Welcome to Women’s History month or as I call it Black HerStory Month
My passion is to tell the oft forgotten stories of Black Women. Like the two Black Women named in the New York Times article I am a Survivor of sexual assault while I served my country. Art is helping me pull my life together and be Victorious not a victim. The Voices of Black Women Will Be Heard! Through our Art, Song, Dance, & Writing!
Sp4 DeBorah Ann Palmer, U.S. Army ~~ November 1977 to November 1981, 569th PSC & 101st Airborne Division!
Well I had to laugh when I saw today’s Daily Writing Prompt. The last time I was any where near athletic was in my early 40s. I did pretty well for most of my forties until I had a stroke at age 49 then it was all downhill after that. My best athletic or rather when I was at my personal best was when I was in the U.S. Army. I went in at age 18 and left at age 22. I was in tip top shape. Anyone who has ever been through Basic Training knows that you must or will be in the best physical condition of your entire life.
Unfortunately I’ve had to live with the effects of the stroke. Losing most of the vision in my left eye, coordination, perpetual exhaustion, balance issues etc. The latest thing is losing sensation in my right arm. One night while on overtime I tried to reach for my utensil to eat my food and my arm would not obey my commands. This has happened several more times. Mostly I just ignore it. Can’t stand doctors or hospitals. Had my fill of them along with the disrespect abuse that goes along with Western medicine. Between 2008 and 2015 I was in the hospital on a regular basis. Horrible experiences and for the most part they can’t or don’t help you. Waste of time and money. Plus I don’t want to take hospital and doctor bills with me into retirement and No Health insurance does not cover everything. Slowly I’m moving towards most holistic natural health treatments as modern Western medicine does not work for me and most medical professionals are arrogant know-it-alls. Plus most drugs distributed in America will kill you rather than cure you. Poison in a bottle. The side effects nearly killed me.
But back to the laughable athletics. When I was a kid and during my teenage years I was quite flexible. I could lay down on the floor and bend my legs behind my head. The advance of arthritis has taken that superpower away. Just getting out of bed is an Olympic event for me. I usually miss at least one or two days every month from work due to physical pain. It is just one of those things you must accept and adjust as a part of aging. Plus the type of work I do for a living contributes to the pain. However quitting or resigning is not an option so I will be living with the pain for the duration.
I do lots of walking mostly because I don’t drive and to keep the joints somewhat limber. The winter months are the worst for me since I’ve had my joints actually lock up. One of the many reasons to loathe and despise the cold freezing New York winters. However if all goes well this will be my last winter in the workforce. Hopefully if it’s God’s will and I can pay off all my bills or at least most of them I will retire and spend the winter indoors.
Hibernation is a good thing.
So if there is an Athletic even for sleeping, napping, resting, I would win the Olympic Gold Medal hands down! LOL!! 🙂 😀
Here is a picture of me in the barracks with a fellow soldier. As you can see I had a full head of thick dense full hair. No eyeglasses. No health problems. Cute. Good-looking.
No I don’t remember his name but you can see that I was young, pretty and had lots of attention from men. All that is now reversed!! My how times change!!
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries had a Meet & Greet Congress on Your Corner – today in front of the Shirley Chisholm Post Office this morning. I made sure that I got up early and I was the 3rd person on the line. I voiced my concerns about the swarms of rats that greet me every night at the Broadway Junction subway station. I work nights so I get off work at 12:30 and usually get to my Brooklyn Broadway Junction stop around 1:30 am. There are literally hordes of rats. Big ones. Larger than my cat Sylvester.
I also asked him about low cost housing for Veterans. I came prepared with my DD 214 Discharge papers. Rent is eating up my budget and I can barely pay my other bills. I explained to Congressman Jeffries that I apply for City Housing on NYC website but since it is a lottery I almost never get called or I get rejected. He informed me that there is another way I can get Veterans housing. His staff took down all my information and his staff will get back to me.
I also explained to him that any housing would need to be cat friendly and that in my case my Cat Sylvester is my therapy cat. Those of you Ladies who have served in the military know the issues that confront women and you don’t always come out the way you went in. That can be said of any male dominated job field. I have Life Long emotional and psychological issues. Therefore I need a therapy pet. Either cat or dog. Sylvester gives stability to my life and helps me cope with my various struggles.
For every American who tells me Thank you for My Service I wonder if they ever try to help any of the Veterans in their city. Keep in mind that many Homeless People are Veterans. I know what it is to get evicted. And just as you pass by, cringe and judge the homeless people on your city streets and subways well one of those could have been me. Instead of verbal Thanks it would be more profitable to volunteer to help Homeless/Disabled Veterans, speak to your Congressperson about increasing Veterans services and programs or at least attempt to inform yourself on the issues and problems confronting Veterans especially Female Veterans. Other than that Keep your Thanks. That does not help us. I cannot eat, live in or pay bills with empty Thanks.
Congressman Jeffries is a man of his word and he has helped me in the past concerning my brother Stephen. Those of you who have been following my blog know what I went through with my job not allowing me time off to see my brother Stephen.
He actually cares about the community. He listened to me. He alerted me to various programs that I did not know existed. Hakeem Jeffries is a good man.
I’m a firm believer in Citizen participation. I could sit here and bemoan my problems or I can do something about them. Nobody is going to do it for me. It’s up to me to change my life. I’m approaching retirement and I do have several health challenges so I’ve got to find solutions now and not wait until a crisis. Being Proactive is the way to go.
Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.
Yes. All Courtesy of Uncle Sam. I’m a United States Army Veteran and road marches and running were my way of Life from Nov. 1977 – Nov. 1981. I was in excellent physical condition back then and easily completed every physical task. I did do one of those corporate sponsorship cancer walks a several years ago. I think it was a 5K. I was younger then so it was doable now I get winded just going up and down the subway stairs. I don’t have the stamina or energy I had when I was younger.
No swimming as I can’t swim and my bike riding came to an end after childhood. I have vision and balance issues so bikes are not my friends.
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
I’m grateful to have gotten through the week and made it to Palm Sunday which I enjoyed. I’m also grateful that the weather in New York has finally warmed up. I’m looking forward to Easter.
This incident has become fuzzy in my mind over time but I remember it occurred while I was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY. That would have been around 1980/81. My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was as a 75D aka Personnel Records Specialist. From time to time I was sent TDY (Temporary Duty Assignment) to other bases in a supporting role to soldiers on maneuvers.
Once I was sent to Ft. Polk, LA or as my fellow troops and I liked to call it at the time Ft. Puke! If you’ve ever been to Louisiana you know it contains a wide variety of scary horrific wildlife and creatures that must be left overs from the prehistoric era. Snakes, scorpions, bats, etc….
Of course once I received my TDY orders and paperwork I packed up my duffel bag thinking that it would meet me on base. Boy was I wrong! I made it to Ft. Polk but my duffel bad did not. I wound up having to hand wash my underwear as I had no change of clothing. The Commanding Officer assigned a female officer to take me into town to buy some new clothes until my duffel bag could be located.
Eventually to my great relief the duffel bag was found and once again I had clean uniforms and clothing. Who knows where it had been for between 24 and 48 hours. Perhaps riding around the luggage carousel at the airport aimlessly until a staff person picked it up, contacted the base who had somebody retrieve it so I would not be naked!!
Sp4 DeBorah Ann Palmer, US Army ~~ November 1977 to November 1981
1978 Augsburg, Germany
Deborah Ann Palmer U.S. Army 1977-1981
C130 Rolling Down The Strip – Military Running Cadence