May is Military Appreciation Month

By: Kelsey Kennedy, US Veteran-Navy; Vice President, OmegaNU; BS, Public Health (anticipated ’21)

As a military veteran and now, military spouse, just like many areas of the world and careers, nothing is perfect. However, one of the most important factors in our armed forces is camaraderie. Knowing that your fellow service member is by your side, you have a new meaning of family. Most often, you are stationed far from loved ones and build this new circle who justifies that blood does not determine a family.

I was stationed at Camp Pendleton as a gas turbine mechanic, and when I entered this field, it was male dominant. Women in the engineering field, whether in the military or out, must work twice as hard to prove themselves. Often, I felt overworked and underappreciated. At first it really hit my self-esteem and self-worth, as I did not think I was good enough. I felt as though my time was just being thrown aside and that I did not matter. That was until I met a Senior Chief at my command who became my supervisor, and she changed my view. She had shown me that I am who I am and that the right people will appreciate me and to keep doing what I believe in.

I met my husband on active duty, and he is still active. Between our joint experiences, we have experienced being a dual active-duty couple and having children. This usually results in the child/ren being without one or both parents because of mission requirements. There have often been times that our shifts were opposite, and we never got to see each other. Being flexible and knowing how to handle what comes to you is part of what you sign up for. 

Being in the military not only helped me mature and become who I am today, but it had allowed me to find my strength. It guided me to the love of my life and provided a network that I could never have imagined. With the constant mission preparation and requirements, and understanding the different areas that my role had to fill, I learned how to manage my time appropriately to make sure these missions were completed.

The military is it’s own culture; there are twists and turns to every story. In the end, I wouldn’t change it for the world as it continually made me stronger and made me appreciate life. 

Join us for several events about military experiences:

Celebrating Families Student Panel Event: Thursday, May 13 at 5:30-6:30 p.m. PDT Register here. Join Mind and Body Wellness, Educators United, Pride@NU as we celebrate families. We will discuss stress management and self care for a diverse array of families, including military families, student-parents, single parents, LGBTQIA parents, and caregivers of children with autism. 

Military Appreciation Student Panel Event: Monday, May 17, 2021 5:30-6:30 p.m. PDT. Join Omega NU and the National University Student Veteran Organization for an event focused on military appreciation and remembrance. Panelists will provide their experiences about military lifestyles, navigating education, and how the military has impacted their lives. Register here.