Veterans Voices

Veterans Voices: Ex-Combat Medic Victoria Volk helping people grieve

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After serving her country in Iraq as a combat medic, she’s now spending her life helping people — especially veterans — through their grief.

Like the coat of many colors, Victoria Volk is a woman of many talents.

“I am an advanced certified grief recovery specialist, reiki master, Youmap coach and an end-of-life Doula,” Volk said.

Volk also spent a substantial amount of time in the army.

She recalled her entry as a late one and said going into service of the country seemed almost natural because members of her family were already serving.

“In comparison to many, I was 20 when I joined, most kids– kids I say, join out of high school. So when I went to my basic training I was one of the older ones there and I joined because I wanted to go to college.
I had tried to but financially I couldn’t but I did come from a family of service. Every one of my siblings had served in the military, as did my father and my grandfather. So we are very much a family of service and it felt like the next logical step for me,” she said.

Volk was deployed shortly after she said yes to a forever life with her husband who also was in the military.

In 2003, both of them moved their lives to their respective stations in Iraq.

Volk says she was assigned to the battalion named trailblazers as a combat medic.

Her role as a medic was an enlightening experience.

“It helped open my eyes to other cultures, other ways that people lived, we are very blessed and fortunate to be where we are and I wouldn’t change that deployment for anything,” she said.

Six years after she first joined the military, Volk hung up her boots to begin a family.

“We didn’t want to risk both of us deploying once we had kids, and so I did get out as to not risk having to leave my kid our child with somebody else so that is the choice we made as a family,” said Volk.

Starting her life outside the military began with Volk finding a new purpose.

That journey led to self-exploration as well as recovering from her own grief as a child.

“Lost a parent as a child, had some traumatic things happen to me as a child. I had been looking for something to really help me all of those years. It took about 30 years until I really found something to help me and that was grief recovery and I made a choice at that time, I wanted to help other people and I knew I wanted to help other people who felt kind of lost,” she said.

Today she wants to help other people especially veterans who want to deal with their grief.

“There’s a lot of loss involved in serving especially when you are deployed, you lose comrades, you lose friends and it changes a lot about you when you go through a lot of grief and trauma,” Volk said.

Volk wants people in the military to know there are non-medication solutions to their mental health issues especially those that continue to grieve.

She moves from town to town trying to reach people with her service.

Volk is also the author of The Guided Heart, a book about how to get through grief.

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