Lost in Translation
By Charles Carolus
Hi! My name is Charles "Bo" Carolus. I served on Active Duty for 10 years as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy. I deployed twice, my most recent deployment being in 2011 with the Marines in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Yup, the MARINES!
We conducted combat operations near the southern border of Afghanistan, right next to Pakistan. Some of us suffered from injuries and unfortunately, not all of us returned from deployment alive. I returned alive and with all my limbs, but not exactly whole.
The years following my return has been like one four-year-long medical appointment.
While in Afghanistan, I suffered traumatic brain injuries and experienced very horrific events while deployed. In 2013, the doctors put me through very rigorous treatments and therapy plans. I really felt like my medical record was labeled “broken.” I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and just wanted to magically disappear every day. I knew that I was going to be separated from the Navy and had no clue what I would do or could do next.
Some of you may look at me and say “Wow! What a healthy and good-looking young man!” Believe me, I say the same thing every day when I look myself in the mirror (Badum Psss!). Then... it’s time for me to take my seven medications.
I was known for being an outstanding Hospital Corpsman or medic for those that are unfamiliar with Navy terminology. Not to brag, but saving lives and kicking butt was pretty much my middle name. I was the 2013 2nd Marine Division Sailor of the Year and inducted into the Military Times Hall of Valor.
Before becoming a Dog Tag Inc. Fellow, I was like a broken soul still searching for a reason to enjoy the day. I can't remember how long I was depressed in this way, but it was entirely too long.
Thankfully, I met Dog Tag, Inc.!
I felt lucky to find this fellowship program before my medical retirement. Even though I was stressed out about leaving the military, Dog Tag, Inc. has made my military transition much smoother.
This fellowship program has given me a sense of self-worth and inner peace again that I lost in Afghanistan. Today, I feel healthier and excited about my future again! Even if this program is only five months, it's five months of something meaningful and I have been transformed personally and professionally.
I've learned how to communicate my value by learning critical business administration lessons through classes provided by Georgetown University professors. I’ve learned how to write a resume and practice job interview techniques from true professionals such as of Deloitte, Leader Fit, and other excellent speakers.
The list can goes on and on, but what I've learned during the fellowship program will always stay with me! I know I still have so much to learn, but I am embracing the future now with a fresh pair of eyes! I feel prepared for any challenge!
In this exact moment, I realized that I am living in my new reality! My doctors have stamped this term my “new normal.” I just like to call it “Lost in Translation.”
The main quality that others have noticed in me is my increased confidence. I feel peaceful and practice meditation every day, which is new for me! All of these changes are completely unexpected. I want to thank everyone present in my transformation process and for those who support Dog Tag, Inc.’s cause. This fellowship program has changed my life forever!
Charles "Bo" Carolus lives with his wife, Yolangel, in Silver Spring, Maryland with their dog Bella. Bo enjoys playing guitar and boxing in his spare time. Connect with him on LinkedIn.