Tender was in the Army from May 2000 until December 2005. She was medically retired, at the rank of Sergeant, in December 2005 due to PTSD and anxiety. Her main job was setting up communications for the others to correspond. She was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, Wiesbaden, Germany and Ft. Huachuca, AZ. While in Germany she was in 141 Signal Battalion, 1st Armored Division. She was the communications chief, orderly room NCO, commander’s driver and a gunner all at once. Her unit deployed to Iraq in May 2003 and returned to Germany in July 2004. She was frequently sent out into various locations of Iraq. In 2005, Tender was diagnosed with chronic PTSD and the choice was made for her to be medically retired. Her plan of a career in the Army was no longer an option.
Tender began volunteering with a non-profit in St. Louis called Six String for Heroes at Jefferson Barracks which provides free guitar lessons to veterans suffering from mental or physical injuries as a result of military service. Along with the symptoms of PTSD, Tender also developed significant hearing loss and ringing which affected her everyday responsibilities as a mother, employee and volunteer. Unfortunately, the VA turned down her request for hearing aids.
Songs4Soldiers was happy to provide Tender with the hearing aids necessary to considerably improve the quality of her life. With new hearing aids, Tender was able to continue her volunteer work and hear her kids again. Songs4Soldiers helped Tender when she felt she had no one left to turn to for help.
Watch Tender’s video here.