As a civilian with little military connection, now working for a military nonprofit, I’ve learned so much in the past few weeks that I’ve been at Troopster. I’ve come to realize that the United States Military is so much grander than I could have imagined. All of the different jobs and ranks, the complicatedness of the military postal service, the little quirks and symbols.
What really interests me though isn’t the military as a whole or even the specific branches. What I want to know about is the people. Who are the individuals who make up our military? What are their stories? What are the experiences they’ve had, both inside and outside of the job?
I’m very passionate about the notion that everyone deserves a voice. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has something to say. Stories are powerful. They can hold weight, magic, pain, resilience, joy, and everything in between. The consumption of a resonating story can have a profound impact on its readers and writing the story can have a profound impact on the person who lived it. Sharing one’s story has the power to change that person’s life. It has the power to uplift and heal and empower. Extraordinary things can happen when you give someone a voice.
That’s why I’m so excited to announce Troopster’s Humans of the Military project. Inspired by the popular blog Humans of New York, our goal is to give members of the military a platform to share their unique stories. Humans of the Military is a space for service members to share pieces of themselves and their real, raw, human experience.
The questions we’re interested in cover a wide range of what it means to be human:
- What is the proudest moment of your life? Why?
- Tell me about a time you felt small.
- Tell me about a time you felt on top of the world.
- Who is the most influential person in your life? Tell me about them.
- Tell me a story about a time you left your comfort zone.
- What’s the biggest struggle you’ve faced? Did you overcome it? How?
- Tell me about a moment that means something to you.
- Tell me about something you’re passionate about.
- What did you want to be when you were younger? Why?
- Tell me about your funniest experience.
- What is the story of the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
- Tell me about the kindest thing someone has ever done for you.
My hope is that as readers, you find pieces of yourself within these stories. That this project is of mutual benefit to the writers and the readers. Reading a story you see yourself in can be just as healing, heartwarming, and hope inducing as writing one.
If you are a service member who would like to submit a story, you can fill out this form.