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NEWS | May 26, 2024

“I’m most proud of myself for not giving up” ~ Capt. Victoria Rollin

By MaryTherese Griffin Army Recovery Care Program

When Veteran Captain Victoria Rollin learned she was selected for Team Army, it was like a new road to recovery that began with her road to this year's Department of Defense Warrior Games in Orlando. “I was surprised… I was discounting myself and preparing for disappointment. BUT I MADE IT!! And now I’m going to Disney!! I competed in track in high school, which kept me going through those days, so it's great to get back into that competitive nature. And I get to do it with the most amazing people- everyone on the team has been so incredibly supportive,” said the Army finance officer who just medically retired in April.

Never thinking her career would be over or that she would be going to Warrior Games, Rollin explains her journey that started before she got to the Fort Liberty Soldier Recovery Unit. “When I got to my first duty station, which was Fort Liberty, I was going through some sexual harassment, basically until my harasser ended up PCSing (Permanent Change of Station). Later on, during my first deployment, I had to work with him again, which was stressful. I was in extreme and emotional distress and had insomnia, which eventually led to me suffering from psychosis, attempting suicide, and being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.”

Silent wounds and physical wounds are treated in the Army Recovery Care Program at any one of the fourteen Soldier Recovery Units in the country. Lucky for Rollin, she was already based at Fort Liberty and was sent to that SRU. “I’m incredibly grateful for that because it allowed me the opportunity to recover and rehabilitate before my medical retirement in April,” said Rollin, whose struggle began with the harassment in 2020; then she deployed in 2022 but was able to go to the SRU at Fort Liberty in 2023.

“I first heard about the SRU while being medivacked from my deployment. My doctors and my command got me over there. I would say my recovery is going to be a lifelong journey for me. I am doing so much better than I was a year ago.”

Before the Army Trials, Rollin said she was in patient care for a psychotic episode. “I’m not kidding when I tell you the one thing that got me through it was adaptive sports and the notion that I could compete at Army Trials. I can say that I made this commitment to train and compete, and it keeps me structured. It’s helping me in my life.”

Rollin is confident about where she is today as she trains and looks toward the next chapter in her life after the Warrior Games. “I’m most proud of myself for not giving up. I had moments where I was tired of treatment and didn’t want to go to therapy, but I did do what I was supposed to, and that’s what led me to be here today. I know it's hard for a lot of folks, but I am proud of myself,” said Rollin.

Having all her medical appointments handled and other adaptive reconditioning events makes Rollin want to share her journey through the SRU. “I would encourage anyone to give the SRU a chance. A lot of people may have hesitancy because they want to hold on to their Army Career, and they fear being med-boarded out. But that’s not necessarily the case. People go to the SRU and can return to duty as well. It’s the most supportive healing environment.”

The healing for Rollin continues with the camaraderie she’s already building going into the Warrior Games. “I’ve talked with athletes from the other services we are competing against, and I feel very supported by them, too. I know it’s a competition, but the Army needs to win,” Rollin chuckled.