What I've Learned and What I Look Forward To

What I've Learned and What I Look Forward To

By Rachael Harris

My name is Rachael Harris and I am a US Navy veteran. I was a culinary specialist, left the Navy in 2009 and have been cooking in the DC civilian world for 8 years.

Since starting my journey at Dog Tag, my eyes have been opened to so many new experiences. I am learning personal and professional skills to apply to my daily life.

My favorite part of the program is the holistic segment, where we are taught mindfulness and meditation and how to be present; being present is one of the most important things that they are teaching us. I anticipate being able to put the skills that I have learned to use while either operating my own business, or working for someone else. The mindfulness and holistic segment will also be helpful in aiding me to focus on my own wellness. The Dog Tag program is truly life changing and it is awe inspiring to see how many lives have been touched by this program. There are many studies that touch on the subject of mindfulness and how it helps veterans with service-connected disabilities. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treatment/overview/mindful-ptsd.asp

The VA also runs programs geared towards reintegration via mindfulness.

I am looking forward to being a homeowner, using the skills that I learned while at Dog Tag, and exploring entrepreneurship. I don’t think that I would have even known where to begin or how to handle my journey as a new home owner if I hadn’t found this program. I am also excited to continue my wellness journey and see how I blossom as I continue to work things out and stay mindful. There is truly no other program like Dog Tag that pushes its fellows to be the best that they can, to grow, and to blossom into productive citizens. I am grateful for Dog Tag as it has not only touched my life in an exponential way, but also has helped so many others.

Upon graduation, Rachael Harris started her own Veteran-owned small business, Vic’s Homegrown, a new and unique food pop-up. Being a locally owned business, Vic’s Homegrown strives to use as many local and sustainable ingredients as possible. Many of their recipes have been passed down through generations and remain unchanged in order to bring you the most stellar food experience around (like the biscuits pictured above).

Follow Rachael’s company Instagram and Twitter @vicseats to keep up with her pop-ups around the DMV!