Natosha Monroe

Natosha Monroe

Natosha Monroe is a counselor intern with the LifeWorks Group in Texas (www.wefixbrains.com). She specializes in the empowerment of trauma survivors, Veterans, first responders, and expats. Blog contents are her own and do not represent the Army or DoD.

  • My BHut in Afghanistan: Earthquake Shaken and Threatened by Mice and Cobras

    Sep 23, 2010
    When my co-worker first showed me where I’d be living during this deployment (see example photo—not exact area, but same), my heart sank and I just had to laugh. My first thought was that I was not in Infantry Village as it’s called, but more like the slums of the movie, “District 9.” And then I saw how close I would be living to the outer perimeter fence. Um, seriously? I could throw a rock over the concertina wired-top—and my last name’s not Manning. But ok, I can deal with this. I then saw my match-box sized room. Literally the length of the twin-sized bed and about7 feet wide. No windows. A swinging piece of plywood for a door, a bent nail as my inside door “handle”. And the highlight? An extension piece from the air conditioner that leaks onto my bed, yea!
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  • U.S. Military Dogs In Afghanistan

    Sep 13, 2010
    Today I had the pleasure of meeting yet another heroic U.S. Service Member working in Afghanistan. During his time here (this is not his first tour) SSD Jag has worked selflessly to search out not only IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) but the people who make them as well. Due to his proven talent in his skills and his previous success, word out on the street is there is a price out on this Army Service Member’s head. But you wouldn’t know it by his constant upbeat, positive attitude. You see, SSD stands for Special Service Dog and SSD Jag is one of many Army service dogs deployed here to Afghanistan.
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  • Little Boys With No Ears: Innocence Lost

    Sep 02, 2010
    Today I’m writing about something that is very disturbing and not uncommon here in Afghanistan. It’s not pleasant to write about, but I feel an obligation to do so since I’m here and seeing the realities for myself. I hope that sharing this information with those in my field will help in some way—if not directly, perhaps at least by gaining a better understanding of what the Afghan people must endure and also to better understand the frustration of U.S. Troops who return from this environment.
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  • Understanding Anger--"Going From 0-60mph" in Afghanistan

    Aug 26, 2010
    There are many examples of things Troops encounter here in Afghanistan that create a 0-60mph conditioned response. This response of "quick to react" may translate into "quick to anger" once back home in the States. Here's some insight as to why Troops may have a short fuse after deployment: 1) According to one of the Army Chaplains here at Shank, just last night he was awakened to see the father of 3 children who'd been the victim of Taliban violence. He sprang to action and raced to the medical facility to find one small child's heart in the hands of the Army doctor who was attempting to massage it back to rhythm. The other child had been shot through the back of the head and his eyes were out of their sockets. The little girl was ok, but screaming and crying. The father's face was blank and he simply nodded his head in resignation as the Chaplain informed him he'd lost a son and may lose another. This is the reality Soldiers and Afghan citizens face daily here in Afghanistan. So what's startling about a knock on a door or a shake of the foot to wake someone up? For the average person, nothing. But what about that knock on the door or shake on the foot to wake up the Army Chaplain at any time in the night--what might that mean for him?
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  • My First Indirect Fire from the Taliban—Gee Thanks, Guys

    Aug 19, 2010
    In the past few days, I’ve experienced more than one alert that our area was receiving IDF--indirect fire from Taliban (most likely) outside our perimeter—and instructing us to put on our body armor and seek shelter.  I actually heard one of the rockets fly over my housing and felt/heard the impact as it landed.  This was my first time to actually feel it, so I think I may always remember that moment in time.
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