Warriors of Camp Southern Ground
Tom is a Warrior Week and Warrior PATHH alum. Born and raised in Suwanee, Georgia, he joined the Marine Corps at 24. This is his story.
I served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, from 2013-2018. During that time, I was deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve aboard the USS America on her maiden voyage through the Western Pacific Ocean and Middle East. As the Defense of the Amphibious Task Force Liaison Officer (DATF LNO), I was tasked with integrating Navy and Marine Corps defense assets for the duration of that deployment.
Upon leaving the military, I thought I had made a very successful transition into the civilian world. I threw myself into the career side of the transition and took advantage of several services like resume writing, interview prep and practice, and veteran hiring conferences. I landed a lucrative job and did well for a couple years. However, I neglected other aspects of my well-being that ultimately led to serious burnout and some significant mental health challenges.
I quit my job without another lined up and made time to attend Warrior Week and Warrior PATHH at Camp Southern Ground. These programs helped me immensely. [They helped me realize] I hadn’t really dealt with the loss of identity and purpose that comes with leaving the military.
At that point, I took a much-needed break from the fast-paced corporate world and joined the team at Camp Southern Ground as the Veteran Care and Intake Manager. [I was able to] recenter and focus on my strengths while helping other veterans receive the [same help, tools, and insights] I had received from Camp Southern Ground’s Warrior programs. After an amazing, life-changing year and a half with Camp Southern Ground, I jumped back into my old field with a new outlook and a stronger sense of self.
[I’ve learned a lot over the past few years,] including, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” To be the best you can be and to help others, you need to first take care of yourself!
Help us make a difference in the lives of more veterans like Tom.