Veteran Article Written by Female Veteran of the Quarter Donzella Brenda…
Hello let me start by introducing myself, my name is Donzella Brenda (Selby) Johnson and I was raised by my grandparents in a small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland called Oriole. My first name was given to me because I share the same birth month and day with my uncle whom was a POW, MIA of the Korean War. I attended Washington High School and was on the Honor Roll and tutored Math.
I graduated on June 6, 1976 and started Delaware Technical Community College on June 7, 1976. While at Delaware Technical and Community College, I earned a Certificate in the Clerical Field, tutored Math and Shorthand and was a member of DECA. Ever since I was a young child, my goals were to graduate high school, go to college, join the Military, get married and have a family. All of these, I accomplished. My proudest moment was becoming the mother of a daughter who was born at 7 months and is a NYU graduate in Broadcast Journalism and is at the University of Rochester and a son who was my miracle child because he was not supposed to live pass his 5th birthday and now is 33 years old and has his own online talk show and is my caregiver.
My Military and Civilian Education and Training are 42A Human Resource Specialist, 92Y Unit Supply Specialist and 91S Preventive Medicine. My other Completed Military Education is Equal Opportunity Leader, Advisor and Mediator. Homecoming, Deployment and Freedom Salute Coordinator, Subsistence, Supply, POL (Fuel) and Ammunition Clerk, Budget Management, Commodities Manager, Personnel Admin and Automated Logistics Specialist, Recruiting and Retention, Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Power Point, Unit Fund and Property Book NCO.
Lastly my Civilian Education and Trainings are Delaware Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator, overseen 684 Medical and Non-Medical Volunteers, AED/CPR, All Hazards Training, Autism and Emergency Preparedness, Bio terrorism Awareness, Community Emergency Response Team, by having this training I was able to save a gentleman’s life in 2012 and the article was published in the FEMA Newsletter, Advanced Emergency Response Team, Family Emergency Preparedness, FEMA Trainings, Grant Writing, Points of Distribution, RSS and Team building. I previously worked with Emergency Management Services and Office of Preparedness for the State of Delaware. In this role, I performed Administrative Support, Outreach and Workshops preparing our Delawareans for any type of disaster (fire, tornado etc.) During an actual event, I am part of the Incident Command team. Also am a Layleader for the Diabetes, Chronic Disease, Chronic Pain and Cancer Thriving and Surviving Self Management Programs, Narcan Training and Matter of Balance.
Despite all my Education and Training, 6 months after retiring from the Military, I got the shock of my life, I became a Homeless Veterans. I remained in that status for a little more than a year. I lost my home, transportation, all my furnishings, awards, medals and pictures. The main reason for the loss was I was not considered a Veteran, because I was Title 32 and not Title 10. I was not afforded the benefits, retirement and resources that are generally received upon retirement. I felt like at that point that the National Guard and the Reserve were the forgotten ones. Throughout my tenure of homelessness and even today, I focus every day on ending homelessness for all of our Veterans and fighting for the benefits, resources that all our Soldiers and Airmen of the National Guard and Reserve so deserve.
It has been an enriching experience to be involved as the President of the Delaware National Guard Army/Air Retired Association and the Secretary for the DE National Guard Enlisted Association and presently the Membership Chairperson, Ways and Means Chairperson and the State Conference Coordinator, I am also a former Executive Council member of the Homeless Veteran Stand down Committee, I now serve as their Service Provider Coordinator.
I am presently the Secretary for Area II National Guard Enlisted Association. Despite my many disabilities I put my all in giving back, collecting resources and educating myself, so that no one has to go through the trials and tribulations I faced, especially my National Guard Family. I do believe God took me through this to strengthen others that have or will be in the future go through the same obstacles I endured.
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