Keesler counselor helping fellow veterans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Keesler counselor helping fellow veterans

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

By Jeff Lawson – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Naomi Kraima is a transplanted New Yorker, who now lives in South Mississippi. The Air Force veteran is also the mother of three children.

As to why she joined the Air Force, she told us, "I wanted to do something bigger than myself, I wanted to make a difference. I know it sounds corny, but I really did."

In late spring 2003, she found herself in Iraq.

"At first, we were really gung ho, yeah, we are going to go get them. Then the reality hit, and I realized, I was going to leave my kids and go to Iraq. And I don't know if I 'm going to come back," she said.

She almost didn't come back. It was May 13th when the convoy she was in was attacked.

"When I turned around to look back, there was an explosion. Then, all of a sudden, we hear over the radio, ‘Take cover, take cover,'" she remembered. "We had to hurry up and get out of there. And when we did, I hear over the radio there was a casualty. And I saw my friend, Griff, in the back of the Humvee bleeding."

Griff would die of his wounds that day. That was seven years ago, but for Naomi, it feels like yesterday.

"Every day, every day he comes to mind, somehow, some way. Every day."

Naomi was lucky. She made it out of Iraq alive and unharmed. But that attack on her convoy left emotional scars.

"At first, I did not even know what was going on," she explained. "I did not know what was happening to me. I felt like I was hearing booms that did not exist, gunfire. I was angry."

Eventually, she was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The therapy she has undergone since then has helped tremendously.

Three years ago, she was medically retired. Now, she works as the Disabled American Veterans' Transition Services Officer, counseling veterans. Sometimes, they are surprised to see this young woman sitting across from them.

"I get the ones that come in here and are like, ‘You just don't understand.' And I tell them, ‘Actually, I do."

She understands because she was there. She saw firsthand the cost of war and the brutality of it. Now, she realizes that being here to counsel vets is the work she was destined to do. She calls it both challenging and rewarding and hopes to be able to do her part to make a difference, for a long time to come.

Copyright 2011 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • UPDATE: Wanted Pass Christian man found in Florida

    UPDATE: Wanted Pass Christian man found in Florida

    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:06 PM EDT2018-04-26 17:06:59 GMT
    A Pass Christian man wanted for questioning in the murder of Kenneth Charlot was found Thursday morning in Escambia County, FL. Cornell Smith is being held pending extradition back to Mississippi.  (Photo source: Pass Christian PD)A Pass Christian man wanted for questioning in the murder of Kenneth Charlot was found Thursday morning in Escambia County, FL. Cornell Smith is being held pending extradition back to Mississippi.  (Photo source: Pass Christian PD)

    A Pass Christian man wanted for questioning in the murder of Kenneth Charlot was found Thursday morning in Escambia County, FL. Cornell Smith is being held pending extradition back to Mississippi. 

    More >>

    A Pass Christian man wanted for questioning in the murder of Kenneth Charlot was found Thursday morning in Escambia County, FL. Cornell Smith is being held pending extradition back to Mississippi. 

    More >>
  • Singing River Health System names new CEO

    Singing River Health System names new CEO

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:27 PM EDT2018-04-26 16:27:20 GMT
    Lee Bond, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of Singing River Health System since 2016, was just named the system’s new Chief Executive Officer.  (Photo source: SRHS)Lee Bond, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of Singing River Health System since 2016, was just named the system’s new Chief Executive Officer.  (Photo source: SRHS)
    Lee Bond, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of Singing River Health System since 2016, was just named the system’s new Chief Executive Officer.  (Photo source: SRHS)Lee Bond, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of Singing River Health System since 2016, was just named the system’s new Chief Executive Officer.  (Photo source: SRHS)

    After a national search for the right person to lead Singing River Health System, the board of trustees found their perfect candidate was already part of the team. 

    More >>

    After a national search for the right person to lead Singing River Health System, the board of trustees found their perfect candidate was already part of the team. 

    More >>
  • Former employee accused of embezzling from sheriff's office back behind bars

    Former employee accused of embezzling from sheriff's office back behind bars

    Thursday, April 26 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-04-26 16:19:46 GMT
    Cherie Ward (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office)Cherie Ward (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office)
    Cherie Ward (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office)Cherie Ward (Source: Jackson Co. Sheriff's Office)

    A former employee accused of embezzling money from Jackson County Sheriff's Office is back behind bars after failing to show up for court this week. 

    More >>

    A former employee accused of embezzling money from Jackson County Sheriff's Office is back behind bars after failing to show up for court this week. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly