Meosha came into NVAM to speak about her experience on November 7th, 2015. I did not think that her speech would’ve had such an impact on me, but it moved me on an unexplainable level. She started her speech talking about how she chose to join the military because two reasons: her friend, and her financial concerns. Meosha was an only child and was raised by her single mother, so it would not be surprising to hear that her mom rejected her proposal. After a long discussing with her mom, her mom decided to support her decision. Meosha then shared her complicated and tough experience at bootcamp with us. She graduated at the top of her class and was given the opportunity to choose where to spend her next years to work. She originally had her mind set on Hawaii, but ended up choosing Italy. This was a big change for Meosha because it was her first time out of the country.
In her stay at Italy, a volcano had erupted. Instead of evacuating like the other residents, Meosha was required to stay and assist in any way possible. Another traumatic event that occurred in Italy was a helicopter accident; this tragedy took four of her friends’ lives. She had to live with this memory and it hurt each time she thought of it. She described this pain as a “moral injury”, an injury that others cannot see.
After Italy, she was transferred to Iraq. Mesh had to leave her family and her child behind to serve her country. She described Iraq to be a setting where she ware in pain, calm, and aware. Her most unforgettable moment in her stay was when she was in a vehicle with three fellow soldiers and the car hit a land bomb. Meosha was the only survivor completely because she got thrown out of the vehicle.
After this horrible event, reconstructive surgery was necessary and the doctors even suggested a leg amputation. Luckily, Meosha’s mother did not allow her daughter’s leg to be amputated. Meosha woke from her coma cuffed and panicked. She slowly recalled and processed what happened and understood that she needed physical therapy in order to talk again. In the meantime, her life remained on a wheelchair. During this period she described it as a “suicidal and dark” time where she did not see the light in her life. She would cry during her physical therapy sessions and refuse to participate.
Days had gone by where Meosha refused to shower or participate in any activities. This continued until her best friend came and pointed out that she had an unbearable odor and that she needs to get it together. Meosha told us that her friend saved her live by telling her to keep holding on because “she survived for a reason”.
In the end, Meosha described that death was a reality that we have to accept. Although she had experienced many near death experiences throughout her military career. She was asked “If you were given a choice to go back, would you redo this military experience all over, or choose a different life path?” Her response was that she would do it all over again because the choices she made in the military shapes her character which shaped her into who she is now and she would never do anything to change that.