Ep 20: Trauma, Faith & Recovery: Cheryl Gricoski’s Experience Navigating Life’s Challenges As A Veteran & Spouse

On Episode 20 of Untold Valor, we’re joined by Air Force veteran Cheryl Gricoski. Cheryl has the unique experience of being both a military veteran and the wife of a veteran. She candidly shares how her first marriage was affected by her husband’s trauma and his reluctance to seek therapy. This took a toll on her own mental health.

Cheryl highlights the stigma surrounding mental health, particularly among men, and how it hindered her husband’s journey. Despite the difficulties, she found strength to move on, get the support she needed, and eventually discovered solace and encouragement in her second marriage.

Cheryl’s unwavering faith played a crucial role in her path to recovery. She and Reverend Ben discuss how important it is to help those around you as a part of your own healing journey.

Highlights of this episode:

3:13 – Complications that arose during Cheryl’s first marriage.

5:07 – The stress of Cheryl’s marriage ultimately led to a decline in her own mental health, but she wasn’t afraid to seek help.

9:08 – Moving on and getting help.

12:31 – Cheryl’s message: Turn to God for hope and strength in all your struggles, sicknesses, and pain. Look for the right medicine and stay on it. Surround yourself with affirming people, get counseling, and do whatever you need to do to recover. There is joy, health, and happiness for you!

More About Cheryl:

Cheryl joined the United States Air Force after high graduating from Palisades High School in 1974. She was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California. She was actively involved with Operation Babylift which flew many refugees and Amerasian infants and toddlers and families from Vietnam to the United States.

While in the Air Force she met and married her first husband. Cheryl was honorably discharged in 1978, after which she received her bachelor’s degree in social work and CDC certificate and began working as a preschool assistant teacher. Her husband stayed in the military as a medic serving in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. They were stationed at several Air Force Bases during their marriage. After years of struggles, counselors, and sicknesses, they divorced. She later met and married a loving man of honesty and integrity, and they enjoyed each other until the Lord called him home in November of 2018.

Presently, Cheryl likes spending time with her accomplished daughter and Air Force Master Sergeant son and three growing grandchildren. She is working as a preschool teacher. Cheryl has successfully come through five years of widowhood and grief, while living on her own. She hosts a widow support group, encouraging other widows to trust God to give them the strength and courage to live their life with joy even during hardships.

Resources:

Voice & Vision: https://bit.ly/3miwFoy

CompeerCORPS: https://bit.ly/3GgKryU

Information on how to apply for VA Healthcare Benefits from anywhere in the USA: https://bit.ly/40PtrrN or call 877-222-8387 (M-F 8am-8pm EST)

To apply for veteran’s benefits and find resources in Pennsylvania veterans need to contact their County Office of Veterans Affairs as listed in this document: https://bit.ly/3m8PBWS

Need immediate help? Contact the Veterans Crisis Line via phone, text or online chat. Dial 988 then Press 1 or text 838255 or use the online chat at https://bit.ly/3OunXzg

View more about PA’s resources for veterans: https://bit.ly/416cf0Q

Financial support for Untold Valor is provided by a Veterans’ Trust Fund grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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