A few days before September 11th, Jarom flew from Hawaii where he was stationed to California to spend some time with his mom. As soon as he realized what had happened and that our country was under attack he immediately flew back to Hawaii to report for duty. Having been a Marine for three years prior to the 9/11 attacks, Jarom had developed great pride in his service and loved the strength of military culture.
Jarom’s life has forever been changed after serving three tours in Iraq. He says, “After coming back from war my life before seems like a dream. So much has changed and it doesn’t feel real.” It was difficult for him to maintain close relationships with his friends and family after having spent so much time in intense and dangerous environments alongside his fellow soldiers who he shared “a bond tighter than blood.”
Jarom’s military experience and the attacks on 9/11 opened his eyes and drove him to his work today. He now works with returning veterans to address their needs and help them plug into the resources and services they need when coming home. He says, “ Before all I had to care about was my fellow Marines, but now I am part of the veteran community. Sometimes it is hard to deal with the new world we live in, which is why I feel it is my job to take care of all veterans who need peer support.”
Support returning veterans this month by donating $9, $10, or $11 for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.