Danielle Peters served aboard ships in the North Arabian Gulf and off the coast of Africa. When she returned home in 2017, she moved back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, and became active in three groups: WNY Heroes, We R Buffalo Strong, and the Wounded Warrior Project.
"All three are so near and dear to my heart in different ways and do such important work for our veterans," she said. The organizations serve everyone from homeless veterans and breast cancer survivors to young people who might become the next generation of warriors. Her volunteerism, which focuses on women veterans, has also given Peters an outlet to channel her own difficult experiences into something positive.
"I just tell my story that I have lived," she said. "I speak to people from my heart about what it's like to be down on your luck and to struggle. It has given me the opportunity to speak and volunteer at different events that give back and I have also gotten a lot of my other female veteran friends involved, as well. It has given me the opportunity to re-engage with my veteran community — something that I thought I had lost once I got out of the military. It has also been very therapeutic and forced me to get out of my house and not allow my own struggles to consume me but be a light that guides me."