Serving is a Way of Life
“I grew up in Virginia next to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, which is a dense military area,” explained Christi Sherrill, MPH. “My entire childhood revolved around military families that I interacted with at church, at school and community events.”
This network became a source of inspiration for Christi and provided a foundation that would guide her through life. There is a unique military culture that sustains families and communities during the good times as well as the challenging seasons. “This support system quickly taught me the importance of community,” said Christi.
Following college, Christi joined the Marine Corps to fulfill a need for direction, structure, independence, and a sense of belonging in her life. Her Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), or job in the Marines was as a 4671 Combat Videographer where she was responsible for filming combat situations, airborne refueling, airshows, training and drill exercises, funeral details, award ceremonies, and more.
“The military challenged and pushed me to realize my full potential while in cross-cultural settings with the most diverse workforce thinkable,” she said.
Volunteering is one of Christi’s many admirable traits and she has always had a strong desire to volunteer in any way she could. “As the saying goes, ’Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy’,” said Christi. “By enlisting, I was able to do something for others that was more than just about myself.”
Her time in the Marines helped her appreciate all the benefits that comes with serving, including a community and a family that will forever be a part of her life, as well as resources and scholarships to complete a college education and more.
Christi is currently the program manager for the Rural Veterans Health Access Program at OSU’s National Center for Wellness and Recovery. She actively engages with health facilities and Veteran groups to improve Veteran access to heath services, and educate healthcare professionals on the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in the Veteran population.
“Whenever someone thanks me for my service, I’ve learned to accept their appreciation and reply with, ’but I’m not done yet’,” shared Christi.
Deanne Vick | October 2021