Captain Kim Ijanaten discusses how a facility like the OrthoIndy YMCA in Pike Township would benefit her family and her peers.
I’ve been in the Army for 17 years, first in the Reserves, and then in active duty as an engineer. One of the things that attracted me to military service was the emphasis on fitness. For me, staying healthy is mind, body, and spirit—I do marathons and lift, but I also love yoga and meditation.
Community is just so essential for military service members and veterans. Coming back from deployment is especially hard on the soldiers and their families. Nobody wants to come back and feel like a stranger.
Right now, the military’s big push is to focus on mental, physical, and spiritual health. We’re trying to get the suicide rates down, and have with some measure of success, but a lot has to do with accessibility of services, particularly for the junior enlisted. To have those resources right here under one roof—where the VA is co-located with the YMCA resources—would be ideal.
I encourage all of my soldiers to make use of community resources like the YMCA. I really like the Y’s community focus, which means a lot to me especially because it’s somewhere that I bring my son and feel that level of interaction and investment from the staff.