U.S. Veteran Finds Sense Of Community At The Y / by Zina Daniel

It’s great to have a place you can bring your kids to and have a break to do something active that we both enjoy. When you’re able to go to a place like the YMCA, where they have a program specifically for veterans, it makes you feel less alone.
— Arely Rosario

Specialist Arely Rosario is a veteran, mechanic, and devoted mom.

Life and career hasn’t always been easy for Arely. While deployed, she lost five of her company in one day. Arely can recall the moment her best friend pulled her to safety. She can also recall the moment her best friend died — later that day.

Coming back home was especially hard, as Arely was in denial that she had PTSD due to her experience while deployed. Arely felt isolated. Her family couldn’t relate because they weren’t in the military — and even within the military, Arely lacked the female support she needed.

However, there is a growing light at the end of the tunnel. “[While] there are still times when I don’t want to wake up,” Arely told the YMCA, “I lean on my faith, exercise, and keep myself busy with my son to stay healthy. I sing and stay involved in the community, and I want to go back to school for nursing.”

In 2015, the Department of Veteran Affairs and the YMCA of the USA refreshed and expanded their pre-existing partnership. The new agreement made it easier for Veterans Benefits Administration, regional offices, and Veterans Health Administration facilities to work with Y chapters to ensure that veterans are connected to needed resources and opportunities in their communities. 

As a single parent, Arely is a big supporter of the Y.

“It’s great to have a place you can bring your kids to and have a break to do something active that we both enjoy,” Arely said. “When you’re able to go to a place like the YMCA, where they have a program specifically for veterans, it makes you feel less alone.”

To make an online contribution that will help veterans like Arely, visit indymca.org/annual-campaign-support.