Guest Author

Yomari Cruz

Alumna – Wounded Warrior Project

In September of 2010, Yomari Cruz deployed to Afghanistan with her Army unit. Within ten minutes of getting off the aircraft in Jalalabad, the base was attacked. While she loved her job, the constant attacks, the loss of her military brothers, and other traumatic experiences took her to a dark place. Things only got worse after a soldier she trusted was caught videotaping her in the shower on base. As a result, the trust she’d had in her battle buddies eroded and betrayal, fear, and paranoia overwhelmed her.

When Cruz medically retired in 2013, post-traumatic stress made her transition to civilian life very difficult. She had serious anger issues, feared public areas, and couldn’t handle conversations with people.  It was a neighbor — a fellow veteran — who took her to the Wounded Warrior Project event that changed everything. For the first time in more than three years, she felt comfortable. She saw other warriors behave like she did when they walked into a new place or were in a crowd. Since then, she has participated in many WWP events, including Soldier Ride® and Project Odyssey®, which Yomari credits as one of the best experiences she has ever had.

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