Sazha Ramos - Fellow

Jun 4, 2012
Sazha Ramos
Sazha Ramos - Fellow

After serving in the United States Navy for three years, Sazha Ramos began working her way through a business degree as a full time student. At first, she got a kick out of it. “It was fun to be back in the classroom around people my age,” she says.

But after a few months of college life, Ramos, who landed her first job when she was 14, decided she needed to do more. “It’s my nature to always be on the go,” Ramos says, “and I knew I could be more productive with my time.”

So Ramos, who received a medical discharge while posted at a Navy communications station in Sicily, began looking at jobs in the private IT sector. Although the salaries were good, they weren’t enough to win her over.

Instead, inspired by wounded veterans she met during her time at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Ramos decided to keep serving her country. “I sat in groups with them, and I heard their stories,” she says. “After that, there’s no way someone wouldn’t want to help.”

Now, as the Administrative Specialist in the Immediate Office of the House Wounded Warrior Program on Capitol Hill, she’s getting the chance to help every day.

Ramos says that one of the most challenging aspects of military service is transitioning back into civilian life. “When you enlist in the military, you sign your contract for x amount of years, so you plan for your discharge date,” she says. But if you’re a wounded veteran and you’re discharged early, “it’s frightening to think, ‘What am I going to do now?”

Ramos credits her large family with the support that helped her overcome the challenge of transitioning from the Navy to civilian life. “They make me feel like their own personal hero,” she says. And overall, the experience helped her find what she feels is her biggest strength – her resilience. “I believe I can bounce back from anything, and that’s empowering to me.”

The youngest fellow currently enrolled in the program at 22, Ramos interned in the Pentagon last year for the Deputy Secretary of the Army, Manpower Reserve Affairs, an experience that helped prepare her for dealing with the pressure and pace of Capitol Hill.

With any luck, she’ll be here helping veterans for a long time. “I’d love to stay here and one day work as a military legislative aid,” she says.  “I find the work I am doing here to be more rewarding than the IT field.  At the end of each day, I know I have made a difference.”