Giving thanks for hope

Giving thanks for hope Sgt. Katherine Delgado gives her resume to representatives of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory at a Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair on November 15, 2017 at Fort Meyer, Va. (Photo by MaryTherese Griffin)

By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition


ARLINGTON, Va. - No one ever says, "I'd really like it if my shoulder would pop out of its place and cause me great pain and the inability to do my job." Sgt. Katherine Delgado didn't say it either, but that's what happened to her. About a year ago, while she was deployed to the Middle East, Delgado sustained an injury to her left shoulder. The human resources Soldier from Fort Dix, N.J. began looking for a new plan of attack. That plan brought her to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Belvoir, Va. on November 28, 2016.

"I never felt alone at all- anything you need, they are there [for you]," Delgado lauds the support from administrators and staff at the Fort Belvoir WTB during her recovery. However, many Soldiers feel alone when their Army life and career is disrupted by injury or illness, but Delgado wants them to hang on!

"There is hope – Transition is hard, but with the support from family and the unit it can be smooth. If you're transitioning out, I say just get ready to get into the civilian world!" Sgt. Delgado is one of those Soldiers who is transitioning out, but will retain her Reserve Duty status. After surgeries, therapy and strategizing, she hopes her HR work in the Army to transfer to the civilian world.

The legendary football coach Vince Lombardi famously said "Hope is not a strategy," but he did not know about the force of the Career and Education Readiness Program. Delgado had no idea the resources available to her through CER until she needed them. "CER is great! They have workshops for resumes and they have opportunities for internships that can translate out even if the service member is leaving the service."

So what does an HR minded Soldier do at a time like this? She takes that newly minted resume to the Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair at Henderson Hall on Fort Meyer, Va. and starts making connections. "It's a little bit intimidating once you have all these professionals in here. But once you get going everyone is really friendly, and trust me, they are here to help you."

She sees the opportunity out there to get a job, especially in the Washington, D.C. area, which is why she decided to stay here after transitioning out. She feels positive that they want to hire Soldiers in transition.

"My Dream is to make sure that I take these skills that I have learned in the Army, specifically in the HR world, and transfer them to the civilian world."

The hope that becomes the dream is now the driving force to find employment… now that's a GREAT job searching strategy!