Learning, Understanding, and New Friends Through the AW2 Symposium Experience

By Victoria Nail, AW2 Teenager

Operation Purple® camp teenagers participated in their own AW2 Symposium focus group on Army issues affecting them.

Hello everyone, my name is Victoria Nail, and I was blessed to be a part of Operation Purple® camp during the 2011 AW2 Symposium. During the week, we participated in a variety of activities to not only enjoy, but to help us build trust, respect, and communications skills throughout our Families and each other.

We went tubing, rock climbing, zip lining, and were able to go to Universal Orlando® Resort. This experience has been fantastic. Making friends that I can relate to, I learned to communicate with not only my parents and Family, but with people who don’t quite understand what being an Army Brat means.

I am able to understand more about my father, who has post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, and also was injured in Iraq. I feel like communicating with my father is going to be a lot easier now that I understand why he can and can’t do certain things.

I am also able to understand more about my mother, who I am so much like, that I sometimes don’t get along with her. Along with my siblings, who without, I wouldn’t be able to make it through the day.

I will never forget the amazing staff, volunteers, the yummy breakfast and lunches, or the bug bites from Camp Wewa.

Talking with other teens that have been in the same position, or gone through the same things I have, has been wonderful. Keeping in touch with my new friends is going to be fun. I hope that they feel like they can come to me with any Family related issues. I now have a support system of friends that I have never had before.

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