As a female marine, I learned that the battle within the mind determines one’s overall health. Although I experienced combat duty, the internal battle started years before Iraq. The emotional conflict began in my early childhood. At 4, my life changed forever when my parents divorced. I struggled growing up, and my brother and I often felt alone. My mother, a loving, caring soul struggled with depression and anxiety however; she did her best to raise us the best she could. My father died at the young age of 47, after a long battle with alcoholism. I was 25 at the time. My grandpa and grandma were there for my brother and I to help us along life's path. As a teenager, I joined the Marine Corps. I wanted to make a difference in our country after 9/11. Before leaving for the Middle East, I married a fellow marine. Within two years, our marriage ended in divorce, because of the strain of military life. While getting ready to return home, two deployments later, one marine shouted, “If you need a chaplain or medical help, go through these doors.” Except no one wanted to seek help in front of the whole company—the harassment would have been unbearable. We received a Veteran Affairs pamphlet to deal with insomnia, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of ending it all. No wonder we sought comfort in alcohol and prescription drugs—we needed help. I met my husband, Kevin, in 2008. We now have 3 kids: Ashlyn, Madisen and Jackson. We also have a rescue dog Cooper. My family is my world and a huge reason for my joy and motivation in life. In 2018, I discovered 92for22, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and veteran suicides, which are at a national rate of 22 per day. I joined their leadership team. Through this organization, I met other combat vets who shared common mental health injuries like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Together, we heal by taking the first step to acknowledge our mental health issues. But overall, I began to win the internal battle when I started a relationship with Jesus, my Savior. God bless and Semper Fidelis.
Tiffany's ArtPrize Entries
These are Tiffany's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.