Women of the Military

Military Wife to Military Officer - Episode 17

An episode of Women of the Military

By Amanda
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.
Information Systems in the Air Force - Episode 22
Welcome to episode 22 of the Women of the Military Podcast. This week’s guest is Lacey Langford Lacey Langford, The Military Money Expert™ is the host of The Military Money Show and LaceyLangford.com a personal finance blog specializing in the unique world of the U.S. military. She was raised an Army Brat and is a U.S. Air Force veteran, Milspouse, financial coach, speaker, and writer who changes people’s lives from being fearful of money to having control and confidence with it. Lacey’s an Accredited Financial Counselor® with over ten years’ experience in financial planning, counseling and coaching. Lacey served from 1997-2001 separating just 3 months before 9/11. During my service she was an information manager. She says, “Serving in the military was the best decision she ever made. She was scared out of my mind to do it but knew it was a good decision at the time. But she had no idea what a positive impact it would have on her.” Lacey joined the military after attending community college for six months and not feeling ready to continue on to get her degree. She worked in Information Management and did basic computer help and admin work.  Before leaving for basic training she was terrified. She said that if she could have run when she was flying to San Antonio she would have. But she was on her path to the military and ended up completing basic training while learning that she could do more than she expected from herself. Overall the military was a great experience for her. While she was in the Air Force she was stationed at Pope Air Force Base. She did spend seven months of her time in the military serving in Italy with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This wasn’t considered a deployment, but instead was a long Temporary Duty Assignment (TDY). She learned a lot about the different countries she worked along side and traveled to. When her enlistment was up she decided to leave the military behind. She felt like if she stayed in for another enlistment she would stay in the military until retirement. Three months after she left the military September 11th happened. About a year after she left the military she married her now husband who is still currently serving in the military. We talked about transitioning out of the military and what it means to be a military mom who served in the military and grew up as an Army brat.  Mentioned in this episode Joining the Military Without a Career Field Connect with Lacey The Military Money Show www.LaceyLangford.com Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life
24:33
May 14, 2019
In the Coast Guard Far From Home
Welcome to episode 21 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Tammy Barlet Tammy Barlet served in the Coast Guard for 8 years. As an Operation Specialist aboard the USCGC Chase (WHEC-718), traveling halfway around the world twice was the last thing Tammy thought would happen. However, she would soon find herself on patrols in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on her way to Alaska, Thailand or the Persian Gulf. During Tammy’s time on the Cutter Chase, she participated in numerous tactical operations such as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT 97, Southeast Asia) and Military Interdiction Operations (MIO, Persian Gulf). The Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation from Vice Admiral Card, Distinguished Coast Guard Battle “E” Ribbon, Coast Guard Special Operations, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal were only a few of the medals and ribbons she earned while on board the Chase.  Watching the Coast Guard on the shores of Delaware growing up inspired Tammy to join the military. She wanted to see more than just her small town and her mom liked the idea of the Coast Guard because she thought it would mean Tammy would be somewhere close to or inside of the United States. The military also offered Tammy an opportunity to go to college after her service commitment and as a senior in high school not knowing exactly what she wanted to do this idea appealed to her. When she finished boot camp, she was assigned to the MWR unit where her job consisted of handing out basketballs and cleaning gum off the gym floor. At her six-month assessment with her Chief she told him she wanted to do something else. He suggested she become a Radarman and would be gone within 2 months and on a Cutter within 3. She did that.  It was aboard the USCG Cutter Chase that she saw the world. She did a training mission with Thailand focused on the tactical side while the Navy focused on the larger mission. And then while in the Persian Gulf her team checked and boarded ships coming out of the river and when they were found in violation the Navy would take control and they would continue to patrol.  She left the military after an accident that happened while she was volunteering. She walked away from the military and didn't get involved in the Veteran space for 10 years. It wasn't until her cousin committed suicide that she reached out for help at the VA and got connected with a counselor who gave her guidance and direction she needed. She went back to school to complete her degree and she is now almost about to receive her masters and is heavily involved in the Veteran community.  Connect with Tammy: https://twitter.com/Tammy_Barlet Organizations Mentioned in this Episode: Ms. Veteran America Mission Continues Women Veterans Empowered to Transition writing program  Team River Runner Valor Games  Delaware County Veteran Memorial Association   Veterans in Global Leadership   Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military!
29:31
May 7, 2019
Serving Before and After September 11th - Episode 20
 Welcome to episode 20 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Cherron Brown Cherron has been a military spouse for 18 years and she is an Air Force veteran. She served in the Air Force for 3.5 years. she was an Information Manager. It was a split role of admin work and IT work. It allowed her to work with a variety of people from crew chiefs to supply personnel. She is still involved with the military as a Key Spouse for her husband's squadron and being a part of a few of the other groups on base. She also writes a blog to help military spouses understand and cope with military life called The Veteran Spouse.  She joined the Air Force to travel the world, but ended up being assigned to her home state of California at Edwards AFB. It wasn’t what she was hoping for. She joined the Air Force in 2000 and we touched on the differences between the military before September 11th and after.  She met her husband while serving on active duty and he deployed during the early stages of the war when communication wasn’t very easy. She never had a particular hard time as a female in the military. Often people underestimated her or didn’t expect much out of her because of her petite frame and being a female. She worked with a lot of crew chiefs who were a little rough around the edges, but she never had a problem getting her job done.  She decided to leave the military when her first child was born. Being overseas as a dual military couple would mean that if they both deployed, they would have to fly their child back to the states to have them watched. It was also difficult with all the exercises and long days when they were both working. It made the most sense for their family to have one person stay in and the other be a stay at home parent and military spouse. When she left the military she jumped into the role of military spouse and mom. Since she didn’t know anyone other female military spouses who were veterans she didn’t talk about her experience and almost forgot about her time in the service.  Mentioned in this episode Veteran Spouse Blog (under construction) Deployment Series
28:41
April 30, 2019
Military Child Writes a Book about West Point - Beyond the Point
Welcome to this week’s episode of Women of the Military Podcast. My guest this week is not a female veteran, but is the author of Beyond the Point that is a novel focusing on 3 female cadets and their journey through West Point and beyond. I had an opportunity to read her novel and wanted to share it with all of you and talk to Claire about her military background and how this story came to be. Claire Gibson is a writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Born and raised at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Claire went on to study Political Science and Asian Studies at Furman University, where she was recruited by Teach for America to be a middle school history instructor. In 2012, she left the classroom to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, The Tennessean, Marie Claire Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and many others. BEYOND THE POINT is her debut novel. Claire was at West Point from 1997 to 2003 she was 10 when they arrived and 16 when she left. She also was there during September 11th. A pivotal time as the cadets who joined prior to that day. Her mom had an open-door policy that allowed the cadets to escape West Point life and spend time at their home. She admired the cadets she met and has kept in contact with them to this day. And they were the ones who asked her to write this novel.  The novel is a fictional story of three female cadets who attended West Point, but it is based on experiences that happened to women who attended West Point. So, though the experiences may not have happened to three women, they are experiences that women have faced or experienced. And even Claire’s mom’s experience is woven into the story too. As a female veteran I enjoyed the book because I related to so many of the experiences or had heard of women, I knew experiencing things mentioned. I also learned a lot about what it was like to be a cadet at West Point and other things going on during the war. She hopes people walk away from reading Beyond the Point having a better understanding of what the military is like and possibly bridge the gap between service members and civilians. But she also wants women to see the value of friendship and community. The book shares the story of three women and shows how important friendship is throughout their journey. If you are interested in reading the book please check out my affiliate link with Amazon here. And if you are in the DC area and would like to meet Claire she will be at Politics and Prose at the Wharf on April 30th at 7. I’ll be there! Connect with Claire: http://www.clairegibson.com/  Instagram Book: Beyond the Point
27:45
April 23, 2019
Serving in the Coast Guard and Military Sexual Trauma
Welcome to today’s episode of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Ginny Orndorff. Ginny joined the Coast Guard at 18, she turned 19 while at boot camp. She was a chef, first stationed on a Cutter (a coast guard commissioned vessel) in San Diego. She also went to South and Central America doing drug and migrant interdiction. She was also stationed in Cape Cod, MA.  Ginny always knew she wanted to do something more. She had looked into the military, but also had a passion for culinary and had taken culinary classes. The main military branches (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) didn’t offer what she was looking for and she was still searching for what to do when her mother in-law suggested the Coast Guard. The recruiter came from Tennessee to talk to her. And it was then she decided to join the Coast Guard. Her deployment rotation at her first assignment was 3 months on 3 months home. It was out off the coast of Mexico and South America she was able to learn a little bit more about the world and the challenges people faced. They knew every time they caught someone trying to get drugs into America that there could be a high risk for their family back at home. They also were on the look out for migrants coming to America. It was a hard reality to see what some people do to try and get out of the poverty they are stuck in for a chance for a better life in the states.  She talked about the double standard between males and females. Women who are driven, strong willed, and independent can be classified as negative words. While men who exhibit the same traits are seen as good leaders. It can be difficult to be a woman in the military. She is also a military sexual trauma survivor. And hearing her story of how her experience was dismissed by leadership and how hard it was for her to get the support that she needed and deserved is sad. It puts a personal touch on the #metoo movement that really explains the challenges some women have faced in the military when exposed to sexual harassment or rape. She was medically retired in 2008 due to the PTSD caused by the assault. Since leaving the military she has been able to get help through training her dog, Shadow. Her constant companion. He has helped her to get control over her anxiety and she uses her training and her story to help others who have experience assault or rape.  She helped write “A different way to serve” After getting the help she needed she went back to her unit and with new leadership she was able to make her way and move forward. She even had a situation where guys who had been friends with the guy who assaulted her took care of her while deployed in South America. She encourages women to join the military because of the many positive experiences she had with her military service.  Resources: Service Dog Programs:  http://www.semperk9.org/   https://gafsp.org/  VA Claim Support  https://www.veteransisters.org/ 
28:49
April 16, 2019
Military Wife to Military Officer - Episode 17
Welcome to episode 17 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Kattarina Simons Kattarina joined Army in 2009 she served for 5 and a half years on active duty, before transferring to the Army Reserves. She was in the Reserves for just under 2.5 years, making her total service 7 years and 11 months. She was a Judge Advocate (JAG) officer while in the military and for the moment she is a stay at home mom, studying for a human resources certification and pondering whether to use her GI Bill to do something completely different. Kattarina decided to join the military because her husband had served and wanted to go back into the military her first year in law school. She knew the complexities with licenses was a challenge for military spouses who were lawyers so she decided to join the Army as well. As a JAG officer in the Army she would only need to be licensed in one state as they moved around the country and she would work doing federal law.  While completing law school, her husband rejoined the military and with deployment and ops tempo it made sense for her to stay in Oregon and complete law school while her husband served. After being married for two years they lived together while waiting for the Bar results and a medical wavier. Then it was off to Officer and law training. When she finally finished her training her husband had moved to Germany and they were able to get stationed together. When she arrived in Germany she and her husband began to prepare for their deployment to Iraq. They deployed together and were able to see each other even though he worked longer hours. They would normally get to see each other for breakfast each day. But six months into the deployment she was assigned to another base in Iraq and although they were in the same country they were no longer at the same base. Luckily, they had saved their R&R until after the six month point so it wasn’t too bad being separated for the second half of the deployment. She faced a few challenges being a female in the military. When she was pregnant and under a profile they asked her to work longer than her profile allowed. And when she pushed back asking for them to put it in writing they didn’t like that response. It eventually led her to leave active duty and make the switch to Reserves.  The transition to Reserves was more difficult than she anticipated. The random schedule where she would have extra work. While still having her husband serving in a demanding job in the Army. Made it hard to get everything done while still being able to take care of her family. She didn’t do the required training to make the next rank and left the Reserves when she was passed over for Major. Her husband and her both left the military within a month of each other. And he used his terminal leave to stay at home with their daughter and she went back to work full time as a civilian lawyer.  Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life
38:27
April 9, 2019
Military Child to ROTC hopeful to Military Mom - Episode 16
In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Elaine Brye. When you join the United States military, you don’t just sign up for duty; you also commit your loved ones to lives of service all their own.  No one knows this better than Elaine Brye, an “Army brat” turned military wife and the mother of four officers—one each in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. For more than a decade she’s endured countless teary goodbyes, empty chairs at Thanksgiving dinners, and sleepless hours waiting for phone calls in the night. She’s navigated the complicated tangle of emotions—pride, worry, fear, hope, and deep, enduring love—that are part and parcel of life as a military mother. In Be Safe, Love Mom Elaine braids together her own personal experiences with those of fellow parents she’s met along the way. She offers gentle guidance and hard-earned wisdom on topics ranging from that first anxious goodbye to surrendering all control of your child, from finding comfort in the support of the military community and the healing power of faith to coping with the enormous sacrifices life as a military mother requires. Readers looking for encouragement and hard-to-come-by information as they travel the challenging road of having a child in uniform will find Elaine a wise and trusted friend, and Be Safe, Love Mom an essential handbook to membership in a strong and special sisterhood. Elaine talks about her journey to military life. It started with her being the reason her mother left the military as women were not allowed to serve when they were pregnant. Her mom left the military, but her dad continued to serve throughout her childhood. And although she drifted away from the military in college ended up being drawn back and attended the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Her commander left her with this advice, “Don’t ever think these two years of training has been wasted. You will use this over and over again in your future life.” Not knowing she would become a mom of four kids who all joined the military. She didn’t know how true the words he spoke to her that day would be.  Her son attended the Naval Academy and his freshman (plebe) year 9/11 happened and it changed the course of the rest of the family. When he graduated he joined the Marines and is an F-18A fighter pilot. Her second son also joined and attend the Naval Academy and is a Flight Officer. Her daughter was accepted to both the Naval and Air Force Academy. And while she attended the Naval Academy, she cross commissioned into the Air Force. You can hear her story here in Episode 15. Her final son attended ROTC and joined the Army.  After some encouragement she decided to write Be Safe, Love Mom a book for military moms and for those outside of the military community to understand what it is like to be connected to the military. I have had a chance to read it and I loved reading the perspective of a mom. I haven’t ever talked to my mom about the emotion behind being a military mom and hearing the story of Elaine and the perspective she adds from others was moving and helped me understand what it is like to be a parent of a military member. Connect with Elaine: *contains affiliate links Facebook Twitter Buy Be Safe, Love Mom Mentioned in this Episode: From the Navy to the Air Force: Katrina Moon 31 Days of Deployment Stories
31:22
April 2, 2019
From the Navy to the Air Force – Episode 15
Welcome to episode 15 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode your host Amanda Huffman interviews Katrina Moon. Katrina attended the Naval Academy from 2005 to 2009. In 2009, she initially commissioned into the Navy as a midshipman, but cross commissioned to the Air Force when she graduated. She served five years on active duty and is current serving in the Reserves with almost 10 years of military service. She is a developmental engineer and has worked on projects ranging from F-16 engines, a deployment to Afghanistan, instructing at the Air Force Academy and working on developing technology related to satellites. When she isn’t working for the Air Force, she works to keep the 4 small humans in her home alive and well. She comes from a line of military women serving in the military. Her grandmother served in the military and her mom joined and completed ROTC was medically disqualified from serving on active duty. Along with that her grandfather and father also served in the military. While attending the Naval Academy she learned she wouldn’t be able to be a pilot in the Navy because of a surgery she had undergone prior to attending the Naval Academy. So she decided to look at her options and did a swap program with the Air Force Academy and became a student at the AF Academy for a semester. It was there she learned the AF had a waiver for the surgery and she also met her future husband.  She deployed to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lt, which is a rare thing for a Developmental Engineer (check out episode 8 for another Developmental Engineers experience) to do. And her deployment left her to hop around the country of Afghanistan doing various reports on equipment spread out around the country. She was able to see a lot of the country and even was involved in a few humanitarian missions out of Bagram. She made the switch from Active Duty to Reserves when both her and her husband realized the high likelihood of them not being stationed together at the next assignment. She was able to stay in the military as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the Reserves. Episode 14 also share the experience of an IMA. This gave them the flexibility to both continue to serve while allowing Katrina flexibility of following her husband’s career.  Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military Podcast? Sign up here. Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life
27:17
March 26, 2019
From Security Forces to Becoming A Paralegal - Episode 14
Welcome to episode 14 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Kris Newton. Kris spent 14 years in the Air Force both active duty and Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) in the reserve. When she got out, she earned my Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at Bowling Green State University. She has worked in Food Safety since until recently when she took a sales position that allows her to be her son's high school hockey team manager. Kris enlisted into the Air Force after high school. She had a twin sister and a half brother who was six months older than her and she knew her parents couldn’t afford to send three kids to college. She had debating on taking a year off and saving up money for college, but ended up joining the military instead.  She had wanted to be part of the medical career field, but the job she wanted required a long wait before a spot would open up. Worried she would chicken out and not join the military if she had to wait so long, she enlisted without a job declared and ended up being assigned to Security Forces. Three years into her military service she was given the opportunity to cross train into a new job. She tried to get into the medical career field again, but was unsuccessful and instead cross trained to become a paralegal.  While she was a paralegal she switched from active duty to an IMA. She joined the military to be able to pay for college and with her time and service and the GI Bill she was able to go to school and get her degree. The flexibility of the IMA program worked great with her college schedule and she was able to do things she hadn’t been a part of while on active duty.  She talked about the struggle of being a military spouse and how she was looked at differently when she wasn’t in her uniform. She specifically talked about a struggle she had with housing where she was not given a chance to talk and only when her husband spoke the housing officer listened to the concerns. She was still serving in the military in the Reserves, but was assumed to be a spouse and was treated disrespectfully.  Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life  Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here. 
27:34
March 19, 2019
Deployment Impacts Your Life Forever - Episode 13
 Welcome to episode 13 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Christina Youngblood. Christina is an Army Veteran and an Air Force spouse currently stationed in Utah with her husband and two children, ages 6 and 5. She has always loved writing and has found a home for it on her blog Heart & Stripes. She loves being a stay at home mom, volunteering on base, spending time with her family and she is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree as well. She was raised in Florida but is experiencing her first winter in Utah after spending four years stationed in Belgium. Christina joined the Army in 2002 and by November 2003 she was on her way to Kuwait for the second wave of Iraqi Freedom. She was a paralegal attached to a finance unit. This meant that even though she was technically stationed in Kuwait she went into Iraq through out her 15-month deployment. This deployment experience at the age of 20 led to PTSD that it took a long time for her to diagnose and get help in her recovery process.  She joined the National Guard in 2002, but with basic training, Advanced Individual Training as a paralegal and leaving for deployment in 2003 she didn’t experience being part of the National Guard until 2005 after she returned home from her deployment. There she found a full-time job working with the National Guard. She worked hand in hand with an active duty unit and got to see more of the active military side than most National Guard members do.  We also talked about the role women played in the war even before they were allowed to serve in combat units. She was overseas in 2003 and found herself out on the front lines doing her job. And I served in 2010 and deployed with a combat infantry unit. The rule to allow women to serve on the front lines and have any job they wanted to do was only made because women had already proven themselves on the battlefield.  Follow Christina on Social Media: Blog: Heart & Stripes Facebook Instagram Twitter Are you leaving the military? Get your free guide: Navigating Life After the Military  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. 
26:42
March 12, 2019
Diving into Marine Corps Life - Episode 12
Welcome to episode 12 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Susie Wilcox. I found Susie through a blog post on How to Milspouse where she shared her experience as a Marine and military spouse. After reading her story I knew I needed to have her as a guest on the podcast.   On the advice of a friend who had joined the Marines a few years before Suzie started looking into the military. He urged her to join the Air Force, but she was strong willed and independent. She walked straight past the Air Force recruiter’s office and joined the Marines, she was at MEPS four days later. Susie joined the Marine Corps in August, 1999. She served four years active duty in the Corp. Her military occupation was water purification. Nowadays she is a mother of four teenagers, a yoga instructor and runs her blog, Susan Leda - Dishes are not for the faint of heart. Military Deployment She deployed when her boys were 2 and almost 1. She was part of the initial invasion into Iraq. Her team arrived in Kuwait and it was just a desert. The Engineering team which she was a part of worked to build the base up. It went from dirt to a functioning military base when they left a few months later to head into Iraq. She was only able to communicate back home twice. One time was a planned call home and the second time was when she got a red cross message that her grandfather had passed away. Because of where she was, she was unable to leave Iraq to head home. She talked about coming home and her one year old not remembering who she was and how much time it took to rebuild that bond. And she also talked about how much her two year old was affected by him leaving. He had a hard time letting her leave after arriving back home. Part of the reason she left the Marines when it was time to reenlist was because she didn't have the support network she needed. Susan found herself in the in the military. She was able to excel and learned a lot. And after leaving the military she was able to look at life with a different perspective. Mentioned in this episode: https://www.howtomilspouse.com/marine-to-milspouse/ Being a Military Spouse Was Harder than I thought Follow Susan on Social Media Blog: https://susanleda.blog/ 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. Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life    WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here! 
29:05
March 5, 2019
Overcoming PTSD and what is next - Episode 11
  Welcome to episode 11 of the Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Annette Wittenberg. Annette is a military spouse, mother to two teenagers (one being in college) and veteran who served in the Army for over seventeen years as a Chemical officer including a deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. She retired and decided to trade in her boots for converse sneakers to be able to make up for lost time with her now teenagers. Since her retirement she has PCSed from Fort Polk, LA to Fairfax, VA to support her husband’s military career. Her blog A Wild Ride Called Life incorporates stories from her post military life in which she shares how she lives life with being a mom suffering from PTSD, anxiety and depression. Along with writing her blogs she also writes for other social media sources and has a podcast. Mil to Mil, PTSD, and more In the interview we talked about a number of topics. She and her husband have been married for 20 years and for her whole military career. After being married for a year and being in the Army for less than a year her daughter was born. She talked about being 23 in a foreign country (Germany) and having to grow up real fast as she raised her daughter and both her and her husband continued to serve on active duty. Two years later her son was born. She was lucky to find two great nannies to take care of her daughter that made it easier to leave her behind and go back to work. They moved back to the states when her son was three months old. She deployed Iraq and Afghanistan while serving in the Army. She attributes her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder not only to the experience of being overseas, but also having to deal with being assaulted when she was a cadet at training. When she expressed her story to others some people didn’t believe her and it taught her to be tough and stuff the emotions she was feeling. 17 years of stuffing her feelings and dealing with going overseas eventually became a breaking point. Her blog gives her an opportunity to share experience and help others. You can learn more about Annette at her blog: www.awildridecalledlife.com And connect with her through her social media links: Facebook Instagram Mentioned in this episode: https://medium.com/ https://vetpreneurtribe.com/ https://thechicsite.com/about/ (Rachel Hollis) Are you leaving the military? Get your free guide: Navigating Life After the Military   Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here. 
32:01
February 26, 2019
From Active Duty to the National Guard - Episode 10
Today, I interviewed Dina Farmer. Dina started her career in the Air Force serving on active duty. She left active duty through the Palace Chase program and continued her service through the Air National Guard. Dina enlisted into the Air Force is 2005. She joined the military when she was faced with a high medical bill and needed a way to pay for college. She started her career in the Air Force in the Communication Squadron. When given the opportunity to switch career fields she did and Biomedical Engineering. While she was working in the National Guard someone from the Public Affairs shopped found out she was majoring in Photography. They recruited her to work in the Public Affairs as a photojournalist. She loved her job as a photojournalist. And her advice to girls joining the military is to wait to get the job she wants and not rush into the military. One of the things we discussed in the interview was the struggle of being a mil to mil couple and having a family while serving in the Air Force. Having to work exercises while her husband was deployed was extremely difficult as the 12 hour shifts were not covered by base childcare. Finding childcare to cover the extra hours was very difficult and she didn't get sympathy from her leadership. When she left active duty to serve via the Air National Guard she found a much more supportive leadership. When her husband was deployed they were able to work with her and she felt like it was a family. When her husband was transferred to Hawaii she was unable to find a job at the National Guard unit there and separated from the military.  Mentioned in this episode: https://www.kithandkintravels.com/ Dina's Social Contacts: Facebook Instagram Pinterest  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.     Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life   WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here! 
23:50
February 21, 2019
Seeing the World with the Navy - Episode 9
 Welcome to Episode 9 of Women of the Military Podcast. In today's episode I interviewed Shakeia Kegler. Shakeia joined the Navy in 2011 and was sent to Japan for her first assignment. The day she landed in Japan she learned her ship the USS George Washington was about to head out for a six month deployment. She quickly found her sea legs as she headed out to sea. With a deployment rotation of six months deployed and six months home the three years she spent in Japan were an adventure.  In today's interview we talked about some of the challenges of being on a ship with so many men. There were highs and lows, but one of the most important lessons she learned from her experience was the importance of making good decisions and policing themselves. She saw how people (mainly women) making poor choices would follow them through their time in the Navy. While the Navy is big, it is also very small and the stories that people told would follow you even after you moved on to the next assignment. After leaving the military to come home to be with her family her family noticed changes in her. She talked about how the time they were separated both her family and she changed and since they were seperated so often the changes were easy to spot. She had experienced so much in her time in the military. She left home shortly after graduating high school and headed out on an adventure with the Navy. Through her time in the Navy she learned a lot about herself and grew into the person she is today. Mentioned in this episode: https://www.govlia.com/ skegler@govlia.com Govlia Social Contacts: Facebook LinkedIn Twitter 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.  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. 
27:24
February 19, 2019
An Air Force Developmental Engineer - Episode 8
 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. 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.
23:16
February 14, 2019
The Struggle of Coming Home from War - Episode 7
 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 today: 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 Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After the Military! 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. 
33:35
February 12, 2019
Do I Belong in the Navy - Episode 6
 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: www.airmantomom.com 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    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. Are you Leaving the Military? Get my free guide: Navigating Life After 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.   WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here! 
23:08
February 7, 2019
A Female Vietnam Veteran's Story - Episode 5
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. Military Service 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. 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.
29:23
February 5, 2019
Woman Out to Change the World - Episode 4
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! Military Service 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: Facebook Instagram 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.
24:28
January 31, 2019
A Deployed Mom's Experience - Episode 3
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: 9/11 Reflection Ripple Effect of September 11th A Faithful Step A Faithful Step on social: Facebook Pinterest Instagram 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! Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here. 
36:50
January 29, 2019
Air Force Civil Engineer, Amanda Huffman, Airman to Mom - Episode 2
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: www.airmantomom.com 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. Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life   WILCO LIFE is an online boutique offering minimalist-style bags and accessories that meet military regulations. The company also carries products from veteran-owned companies that can be worn “off duty.” Use the code AIRMAN2MOM to save 15% on your purchase. Order here!
27:33
January 24, 2019
Why Focus on Women - Episode 1
 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. Are you considering joining the military? Check out my free guide: A Girl's Guide to Military Life  Would you like to be a guest on a future episode of Women of the Military? Sign up here. 
12:30
January 22, 2019
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