Today’s blog was written by Brianne, one of our wonderful social work interns.  We would not be able to help nearly as many families each month without the dedication of our interns.

could bore you with my backstory and the long journey that brought me to Social
Work, but I will keep it simple. Social work has always been an interest of
mine and as I grew older I felt more passionate about pursuing my interest. The
choice for me to pursue social work became easier for many personal reasons. My
first career as a Marine wife and mother was what pushed me more specifically
to military social work.
a young wife and young mother I faced adversity and challenges that many of my
peers could not understand or imagine. A lot of these challenges came from the
differences I saw in my husband as he returned from his second deployment to
Iraq and we were finally able to be a family. My husband and I grew up together
and therefore know each other very well, so seeing the changes that occurred
when he came home confused me. The main reason for this was because in his
earlier career Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was not talked about often
and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) was not a term I had even heard. But yet there
was something different and I could not quite put my finger on it. I sat by and
watched as he struggled with simple tasks, grew frustrated over insignificant
events, and did not laugh nearly as much as he had in the past. It was these
invisible wounds that broke my heart and reinforced my passion that I needed to
be in a career that I could help people.
people I wanted to help were the ones that have sacrificed so much for this
country. Patriotism has an entirely new definition to me now because I did not
grow up with a military background neither did my husband. Yet these brave men
and women put so much on the line to do the jobs they signed up for and they
should never have to suffer in silence. Working with the military feels like a
true calling and I could not be prouder to have the opportunity to serve the
men and women who have endured so much.

into Chi Zeta, honor society for social workers



Hope For The Warriors®?

For The Warriors® was an easy choice for me. The program I attend at East
Carolina University coordinates all of the internships for the social work
program. I did not have much say in my first placement and knew that my passion
was working with military. I used all of my research and presentation
opportunities to educate my peers and professors about Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder and the needs of the military. While I was thinking about my second (and
final) placement before I graduated I knew I had to advocate for myself to get
the placement I truly wanted. Researching different organizations and
opportunities led me to a newspaper article announcing the hiring of a Regional
Social Worker for Hope For The Warriors®. This sparked my interest in the
organization. As a social worker we are trained and taught to focus on a
Biopsychosocial approach to all issues. To me this is evident in military work.
Not only do you have to consider biological factors (body chemistry, ailments,
and disabilities), but you also have to consider the psychological factors
(mental illness, traumatic experiences, perceptions, and attitudes) and the social
factors (community, support systems, family, and friends) to address a problem
effectively. Military having its own culture really puts into action the
importance of the roles all three factors play. Hope For The Warriors® was the
only organization I came across that proudly announced the employment of a
Regional Social Worker! After my orientation and my first few weeks within the
organization I was able to see an even clearer picture of the ideas and
objectives behind the organization. I knew that I made the right choice
advocating to work with Hope For The Warriors®.

Read about our program with MSW@USC

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