Imagine being a military veteran and writing a blog about your struggles with trauma and depression and that blog becoming your life’s mission to help countless people around the country.
Well, that is exactly what happened to Annette Whittenberger.
Whittenberger decided to start a blog about her battle with abuse, rape, and trauma while transitioning out of the Army after 17 years of service.
Now she has a podcast called "The Truths We Hide" and tens of thousands of listeners. Whittenberger also recently published a book sharing her story, called "The Wall Between Two Lives."
”I realized that I was no longer alone and I felt like there needed to be a message out there to help others get through the stigma of mental health," Whittenberger said. "So in order to stop it, we have to keep talking about it."
The goal is to let others know they have someone in their corner and that is exactly what she did along with Air Force Reserve Veteran Robert Garcia, who suddenly lost his mother to cancer while on deployment.
”I had met Annette online and just heard wonderful things about her and she reached out. We set up a series of video calls and she was able to offer me a lot of condolences as a mother herself,” said Garcia.
Annette helped Robert through a traumatic experience at a time that simply blew him away.
”She was recovering from a severe auto accident she had been in with her daughter and she selflessly took the time to talk to me about my own grief and walk me through a lot of things. She helped me get that clarity and that comfort to move on,” said Garcia.
Annette helps people around the country, so it is no surprise that she also opened her heart to a fellow Army veteran in North Carolina who was transitioning into civilian life while also morning the loss of a loved one.
”Just being able to share our own personal childhood stories with each other and walking those paths together, really helped get me through some of those tougher days through the processes,” said Christine Adams, Retired U.S Army Colonel living in North Carolina.
Though Annette’s mission is to help others, she says they help her just as much.
”It’s been a really humbling experience. I never thought I would be where I am because it was so emotional and so difficult to talk about,” said Whittenberger.
Now people she has helped will never forget how she was there and continues to stand in their corner.
”Annette was definitely the right person at the right time when I needed her most,” said Garcia.
”I love you Annette and I am so blessed and grateful that the universe placed you in my path," said Adams.
Annette Whittenberger found a way through her pain and now helps thousands around the country do the same thing, one conversation at a time.