I will be the first to say I loved my time at Fort McClellan, Alabama, but I was from southern California which was very different. By the the time I was nineteen I had already travelled to Spain on my own. I considered myself a world traveler and trust me, Alabama didn’t hold a candle to Spain.
I could not get out of the south fast enough and I hoped and prayed that not all the Army bases were like Fort McClellan.
When I arrived in San Antonio, Texas, I looked up at the sky and could tell immediately I was in a “real” city – my heart skipped a beat! Just maybe, Fort Sam Houston would provide the life I was looking for in the military. I wanted some fun; I wanted to meet new exciting people, and I wanted a career I loved.
My introduction Advanced Training Courses was intense. The particular course I was taking, mental health counseling, was one of the toughest and the failure rate was high. If you didn’t make it, you were reassigned where the military needed you and those places weren’t my first choice – not by a long shot.
I really wanted a medical career and that goal was going to take all the mental fortitude I could muster. I quickly realized perseverance was going to be key. One thing I found out quickly is doing well in the military takes a double dose of personal strength.
Next time I will share some of my adventures at Fort Sam Houston. 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 supports all women who are part of the military family. Our goal is successful re-integration back into civilian life.