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.

  • When Your Job Doesn’t Feel Like Work At All

    Aug 12, 2010
    My primary job is Division Behavioral Health NCOIC (non-commissioned officer-in-charge) for the 101st Airborne here in Afghanistan. But an NCO was needed to help get a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) program started up on the base, so I was designated to this duty upon my arrival. I’ll be honest--initially I was a bit disappointed to put my job on pause (particularly my travel to other smaller/more remote areas in the region) to do something else. I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d be doing and hadn’t had much experience with TBI clients previously. But what an amazing opportunity this has turned out to be—beginning a program that will help Troops from all over the country who are brought here for screening, testing, and treatment for various head injuries—and most importantly, the deserved amount of support and comfort when recovery is necessary.
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  • Arriving in a Combat Zone—This is No Hollywood Movie Set, Folks…

    Aug 04, 2010
    I’ve been in Afghanistan for about a week now and let me tell you…it’s been surreal. I can tell by those around me that once you’re here for a while, things start to seem more “normal”, sure. But right at first, I have had to remind myself a couple times that this is no training exercise--the things I’m seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling…they are very real. Although it seems almost like I’m on a set of an action movie, I most definitely am not—this is the real deal.
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  • Pre-Mobilization Part 3: Beautiful American Diversity Takes Flight to the Other Side of the World

    Jul 23, 2010
    As I write this it's going on 1a.m. and I've just finished stuffing all kinds of things into 4 large Army green duffle bags and one assault pack--camo-colored Army-issued backpack. (Forgive my typo's, I'm having to use my cell phone to email this to ACA). Tomorrow a large group will board our military flights & begin our journey to the other side of the world. As I've spent this time training with 100-plus people (can't give out specific information), I can't help but notice how well we represent the beautiful diversity of America. We are all ages from early 20's to graying hair. We are all genders and yes, preferences. We are all races and ethnicities to include different foreign accents.
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  • Pre-Deployment Part 2: The Hassles, Processes, & Stressors

    Jul 19, 2010
    To explain all the aspects of pre-deployment to those who have never experienced them, I would have to write a manual. Instead, I've chosen four key things to explain that are good to know when supporting Troops during this phase of military life. 1. The Emotional Roller Coaster. Don't be or act surprised when Troops behave differently in the time period before they leave--specifically if it's a dangerous, lengthy, or unclear assignment. The person may be more introverted than usual or more irritable than usual. Even with my knowledge of psychology & wonderful support system, I noticed a change in my behavior. Although I often suppressed it, I felt tense & was easily irritated. I didn't enjoy having to constantly "dummy things down" to answer people's questions which were "silly" to me. I wished they'd stop & just listen & be supportive-not make me explain things they didn't understand. Not fair, I know. Then I felt guilty if I lost my patience. Most of all, I feel sad to leave my loved ones--knowing I am voluntarily causing them to worry about my safety overseas.
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  • Pre-Deployment Part 1: My Last Meals

    Jul 14, 2010
    I’ve been asked to write about my personal experiences as I deploy to Afghanistan, so I’m going to be open and honest in offering a true look into one Soldier’s life. It’s not all about the PTSD and guns and violence that we are bombarded with in the media, but so many other things as well. I’m going to open up about things in ways I perhaps haven’t previously shared with family and friends for fear of worrying them or hurting their feelings or maybe because I just didn’t think they’d “get it.” Hopefully things I write will click with people and help them to better understand their military client, friend, or family member--or even themselves.
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