Monday, July 13, 2015

Life after the Military...



Since the release of my memoir, I’ve been asked by a number of journalists, “What have your life been like since your discharge?” 

Today of all days I decided to answer that question, as I continue to reflect on the events that changed my life, 7 years ago, today…  On July 13th, 2008, I was released from Miramar Brig after serving 50 days of a 60 day prison sentence.  Before my trial, I was facing a possible 16 year prison sentence.  I recall the morning of my release, feeling like a zombie as I sat with my command escort at the McDonalds on base.  Savoring the aroma of fresh brewed coffee. The moment felt surreal.  

Throughout my officer career, I never tried relate to the junior personnel who would return back to work after a brief sentencing at the brig.  Their infractions were so minor that their punishment never warranted imprisonment, in most cases for 30 days or longer.  Now that I’m out of the military, I see how the military’s justice system mimic’s that of our society.   But what I find to be most disturbing is that senior Pentagon officials are condoning sexual violence against women, as well as members of the LGBT community.  It is no secret!!

I’m no stranger to Civil or Human Rights violations, which is the only legal terminology to describe how my superiors treated me, along with thousands of other veterans.

After a morning of self-reflection in one of the most sacred burial sites in Georgia, camouflaged as a State Park, I came to understand why I had to go through that experience during that phase of my life.  It was to make me stronger and to prepare me for what lies ahead.

I know God is not done with me and quite frankly, I think God is just getting started with me.  

When I went to the Post Office this afternoon, I received the certificate of registration for my memoir, Broken Silence.  Talk about when one door closes, another one opens!

Instead of reflecting on the traumatic events of my life, today I choose to celebrate new beginnings.  And I have a special message to my fellow veterans (victims), who are survivors of Civil Rights and Human Rights violations, “This too shall pass!!!” 

If I can forgive them for their transgressions, so can you!!!

http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Silence-Military-Whistleblowers-Justice/dp/1942863020/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1436832471&sr=8-1&keywords=syneeda+penland
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