Honoring Our Veterans: A Talk with A Woman Vet

Podcast Notes 
Sharmell: I want to introduce this exceptional person today; her name is ‘Charica. Hey, Hey, she is from Columbus, Ohio. OH-IO and she’s 31. She attended Columbus East High School. Go Tigers! She graduated from Ohio Dominican College and then……………. let’s bring Charcia in for the truth.
Vanessa: this special episode talking mainly about her as a Veteran. As you know, that is a critical position.
Charcia, can you tell us a little bit about your experience as a vet in the army? is that correct?
Charcia: Yes, OK. I joined the army…I should say I enlisted into the army in February of 2011 at 22.
Vanessa: What made you decide to go into the army?
Charcia: I was looking more for stability, financial stability than anything. I had already lost one of my parents, my mom, sooner than I had expected. I didn’t have brothers and sisters here that I was kind of like leaning on the family just wasn’t uh in my for dogs at that time I just felt like I needed to establish myself somewhere and so I joined the military.
Vanessa: OK, well, what year did you say that was around 2011. I see it is from 2016, and tell me if this is accurate for you when you were serving, but so non-Hispanic whites say 77% of them helped, whereas 7% of them are Hispanic, 12% being black and then 2% is Asian. I know it may be hard to get a percentage off when you serve, but how many or how many do you think were serving around that time?
Charcia: I will say this probably accurate. I don’t feel like we were the majority at all. We were one of the minorities there. We had some Asians, a lot of Caucasians. There were some blacks, but the blacks that were there were the older veterans, the ones that joined back in the 80s and 90s. These people are moving out for retirement, so as far as young kids and enlisted when I was in…. it wasn’t many blacks.
Vanessa: So, are you familiar with any history dealing with veterans?
Charcia: I am just starting to talk to my dad about how Vietnam was and when he came back, and that has been interesting. He was mentioning how, when he did come back, he wasn’t welcome by the Americans. There’s a lot of history, and that war was a televised war. Now, for instance, they aren’t televised. Now everything is kind of under the radar but there’s such a significant difference now from Vietnam. I mean they were just spat on, they were ridiculed for that…. and so hearing about that, the fact that that’s something that he had to deal with and to know he was drafted as well……. It wasn’t a choice that he made himself just not being able to come back and be welcome as he should’ve been along with his fellow comrades in history. I’m learning about that!
Vanessa: Did you know all this before?
Charcia: You know my dad and I are very close, and even now, he’s not that open about it. When it comes to what he experienced, many veterans want to talk to other veterans about it. They don’t like it to be broadcast it and so for him to even tell me what he’s told me is a stretch pretty vast for him.
Vanessa: So can you tell us any stories that you can remember you saw, or you experience related racism or sexism?Anything like that.
Charcia: Oh definitely sexism, but not racism. I won’t say that I have actually seen it. I haven’t experienced that or even seen it for that matter but sexism because women are the minority in the military anyway. So I’ve had instances wherein a dorm fitness test being counted for my push-ups and setups and I have to do a two-mile run under a certain amount of time. Well, sometimes men in the army don’t like for women to progress, or sometimes they feel like they don’t want you to be ahead. I’ve had instances where a male soldier was counting my push-ups and end up stopping. He didn’t count my push-ups anymore.

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