It's a joy to serve those who served
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition

TAMPA, Fla. - It's not a coincidence that the first three letters of Army Wounded Warrior Program Advocate Joyce Hamilton's name describe her attitude toward her Veterans.

"It's a joy to serve! To me, I see it as a service to them and I'm blessed to be able to be retired and still serve," said Hamilton.

The New York native retired from the military after twenty-two years of service at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

"I was a drill sergeant and I was...It came with the territory you had to be tough. You had to train them, but then when it comes to showing compassion that doesn't mean that you are weak," she added.

Compassion she has and she is not ashamed to show it. "To me you have more strength to be able to humble yourself, see someone in need and help. The least I can do is empower them."

Hamilton admits at one point she was homeless, a single mom with four kids, a life of uncertainty was the only thing certain she knew.

"This job has really changed my life. This feeling I have...it's just in you. You know there's a need and that you have the means to provide what they need, so you're going to give them what they need," said Hamilton.

AW2 Soldiers need an advocate. Someone to be the conduit to all things they need when recuperating or transitioning. The Drill Sergeant in Hamilton is a little more direct.

"An advocate stands up and fights for someone who can't fight for themselves," Hamilton added.

Hamilton fights for her Soldiers, reminding them AW2 isn't like any other organization.

"All the other agencies may drop off, but AW2, we will be right there with you. I tell everyone when I brief 'this is the best program in the world.' We help the most vulnerable population. It's a blessing to be a blessing, she added.