Finally that special word was said to those of us who were left.. “pass” and “you can wear your civilian clothes!” We “ladies” were being rewarded for a job well done…we could go to the dungeon and pick an outfit to wear. We had to stay on the post and that was fine. We just wanted to wear “real” clothes and maybe see some men…I got to my luggage as fast as I could and put on some fine California clothes; a little Hawaiian print top and some cute white cotton hip huggers! And that was just for me to go to the PX to shop!! Off I went to see the “Wizard”…
The trip started off very innocent. Yes I got dressed up, but it was all fun. But on the way back from the PX, I was approached by a group of men. At first I acted aloof to their calls, but then they started getting a little obnoxious because I was not giving them any attention. I was getting nervous because they were asking me to stop to talk, but I would not stop.
Just as I was wondering if I should pick up my pace and maybe start running, a big black car with flags on the bumper came up to my side out of nowhere. The window in the back came down and there was a beautiful blonde older woman officer. She asked me if I was alright. I was so nervous I could not speak. She asked me to get in the car. So I got in and this wonderful woman chatted with me about my basic training, dropped me off at the barracks and wished me well.
My staff sergeant came running out and asked me what happened. I explained and he asked me if I knew who I was with, I said no, but I knew she was a general. He gave me a really mean look and said I had been with the commandant of FortMcClelland. I was in shock, but afterwards I was ecstatic. I had a feeling that meeting her was a sign from heaven that I truly was going to graduate from basic training.
When I look back on my short but lively military career, I realized that I had many of these type of “gatekeeper” moments…where people cross your path to assist you at that time of your life, angels on earth. So my message to all of you gals is to try to be aware of everyone who crosses your path, because you never who could be that special angel of opportunity.
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 a charitable organization that honors all the women who are part of the United States Military Family.