In Uniforms like Cattle

By Doris Rivas-BrekkeIn Uniform Like Cattle by Doris Rivas-Brekke Shining Service Worldwide Shining Service Worldwide

If you are reading this, you made it through basic training.  Tough going, but we made it!   Great memories that remind us we got what it takes to get through life‘s challenges. So here’s more of my journey and the messages learned. 

After arriving at Fort McClellanand having my bags so rudely taken away, I wondered what was next. Everyone looked stunned and I felt  alone.  We were  taken to a hot suffocating conference room, told what to expect and that many of us would not make it through the next several weeks. I was tired and wondered if we would have a chance sleep; I didn’t dare ask. The military people looked mean, cold as if they could care less about our welfare. I knew if I was going to stand a chance of getting through this moment, I had to be quiet and hope for the best.

Next came the uniforms, like cattle, we were weighed, measured and examined.  I had a head of thick long hair, my pride and joy, but a sergeant told me “get all that hair up in my “issued” cap or we’ll cut it for you”. Another sergeant saw I was going to cry and assured me I could try to hide my hair first before I made a decision. She  smiled, spoke gently to me, and for the first time I felt  not everyone there  was mean; there was hope. We went to the “barracks” and finally we could sleep. I laid my head down on that awful pillow and cried myself to sleep. 

This was a discouraging moment and yes, there are many discouraging moments in military life, but there can be many times of great accomplishment! I had all of those moments and you will too. So let me share my military ups and downs with you and know that whatever you are going through, my thoughts are with you! Stay strong girls and look for my story on “The Wall”. 

My name is Doris Rivas-Brekke.  I served in the U.S. Army as a mental health counselor in the medical corps. Using my military benefits I went on to achieve my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  I am currently creative director for Military Mom Talk Radio and share my story with you to inspire you and the women following in my military footsteps.

Shining Service Worldwide™ is an organization that offers SUPPORT to women currently serving in the military, military vets and military spouses. Too often our females in service fall through the cracks and don’t get the attention they deserve, or more importantly, they need.  We want to help provide those resources for them.


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