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"Cease fire, cease fire!" ; Personal statement to Public Health Grad school

MO12 1 / -  
Jan 7, 2014   #1

Cease fire, cease fire!

I would like some feedback on my personal statement. It is a very rough draft and partially incomplete. The feed back I am looking for is- does it grab your attention? or make you yawn or is it cliche. I am sure I have many grammar errors, so I appreciate all critiques. :-) Thank you. I am applying for Master of Public -Health policy and management program.

The only sounds I hear in the North Carolina woods are m16 rifles and mosquitos buzzing in my ear. "Cease fire, cease fire!" yells the instructor. We stop and quickly move on to the next training exercise: assess our wounded, our Marines. It is hot, humid, and muddy from the rain that fell the night before. I was 19, from an urban area, a neophyte camper with an aversion to insects. I asked myself, "Why am I here? My recruiter failed to mention that I would be swimming in mud to get to patients." The course was rigorous and demanding but I was determined to complete my field medical training as a Navy Hospital Corpsman. As a non-combative field corpsman, I was to assist in the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries for Marines. Shortly after I completed field school, I continued on to the technical field of medical imaging.

The border of southern Iraq and Kuwait was my first introduction to public health. I was able to utilize my acquired training in Operation Iraqi Freedom. My unit provided level II echelon care for all military members and Iraqi nationals. Upon returning from deployment, we screened service members and addressed behavioral health risk factors. The initial screening was very critical because all risk factors had to be addressed accordingly to ensure a proper referral to a trained professional. In this time frame, many veterans expressed their fears and struggles to me about returning to society after being in a combat zone. Working with post deployment service members with long exposure to combat action was a learning experience to say the least. I was not a trained counselor or behavioral expert to treat these service member but I was their "middle person" to guide them to the appropriate recourses and services. I felt honored and privileged when they did share their concerns and fears with me.

My passion for perusing a career in public is from a culmination of events but it increased when I was faced with my own personal challenges. My husband deployed as a k-9 handler with a combatant unit a few years after my deployment. Upon his return, the challenges of returning to his husband/father role were difficult. Getting medical access and care for his physical injuries were effortless but injuries you cannot see can be easily ignored or overlooked. He is still dealing with the residuals from his exposure to combat, mentally and physically, but he knows there are resources available to guide him in the right direction.

My deployment with the marines was very short lived and I was assigned back to my radiology technologist position where I remained until I was honorably discharged in 2007. After my discharge, I continued to work at a military treatment facility as a CT (computed tomography) technologist contractor. I was elated to still be able to provide ancillary care for service members, their families, and veterans. -----(thinking of taking this part out)

Through my efforts are not just in improving the health, physical and mentally, in only the veteran community but the entire community. As veterans, our well being can help diversify and benefit a community in a positive way. Obtaining a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy is crucial to achieving my goals. Advanced education and training will enable me to design, implement, and evaluate policies to better serve the veteran community by working the Veterans Administration. As a veteran myself, I would like to improve the lives of other veterans who are at risk for occupational exposure to illness. I would like to contribute by working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve policies for veterans.

matsumelrose - / 3  
Jan 9, 2014   #2
This is a very good piece and you have good material. I see you know how to stress action. The latter half is still a little too general for me. I suggest you elaborate more on how the course will help you.
dumi 1 / 6,928 1592  
Feb 13, 2014   #3
Good writing. This para well introduces you as a person to them. I don't think it sounds too personal.

I suggest you elaborate more on how the course will help you.

This is an important point matsumelrose has mentioned in his comment. In your second version too, it's not properly happening. Give some more weight to this aspect because it is the most important thing they would want to know.

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