#VeteranOfTheDay Army Veteran Daniell Pollock


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Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Daniell Pollock and her #OperationSong, “My Singing Voice”.

In 2011, Daniell joined the Army to follow in the footsteps of the men in her family. When making the decision to join, she thought it would be a good change for her while exploring her passion to travel. Soon after joining the Army, Daniell grew to love it.

While serving, Daniell was sexually assaulted and raped by another military member, leading to post traumatic stress disorder. However, she was not defined by this, and after receiving recommendation from her therapist, Daniell became involved with Operation Song. Through this partnership, Daniell was able to express herself and work through her emotions. “I was raped in the military and it was really hard for me. I did a lot of soul searching and music was one of the best ways to express my feelings.”

From a young age, Daniell had a passion for music but never thought it would be possible to pursue her dream. With Operation Song, Daniell found her voice and regained her power.

Daniell worked with professional writer, Angela Kaset at the VA Women’s Health Care Center to produce her song titled “My Singing Voice”, which was inspired by the many voices Daniell has experienced after she was sexually assaulted. “Getting to write my own song did wonders for me. It helped me heal in some ways that it never did before,” she remarked. Daniell not only appreciates the healing that it did for her, but enjoys the ability to help others that have been through the same or similar situations.

In the song, the many voices of Daniell are expressed and emphasizes that it is okay to say no. “A lot of people, especially women, are used to taking care of people and they try to make everything work and I did that my whole life. There was a time my ‘no’ wasn’t strong enough. But I learned it was okay to work through all the voices. I just hope that my song can help somebody else who is going through a hard time right now like I have.”

With her song, Daniell hopes to reach out to women and express that they are not alone. “I hope people listen to my song and know that it is going to be okay, what happened to you does not make you who you are. What happened to me don’t make me who I am. Sometimes things can happen so other really great things can happen to.”

Daniell plans to go back to school and help other Veterans after earning her degree. “If I could just save one Veteran’s life, that would make me really happy. They gave up their freedom so everybody could have theirs and it’s not fair sometimes the things you have to deal with from the military because the things that happened to you. I want to help and have them be able to relate to me. We’re Army strong, military strong, we’re all a family,” she said.

Daniell is grateful for her partnership with Operation Song and the support that it has provided. “I want people to know that bad things happen to good people and what happens to you doesn’t define who you are. Even though you might have every obstacle in front of you to fail and to give up, you have to find something deep inside yourself and push through. Sometimes the only person that can help you is yourself. You need to be braver than your fears because you’re the only one who can ever overcome them. You need to have the courage that you can do it.”

Check out Daniell’s song here on Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/operationsong-tm/my-singing-voice

We thank you for your service, Daniell!


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Operation Song

Operation Song™ has spent the last five years bringing songwriting to the military and Veteran community to help with healing, service-related issues and injuries. A 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville, Operation Song™ holds weekly workshops in Middle Tennessee and sponsors events and group retreats throughout the Southeast. Those they serve need no musical background, only the desire to tell their story. In a typical session, the songwriter listens and encourages the participant to lay out the “puzzle pieces” of his or her experience. Together, they arrange those pieces into verses and choruses. The result is a complete song that they can call their own. Operation Song serves Veterans of all conflicts. For more information about Operation Song™, visit their website: http://www.operationsong.org/


Graphic By Lilian Vo: Lilian Vo is an undergraduate senior at George Mason University studying Global Affairs and Intelligence Analysis.

Author

Lindsey Hall

Lindsey Hall is a junior at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire studying Communication with a Business Application, with minors in Spanish and International Affairs. Lindsey is also a Writing and Editing intern for the US Department of Veteran Affairs.