot of times people don't know, I may look like which we call the invisible wounds. People see you and they think, Oh, she looks good. She looks like she don't have any problems. But they have no idea what I've dealt with during the daytime, they don't know that. I just left my purse at the store. And I had to go back and get it or this happened or that happened. They don't know the backstory. They just know, hey, I'm here. Yeah, you know that my transition has been a constant. I'm still learning myself. I'm still learning who I am. That's why I said, Learn to date yourself. Love yourself again, find out who you are, find out the things you used to love to do outside of the military, because the military took over so much of your life, learn who you are. And so other than that, I just, I just use this space, social media space to still utilize and keep my mind going. And to still be of help to someone that may see what we're doing and say, Hey, I could go to counseling. Hey, there, she had a guest speaker on her platform that really said something that kept me from wanting to take my life. And someone did tell me that they said you know, they were in a real dark place until they start joining clubhouse and being part of my group. So I get a lot of that all the time. So if I do nothing else, that's that's been my transition. And I don't get paid to do anything that I'm doing. This is all volunteer. I just, you know, this is just doing just staying, staying. Utilizing my, my gifts of connecting people. And I would say you definitely have a gift of that. Because I've seen you open multiple rooms, I've seen you on Instagram Live, just get something started. And everyone comes to the yard. And they're they're tuning in to listen to you speak. And they're tuning in to listen to you, interview and conversate with folks. So you do an absolutely amazing job with that, Althea. And going back to what you mentioned about your transition, it's actually refreshing to hear somebody who it sounds like for the most part you were taking care of. When it comes to transitioning out properly. I do know a lot of folks who transition out and they just check the block on everything just to get out of the military. I was one of those folks that I didn't take the processing seriously. And because I was a captain, I was able to just kind of bypass some things and because I said I'm fine. I don't need any of this stuff. I just want to get out. And my phrase, If I had a phrase to come up with about my transition out, it would be I got this. And I didn't have it at all, like I my by transition. My first job I end up quitting in the first year. I didn't really seek any counseling, I didn't want to get service connected, nothing. So it's refreshing to hear that you're, you know, it sounds like for the most part, your leadership took care of you. And it's funny how you mentioned, you know, you've gotten some feedback from folks who you've helped out just through your community. I was talking to someone yesterday, I was talking to Lita Sutro. And and I've never met her I've met you in person. We've we've actually had lunch and whatnot. And I haven't met her in person, but I feel like just through the clubhouses and through the conversations that we've had, that I know her like personally, and it's it's so funny how I'm sure you feel the same way about a lot of your community too. There's folks that you've never met before in person But because you talk and because you talk about some deep issues, you really get that connection. And I think that's what's really important about she vets it that folks who are not part of she vets, it needs to understand that just because it's virtual. The fact that you're connecting with folks that are sharing the same type of past experiences as you is major major. As far as being able to make that good connection, that good network connection. So thank you so much for having she vets it. And while we're on the topic about she vets it, can you talk a little more about the influence and the reach that you have within the military community, I understand that you've recently been featured on some shows. And you know, how did all that come about? Wow. Like I think I share with you before I I just, you know, every day I just started, you know, consistently since January, just getting on consistently doing the same rooms consistently. And I guess after a while people start, you know, asking like, Hey, could you speak? Or could you. So the last two weeks I've had in have been able to speak in person. Quite a few events. Today, I was able to speak with the Volunteers of America out here. So I was able to kind of just share what I do, and why community is so important. And in the audience were individuals that were part of the, you know, they're veterans, and some of them were part of the homeless population. They're in transition of, you know, finding the place. So I also invited another woman veteran, connecting connected her with this, this platform to be able to speak and showing how you can actually buy outfits that are inexpensive to get a job. You know, you can she, I had a woman that came in and she had a blazer, she only spent $3.49. And it was a Ralph Lauren blazer from the thrift store. So when you just showing them how you can still be thrifty, and then and still look professional, just tips that I needed to know to and that was like, Oh, thank you for sharing that. So I brought her with me as a speaker. And so we pretty much shared why community is so important. And then there were other organizations that share what they do as well. And then, I think, a couple of days ago, or Yeah, I also talked to a group of ladies professional ladies and just sharing my story, my military story, in my thing is just a hope to inspire people to know that even throughout our trauma, the different things that we have going on in our lives, we still have purpose. So even though I can't, you know, I'm not gonna say I can't, because words are powerful. But he, although I have a different ability, and maybe it might be too much for me to maybe run a chamber of commerce like I used to. But I still have transferable skills that I can utilize, I can be on a space and say, Hey, Sis, you know what, you know, you can do this, or guess what, you know, I love what you're doing, say would love, love to hear you speak. So the city of Dallas asked me to, if I knew some ladies that will be able to speak on their platform for a webinar and talk about life before, during and after the military. So I said, okay, hey, so I gathered a couple of ladies and said, hey, they want to do a webinar, you guys are interested, I knew some of them have different skills and backgrounds. So we all joined in on webinars. So just bringing women together and pushing people out there, you know, because at the end of the day is not really about me, it's about the community. So I just started talking, because I really like to be behind the scenes. So my thing is really pushing our women veterans, even our male veterans out there. If I hear of opportunities, I'm going to share it with people that are within my sphere of influence. And even if that opens a door for somebody to you know, get their business going or get that job or hey, they it's barks something to like all lose something about her speaker that just made me want to seek help. I'm now using boundaries, taking care of myself. I'm letting go of toxic relationships. Then that is what I'm doing. I'm at home And I'm still, I'm still I still have purpose, I still am helping out. I'm still contributing to society. Yeah, you know, I really want to give you a shout out because you connected me with the real. And I was able to do it 32nd Veterans Day shout out, which was absolutely amazing. And I appreciate you doing that, for me. And you know, as far as she vets it, you know, you only did two shows recently. But I really feel like there's more to come for she vets it and yourself or Thea because you're out there so much hustling. And you literally go through a lot just to open these rooms up. And I know because I used to host the Mopac Do I still do I just haven't had time to do it, because of life and everything going on. But I know what it takes to do what you do. And it is tough. And I don't know how you do it. I don't know what you must have like, batteries, Energizer batteries in your back somewhere. Because sometimes you're up and you're doing things and I'm like how a PhD never sleeps. And I gotta say you're a very dynamic person. And I'm very fortunate to be to be part of your circle. And i i Thank you for that. As far as the organization, she bets it. Where do you see? Where do you see she bets in the next five to 10 years? Where Where do you want this to go? The next five to 10 years, hopefully a nonprofit where we're able to actually host job fairs or bring in speaker series, as we are actually doing on clubhouse, you know, offer scholarships to entrepreneurs, those that are transitioning out the military. Also, maybe scholarships for dependents or family members that are want to go to college. Because when I got injured, everything stopped for my family, I was in Germany and my kids kind of, you know, postponed some things because of me. And so because they didn't know where I was at health wise. And so I know, I'm not the only person that have to deal with that. I know, there's other family members that are sacrificing again, families serve too. And so I definitely want to make sure we take care of our families. Also, let me see maybe doing more formal podcasts, you know, maybe doing more formal, like, that's where I have more resources and more speakers that are, you know, that would be very resourceful for our veteran program. So I definitely just want to just be a major resource, even if I'm just the visionary person, and then there's someone else running it. I would love to just have be the vision and have someone else really take it, you know, take the wheel and go with it even after I'm no longer here that she vets it would surprise surpass me, you know, my existence and other families and veterans would be able to benefit from from an organization like Xi events it? Yeah, I mean, it sounds like it sounds like you're starting a legacy. And I think at the end of the day, it's important that folks out there know that they're not alone, and they shouldn't feel alone. And that's what your community is all about. And I certainly think with you at the helm, that she vets it is going to be creating more media content in general, not just podcast, but like videos, and who knows what's going to come out here in the next who would have thought 15 years ago that we would have what we have today. It's absolutely amazing when I got out the military and I say this almost every freakin podcast because folks don't understand context that when I got on the military, MySpace was the hottest thing out there. There was no LinkedIn there was no Facebook, and you remember right, but we forget, you're telling me we forget like so and who knows in the next you know, 10 years like what's gonna come out and and what's gonna what's gonna be the next hot thing, but I certainly think like I said, with you at the helm, she bets it is going to continue to grow because you're such a hustler. So no, no, really. It's um, I'm being genuine. When I say that. Althea, you're an amazing person. And if anyone out there is interested in contacting you, how can they get ahold of you? What social media platforms are you on where they can follow you or connect with you? I'm on all social media platforms. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and I also have website she vets it.com. And especially if those are, you know, organizations that would like to speak in in our Clubhouse You know, we're always looking for speakers that add value to our, our community. If you are on Instagram, it's going to be actually a little different. It's going to be she underscore vets underscore it. Okay, and I'll make it so that those are ways you can come to make sure I put all your different contacts in the show notes to include your website. So anyone listening out there, scroll down to the bottom of the podcast and you can see the different ways that you can contact us via if you're if you're watching this on YouTube, same thing, go into the description, you'll see all the different links on how to get a hold of Althea. If you'd like to connect with her. Definitely stop in on her clubhouse and listen to some of her rooms. They're very powerful. I have found myself personally getting choked up with some of the conversations that I've had with some of the folks that she's had as guests. I can say that that doesn't happen normally, I'm usually rockhard, resilient, strong, right veteran. But making those connections through through Althea and her rooms at times has gotten me a little more emotional than I wanted to go. But just to summarize everything out elfia. For anyone out there that's listening to this podcast, do you have anything that you'd like to say to them? Before we finish up the show today? I do I, I would like to let them know that you do have purpose. You're here for a reason. And just tap into those gifts. Get a chance to know who you are. You know, being in the military, we sacrifice so much. And we put the military first even before we even put our family, before selves. And so many times we're being pulled and torn in so many directions. I think at this time, this chapter in our lives is to reintroduce yourself to yourself, even if that's looking in the mirror, the things you like you don't like, and give yourself grace, for not being perfect. Give yourself grace for, for all things that you've gone through. And you you're still here. So definitely, definitely, you have purpose and in I just want to let people know that, that even even on our different abilities, we can still use our gifts, you know, in so we could find a way to use the gifts that God has put in us. Amen 100%. Definitely. We are our own worst critics at times. And we think that we don't have this and that but in reality, everyone is short on certain things. And it's important for us to figure out how to put the good things that we have together to make ourselves love ourselves, but also be efficient and be effective and be happy with ourselves. So I love the message that you have. And I gotta say that this podcast today has been awesome. I appreciate you sharing a piece of you and your experiences everything from joining the military to having your TBI issue with literally blanking out one night and staying at train station in a foreign country that's absolutely insane and having the courage to pick yourself up but then not only that, but have the courage to create a platform to help others who might be suffering in silence and I am so thankful and fortunate to be part of your circle. Althea, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you and everything that you do. And for anyone out there that's listening. Anyone out there is listening, please, please connect without the through her social media platforms. She is definitely someone who is going to be taking she bets it to the next level. And for everyone out there I appreciate you listening to us today on the morning formation. As for Althea and myself, warriors Fallout