Amanda Huffman, the creator of Airman to Mom, interviews women who have served in the military or are currently serving in the military. Amanda also shares certain aspects of her military experience as an Air Force Officer, military spouse, veteran and mom.
Welcome to episode 8 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Erin Sears.
Erin served in the US Air Force on Active Duty from December 2006 through July 2012 as an Acquisitions and Engineering Officer. She earned her commissioned through the Reserve Officer Training Program at Embry-Riddle. Listen to her experience of why she joined the Air Force, military life and why she left the military behind to be a stay at home mom and military spouse. Erin met her husband in college, but decided before getting married she wanted to see the world. This meant they were stationed in two locations for their early career. She married her husband on paper in a story not uncommon to other mil to mil spouses. They ended up with 3 different wedding dates and picked one to celebrate each year.
She and her husband were eventually reunited and able to be stationed together for the rest of her career. Even if it included a over hour commute to make it happen. When she decided she wanted to leave the military the first request was rejected as they saw her as to valuable to leave. But then when she applied through a different program, she was able to leave the service shortly after her son was born.
Favorite part of Military Service
Her favorite part of her military service was when she was able to go out in the field with the civilian crew. They would go out to help troubleshoot problems that the regular mechanics couldn't figure out. Not all the officers had the opportunity to go out in the field. But the guys she worked with trusted her and brought her along to learn. It was also a chance to get out of the office. If you are considering joining the Air Force as a Developmental Engineer this episode will give you a peek into the early years of what your career might be like.
Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide to help you prepare for military life. Click here.
Welcome to episode seven of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Ashley Metesh-McCoy.
Ashley grew up as a military brat. She served in the Army National Guard while attending college and participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. While doing this she was able to combine her Montgomery GI Bill and ROTC scholarship to graduate from college with almost no debt.
Off to Afghanistan
Her guard unit was mobilized to deploy shortly after she graduated from college. She was not slated to deploy since she was still at training for her job as a new 2d Lt. When her unit had almost completed training her boss asked if she would be willing to go she said yes and a day after Christmas, she found herself headed to Fort Sill to prepare to deploy to Afghanistan.
When she arrived in Afghanistan she found herself tasked to the S1 (Personnel) shop. After getting the unit up and running she was ready to do something else. She was able to get assigned to a Human Intelligence Exploitation Team (HUMINT) team. In this job she was able to go out and see different parts of Afghanistan and felt she was making an impact. She also helped to hand out and collect shoes to girls and boys in Afghanistan that she saw on missions outside the wire.
Coming Home from War
Upon coming home from Afghanistan, she struggled to find a job in the civilian world. Her only job experience after college was going to Afghanistan and with a recession and being unable to translate the work, she did overseas she struggled to transition back to civilian life.
This episode talked specifically about the way that viewing the world after a deployment can be dark and black and white. We dived deep into the loss of purpose and the struggle to find meaning after spending time overseas. This episode talked about so many things I experienced, but hadn’t been able to put into words. I am so thankful for Ashley’s willingness to share her story. I hope this episode can help those struggling with coming home. And hopefully help military spouses and significant others understand some of what happens inside the head of a service member upon coming home.
Ashley loves bringing people closer through unique travel experiences. To her, travel is an opportunity to grow individually and in relationships through shared experiences in new cultures. Ashley is a US Army Veteran, mom of a curious and energetic four-year-old daughter, wife of an Army Soldier, dog lover, foodie, self-proclaimed artist, and empathetic soul. Through her business and volunteer activities she is always seeking ways to give back to the military community.
Learn more about Ashley here: Kinship Vacations
Mentioned in this Episode:
Changing the conversation about Mental Health
Coming Home from Afghanistan
Welcome to episode six of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode, your host Amanda Huffman interviews Mandy Snell. Mandy was accepted and attended the Naval Academy. She served in the military (10 years on active duty and 10 years in the Reserves) for a total of twenty years before retiring as a Lt Commander.
While attending the Naval Academy, Mandy was told that she didn’t deserve her spot at the Academy. She was told that she was an example of why women shouldn’t serve in the military. As a Ensign, she became a mom and faced complications due to being both single mom and serving in the military. Despite facing these challenges in her early career, she was able to serve in the military and retire as a Lt Commander.
Through her career, she deployed twice. Before and after 9/11. And was one of the first Surface Warfare Officers to serve on a ship as a female. Listen to her story to be inspired and learn from her experience in the Navy. My only regret for this episode is that I wish I had asked more questions. I will have to have her back in the future.
Mentioned in this episode:
31 Day Deployment Series
Do I Deserve Your Thanks of Veteran’s Day?
Women of the Military Sign Up Form
Guide for Joining the Military
Want to stay connected with Women of the Military, check out our Facebook Group. You can also follow Amanda through Airman to Mom on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
A Female Vietnam Veteran - Episode 5
Welcome to Episode 5 of Women of the Military podcast. In today's episode Amanda interviews Janet Apling. Janet was an active duty Army Officer during the Vietnam War.
Janet served in the Army during Vietnam. She never deployed overseas, but made critical contributions to the change allowing women to be part of the military. Her husband was a civilian and struggled to be accepted as a dependent. She left active duty when she became pregnant with her first child, which was the standard practice required for women who served during the Vietnam era. She served in the Reserves and was the first woman to serve in the Wisconsin National Guard who was not in a medical coded career field.
Women in the military have always faced a problem with certain reputation, whether it pertained to you or not, by both civilians and the men that we worked with. During this period in our history a large number of military male Officers and NCOs didn’t really want us there and made it known through their attitude and the sexual harassment handed out.
Unfortunately it wasn’t reported because we were accused of asking for that type of treatment. If you reported it your life was made worse. I was lucky in a sense because the experience I was faced with was just before graduation. I was able to leave the post and not have to deal with it on a daily basis. It also sort of prepared me for future encounters of the same sort. These encounters have left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/Military Sexual Trauma.
Considering joining the military?
Check out my free guide A Girls Guide to Military Life. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.
Welcome to episode four of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode, your host Amanda Huffman interviews Tiye Young. Tiye Young is a Charlotte native currently serving in the North Carolina National Guard after serving on active duty in the Army for over six years. She is also a cancer survivor and is about to celebrate her one-year anniversary of being cancer free. At such a young age she has already accomplished so much, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have big plans for the future. Don’t miss the incredible story of Tiye Young!
She joined the military after participating in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC) when a former female service member took her under her wing and inspired her to join the military.
After graduating from high school, she went to college and received a scholarship through the ROTC program which led her to commission into the Army when she graduated college. She was trained as a Chemical Officer, but her jobs on active duty led her to do various tasks and assignments including deploying as an Executive Officer (XO). Her career gave her some amazing opportunities and things that you might not even expect an Army Officer to do.
She was also the 2nd Runner up in the Ms. Veteran America. The Ms. Veteran America competition highlights more than the strength, courage, and sacrifice of our nation’s military women, but also reminds us that these women are Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives.
She has had experiences where she was overlooked and undermined because she was a female serving on in the military. She is a powerful voice for the female military community. You will not be disappointed when you take the time to listen to her wisdom, experience, and inspirational story.
She also runs Ty M Carolina which is a branding, marketing and consulting business where she advertises veteran business to help them get the exposure that they need.
Mentioned in this episode
Ms. Veteran America
Ty M Carolina
Ty M Carolina on Social:
Considering joining the military? Check out my free guide A Girls Guide to Military Life. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.
In this interview, we talk about Cynthia's journey to military life. She joined the military through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. A program she joined just to learn a little more about the military. One of the biggest struggles she had during ROTC was meeting height and weight standards and physical fitness. Listen to how she worked hard to overcome her struggles to become an officer in the Air Force.
She also discusses her recent deployment to Turkey. She talks about what it was like to deploy to Turkey. What it was like to be a mom deployed and what challenges she faced while serving overseas. We also discuss the challenges her husband who is also serving on active duty faced. He was both an officer and dad to their daughter through the deployment. It is interesting how being married to someone in the military (mil to mil) causes a give and take relationship. This is different than what many military spouses experience as they are expected to pick up the slack because they are not in the military.
Cynthia recently launched A Faithful Step. A Faithful Step’s mission is to encourage and equip women to embrace their femininity and understand they are worthy and created with a purpose, inspiring them to live courageously, one step at a time, in every aspect of their life, for God’s Glory.
Check out the full podcast episode here.
Mentioned in this episode:
Ripple Effect of September 11th
A Faithful Step
A Faithful Step on social:
Are you about to face a deployment? Check out Amanda's free guide for deployment. She has created a guide for military spouses and one for military members. Get yours today!
Welcome to episode two of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman will tell you about her military experience, challenges and more.
Amanda served in the military for six years as an Air Force Civil Engineer. Her first assignment was to Holloman AFB in Alamogordo, NM. There she was assigned to the 49th Civil Engineer Squadron. She worked in both the Environmental Flight and the Engineering Flight. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 as part of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. She ended her career at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio working at Air Force Material Command doing Energy Management.
Amanda was married to her husband the whole time she served on active duty. They met in college while they were both working to gain their commission into the Air Force. They have been married for 12 years. Amanda left the military when their first son was born after experiencing a deployment and dealing with the various challenges mil to mil life brings.
Amanda military experience changed her life and she was able to learn so much about herself through the different military experiences. Now she works as a blogger and podcaster to share the stories of other women who have served or currently serve in the Air Force.
Mentioned in this episode:
31 Day Deployment Series
Women of the Military Sign Up Form
Want to stay connected with Women of the Military, check out our Facebook Group. You can also follow Amanda through Airman to Mom on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Considering joining the military? Check out my free guide to joining the military. Find answers to questions you have and ones you don’t even know to ask. This guide will give you a firm starting point as you begin your military career. Click here.
Would you like to be a guest or know someone who might want to share their story for the Women of the Military Podcast? You can sign up here and I will be in touch with you shortly.
Welcome to episode one of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman will share the why behind the podcast, where the idea came from and why I picked military women as the focus point. It is always important to know the why behind the story. So, I’m starting off the podcast with how the podcast came to be and why I am passionate in sharing the stories of women who have served and those who continue to serve in the military.
In 2017, I embarked on a 31 journey of telling deployment stories. My goal was to get back to my original focus when I started the blog, sharing military experiences. The response surprised me. I asked so many people to share the story and the response was always from women. I actually only received one response from a male and it was not from a male I had deployed with or knew. The stories from these women encouraged and inspired me. I had to know more about what women were doing for our country.
I decided to follow up 31 Days of Deployment stories with 31 Days of Women in the Military. In the process of moving and life happening when it came time for the series I was worn out and felt overwhelmed. Even though I had collected over 25 stories I didn’t think putting all the stories in a one-month series was the best option. A friend suggested sharing stories over the year in 2019. An idea was born and then the podcast idea followed shortly after.
I am so excited for 2019. As I launch the podcast and share some of the stories I have collected over the past year on my blog. There are a few more whys, but why don’t you check it out on the podcast right here.