Sentinel Stories


“SOF has been incredibly instrumental in my transition back to civilian life post Marine Corps. Their generous support has allowed me to focus on my engineering degree, giving me the opportunity to be able to advance professionally and realize my full potential.”

— Lina Efremenkova

Lina Efremenkova

Sergeant, US Marine Corps
Louisiana State University, BA in Industrial Engineering

Lina enlisted in the Marine Corps for a challenge that would provide guidance and direction in her life.

She deployed twice to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan during her time in the Marines. The first was with her unit as an Osprey helicopter airframes mechanic and the second as a member of the female engagement team (FET) where she was attached to two infantry units. During her second deployment, her team experienced heavy enemy fire and mortar attacks resulting in fellow Marines as well as Afghans losing their lives. As a result, she developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Upon her discharge, Lina struggled with the transition to civilian life. With the support of her family and therapist, she continues to work through her struggle of anxiety and depression. While recovering, Lina decided that she wanted to complete her higher education. Sentinels of Freedom was there to provide her the support she needed to attain this goal in the form of housing and living subsidies and financial coaching. Lina is currently attending Louisiana State University and working towards a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. She hopes to eventually work in an environmental capacity where she can help make the Earth more sustainable.

Sentinels Across America

Across our great nation, our Sentinels are building new lives for themselves and their families.