Jeniffer and Amanda met in the Army. Both experienced set backs then, but today they find strength in their friendship and service. Our Veterans Voices' series continues with Army veteran and Wright State student, Jeniffer Seavey of New Carlisle, and her BFF, Army veteran Amanda Murphy.
Jeniffer Seavey (JS): You chose to go into the Army.
Amanda Murphy (AM): I did.
AM: A couple life events happened and I said, “Why not go now?” So I signed my name quite a few times, and off I went.
JS: It’s about the same for me. My home life was a little difficult…
AM: I can relate.
JS: And the Army offered a lot of opportunities, so I went with it.
AM: But one day at the firing range, I fell and they brushed it off like it was another private getting hurt, trying to get out of training. Then a full leg cast the next day from my thigh to my toes. I was a bad shape for being only 22 years old.
JS: I remember on an 8-mile march I felt something snap in my right foot, and I couldn't walk. But I tried to tell the drill sergeant and they brushed off. And so I just took a lot of medicine and I kept going for the rest of the march. And I ended up getting stress fractures in my left knee and on both tibias, and also my right foot. And I heard about for the rest of the day. “We got a quitter!” And I'm like, “No, I'm not.”
AM: It's not by choice. Again, I think they treated everybody as if they're just a private trying to get out of training, and that is not my case because I wanted to continue. I wanted to prove so many people wrong that said you can’t do it. I went to PTRP, a place were hurt soldiers went to rehabilitate themselves to get them back into the field, or decide whether or not they need to be discharged.
JS: I went to PTRP. That's not where I wanted to be. I got a little depressed and it was really hard because everybody else was just as broke as me.
AM: It’s just not a place where we wanted. We didn't choose that, but we had to go.
JS: And then when you came along, you really helped me get through one of the hardest times I've ever had. No, after I got out, after I was discharged, I wanted to have no part of it. I never talked to anybody about that I was in the Army. I never said a word.
AM: We’re the ones that took the plunge and did it, and I think we deserve at least that respect. It takes someone with balls to say, “You know what? I'm going to sign up. I'm going to go.”
JS: About year ago, I had a couple losses and I got some really bad health news. And in the span of a week, I just lost everything and it was just devastating. And I remember the camaraderie you and I had, and I'm like I really need that again. And I've only ever found it with the people in the military. As much as we’re all different, we’re the same. And so I went to the Veteran Military Center at my school and I walked in and I’m like. “Hey do you guys need help putting tables up for events, or whatever?” I'll just volunteer, I don't care; I just don't want to be a part of something.
AM: Yeah, I can relate. I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs now which is so nice for me to be on the end trying to give back this way now.
JS: I just I love that. I love it.
Veterans Voices is supported in part by a grant from the Jacob G. Schmidlapp Trusts, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee. Will Davis produced this series as part of Community Voices.