Corporal Michelle H. comes from a family devoted to military service. Both of her parents served in the U.S. Air Force, and two of her brothers each served in the Army and Navy. Graduating high school at the age of 16, Michelle felt the desire to continue the family tradition and quickly joined the United States Marine Corps. Wanting to see a different side of life that she had never seen before, Michelle wanted to explore this great country, farther than the East Coast where she was born and raised. After spending her “summer vacation” in boot camp at Parris Island, SC, Michelle was assigned to the Disbursing School at Camp Lejeune, NC where she learned payroll and basic accounting. After MOS training, Michelle PCS’d to El Toro, CA, serving there for 10 months until she received orders for MCAS Kaneohe Bay, in beautiful Hawaii.
Michelle’s career in the Corps was moving in the right direction, until an unfortunate and catastrophic knee injury during a military exercise changed her career path. Michelle spent 8-10 months recovering from her injury, but there was permanent damage, and she “knew after that, my knee would never be the same. Michelle was faced with the difficult decision of separating from the Corps.
Michelle’s transition from active duty has been challenging at times. “After serving six years, I left the service as a Corporal, but the transition to civilian life was not as easy as I thought. I was unemployed for about 5 to 6 months after getting out of the service and it was difficult for me to find suitable employment.”
In an effort to find her place in life after the military, Michelle relocated to another state for employment, which caused a great strain on her physically, emotionally and mentally. As a testament to her tenacity, perseverance and can-do attitude, Michelle found a rewarding position in the Accounting Division of a great company, and is rebuilding her life. Michelle is still waiting to “exhale” and “breathe”, but she knows that things will get better. “Thank you, Miles of Giving, for being that light at the end of the tunnel when I felt my strength was fading and I didn’t know what was going to happen to me and my family.” Michelle, we are proud to salute you as a Veteran of the Month, and we thank you for your service to the Corps and this great country!