Women of the Military

From Green to Gold

Episode Summary

How do you go from flipping burgers at McDonald's to serving as an Army Officer? Check out Andi’s story and how she went from Green to Gold when she joined the Army, worked on her degree at night, and became an officer.

Episode Notes

Andi joined the National Guard, in high school and began going to college after high school, but she became a mom and was struggling to make ends meet working at McDonalds. She and her boyfriend at the time saw the military as an opportunity for a stable paycheck. Because she had completed boot camp and Advanced Individual Training the Army happily took her on active duty. But because she was a single parent she had to get married. So she got married to her son’s father and off they went to Ft. Bragg.

Her husband worked nights and she worked during the day and they continued to struggle to make ends meet living on an E-3 salary. Shortly after she joined the Army her husband decided to join the Army as well. This made it easier to make ends meet and get out of debt.

Green to Gold

She attended classes with the goal of becoming an officer. When she was accepted into the Green to Gold program and commissioned in the Army as a 2nd Lt in 2009. She and her husband also got a divorce and she began her new career in the military. Shortly after commissioning, she deployed to Afghanistan. She talked about how hard it was to leave her babies behind. She drove her kids to her x-husband’s house and dropped them off said goodbye and drove away. It was so painful she couldn’t drag it out.


Luckily, she was able to stay connected with her family back home through the technology available. She had a cell phone so she could call home and access to Wi-Fi. And though it was hard to be apart she was able to stay connected to her kids. She deployed again to Afghanistan in 2004. It was easier to be apart having already gone through one deployment.

Leaving the military during a pandemic

With her selection to Major Andi had the opportunity to go to school for nine months followed by a new assignment. She decided to pick her family over her career and transition out of the military. She had already began working her transition when COVID hit and changed everything she had planned. Her family was planning a big trip to Egypt to celebrate her retirement and it had to be canceled. She also had to shift her focus to find a new job as the career opportunities quickly changed when she left. It hasn’t been easy.

But she started selling women veteran apparel at Veteran Bee. She felt there were not enough t-shirt options for military women and veterans and she is working to change that. She is offering Women of the Military Podcast a 15% off discount with the code Airman2mom. So check out her shop today!

Connect with Andi:


Https://veteranbee.com Use Code: Airmantomom to save 10%

Mentioned in this episode:

Girls Guide to the Military

Girls Guide to the Military YouTube Channel

Related Episodes:

The Challenge of Officer Candidate School – Episode 85

MOAA is more than Advocacy – Bonus Episode

Challenges Faced by Single Moms in the Army – Episode 46

Check out the full transcript here.  

Thank you to my Patreon Sponsor Col Level and above:
Kevin Barba, Adriana Keefe

Thank you Patreon members for your support. Want early access to episodes, ad-free content, and one on one mentorship advice? Become a Patreon member today! Click here.   

Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman00:00

Welcome to Episode 121 of the women of the military podcast. This week, my guest is Andrea Asendio. She joined the National Guard in high school and began going to college after high school but became a mom and was struggling to make ends meet working at McDonald's. She and her boyfriend at the time, saw the military as an opportunity as a stable paycheck. Because she had completed boot camp and advanced individual training. The Army happily took her on active duty. But because she was a single parent, she had to get married to be in the military. So she got married to her son's father and then went off to Fort Bragg. Eventually, she went through the green to gold program, which is where you go from being enlisted to being an officer. So we talked about that experience as well. And she recently transitioned out of the military during COVID. So we talked about how COVID affected her transition story on what she's doing today. It's another great interview. So let's get started. You're listening to season three of the women on the military podcast. Here you will find the real stories of female servicemembers. I'm Amanda Huffman, I am an Air Force veteran, military spouse and mom. I created women in the military podcast in 2019, as a place to share the stories of female service members past and present, with the goal of finding the heart of the story, while uncovering the triumphs and challenges women face while serving in the military. If you want to be encouraged by the stories of military women and be inspired to change the world, keep tuned for this latest episode of women on the military. Welcome to the show. And yeah, I'm excited to have you here.


Andrea Asendio01:48

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.


Amanda Huffman01:50

So let's start with why did you decide to join the military? 


Andrea Asendio01:55

Well, Amanda, actually, it was pretty simple. I needed some coins. So boys, actually at the age of 19, I was already married, and had a baby on my hip. So I went from East Carolina University dropout to working at McDonald's, flipping burgers and serving fries when quite cutting it with the diapers and formula. So I signed up with Uncle Sam,


Amanda Huffman02:18

that sounds like a crazy story. So, you had a baby, you were married. So what did your husband have to say when you said I want to join the military? Well, I


Andrea Asendio02:30

had kind of dabbled into the Army National Guard, I was probably in between a wall and drop some role. So it was like a second nature type choice. And my husband actually joined a couple years after me. So he was completely fine with it. Again, we were struggling with, you know basic necessities for our son.


Amanda Huffman02:50

So the military provided a steady income and a way that you guys could provide for your son and and so how old was your son when you went to boot camp?


Andrea Asendio03:01

So again, I did the National Guard. So I joined when I was like 17 in 1997. So I was a junior in high school. So no kid yet.


Amanda Huffman03:12

So you already had boot camp under your belt because you were in the National Guard. And then did you just go in to the National Guard office and be like, I need this to be a full time thing. How do I make that happen? Or how did that all work? 


Andrea Asendio03:24

Yeah, so I stopped flipping burgers. And I had my husband and take me to the nearest recruiting station in Augusta and I pretty much so myself I had already done basic training AIT I was already mo with qualified as a preventive medicine specialist. And so they were like, Yeah, well, we'll sign you up. And my first duty station, even though I'm not airborne was great American, Fort Bragg.


Amanda Huffman03:48

Did your husband go with you down to your first assignment and was a military spouse?


Andrea Asendio03:54

Let me back up. So we actually weren't married until I went active duty because I had a son. I was a single parent, kind of sorta. So the army was basically not accepting single parents at the time. So that's when me and my husband went to the courthouse in Augusta got married, packed our car with a couple of things and then drove straight down to Fort Bragg. So Jason actually stock shelves at one of the store, shopette night, and then I was a soldier during the daytime.


Amanda Huffman04:22

Yeah, that's a crazy story. That is something that I know single parents have struggled with, with the way the laws were written. And I think that they've made it a little bit easier. But that's a challenge. And so hopefully, you guys got married. That was the thing you needed to get married and go on your way to Fort Bragg. Right.


Andrea Asendio04:43

That is correct. We didn't work out. Probably because we rushed to make it happen so that I could be a soldier. But yeah, you know, at the time, we did what we thought was best for our son.


Amanda Huffman04:55

That makes sense. That's like one of the other problems with the military like foreseen All moms to get married so that you can be in and it's like maybe that's not the best situation for you. And yeah, so that's why it's good that the laws are changing so that you can serve and be a mom. And absolutely. So that makes that makes even more sense why it's so important that those laws get changed.


Andrea Asendio05:17

I totally could have done it myself. Looking back. I didn't really, I really need Jason's butt.


Amanda Huffman05:23

So what was it like he was working nights and staying home with your son, you were in the Army? And what was the dynamics of your life? You guys had like a stable income, or were you still struggling to make ends meet?


Andrea Asendio05:36

We were definitely struggling. I came in as a private first class. So we were definitely struggling to make ends meet, we fell into that vicious paycheck to paycheck cycle very quickly, very quickly living above our means. I'm talking about the Army loans, the payday loans, the rent America furniture, like we were definitely struggling to make ends meet, I think so much so that within two years, my husband did end up joining to kind of make things a little bit better. So what ended up bouncing out in the end, we were able to get rid of that debt.


Amanda Huffman06:12

Yeah, that's one of the like, real challenges because the military does provide a stable income. But an enlisted like a young enlisted pay person doesn't get pay really enough to support a family, because it's kind of meant for like single people. And then when you add on a family, it doesn't go very far.


Andrea Asendio06:32

It seems like it though a lot of civilians think that we have all this money, but it's really just a guaranteed paycheck. And so we get sucked into that. He wants to know, because my first car was like a lemon, he's like you want it up, you know, come up here and get you a car for 19% interest. And so I think it all comes down to education. I kind of wish my squad leader would have done a better job back in the 2000s on saying, Hey, you know, make sure you don't fall prey to the, you know, businesses.


Amanda Huffman07:01

Yeah, and that's a good thing. Because there's a lot of young women listening who are considering joining the military. And there are things to worry about of people preying on you like there are payday loans outside of the base that you don't need to go to you can get a loan from the government if you're in really tough financials for interest free or they just take part of your paycheck instead of like you said, the 19-20 crazy percentage. So that's a good piece of advice and something that if you're joining the military, you really need to be aware of because people do try and take advantage of servicemembers. Absolutely. So let's talk about what happened. So your husband was active duty and your active duty, you guys are starting to get out of debt and get financially stable. And then what happened with your career.


Andrea Asendio07:48

So I served nine years going to school at night, I decided early on that I really wanted to be an officer, it was something about them not picking up rakes during clean sweep. That really, you know, interested interest me. So I continued to go to school at night. And I actually got accepted to the green to gold act of duty program at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, which was about 45 minutes from Fort Bragg. And so I actually commissioned as a second lieutenant in May of 2009. I also got divorced in June 2009, a little bit of a lifestyle change, but I got commissioned into logistics or Quartermaster. So from there, I just course had a couple more babies and, you know, went on through went through the ranks until I recently retired as a major on September of this year.


Amanda Huffman08:40

So you are going to school at night, and being a mom and doing all this stuff and getting everything done. And then you were accepted and the green to gold program, which is a program where you go from being enlisted to being an officer and then you commissioned and you talked about how the officers didn't have to lift up or it wasn't what you thought it was gonna be like to be an officer.


Andrea Asendio09:06

I have to say so I did miss being around the soldiers I found as a higher rate pi, the rank that I earn, the less interaction I actually got with the soldiers. Um, I want to say the most rewarding job that I ever had. And I would do it again today was being a company commander. Of course during that time, I was able to be around the soldiers but I really enjoy my 15 months in command.


Amanda Huffman09:33

Yeah, I think so many women I've talked to who got to be commanders love that time because you get to you have people that you get to just pour into and see the impact of.


Andrea Asendio09:45



Amanda Huffman09:48

You joined National Guard and 97 and then 2001 happened was September 11. So how did the army change from your perspective of life before September And then after September 11,


Andrea Asendio10:02

When I was at Fort Bragg and I was in the use of sock community, which was like Special Operations Support. So it went from being very, very laid back to like fast paced overnight. I was actually on the first chalk to go to Afghanistan, but I think something happened at the last minute, and they end up cutting a bunch of people. And so like, I got the call of the night before I was supposed to fly out that I ended up staying, you know, conus. But everything changed, like the discipline, the things that we were allowed to do the training went like TEDx. So I think it still hasn't slowed down from 2001. 


Amanda Huffman10:41

Yeah, I don't think I went active duty in 2007. And it was like super high speed. And I don't feel like the military has changed. And that aspect of like, the training, the deployments, and I know the deployments have slowed down a lot since when I got out, but it's still like the training and we're at war. And it's not, it's not laid back like before. Yeah. Yeah. So so different. So did you end up deploying, you said that you were supposed to deploy and then last minute they cut you from deployment? Did you deploy while you were in the army?


Andrea Asendio11:12

Oh, yeah, I got I got snatched up twice, but they're both when I was an officer, and they were both while I was in the Aviation Brigade. So I went to Kandahar, Afghanistan, and Bagramfrom Afghanistan. So I was deployed two years.


Amanda Huffman11:28

So was there a difference between the deployments in like, Kandahar is down south? And I guess it would be. I haven't been down there. But I was at Bagram, a little bit hotter, in like, hotter and hotter, but also a little bit hotter and like getting shot at or did you notice that?


Andrea Asendio11:47

I did. I did. And I know in Kandahar, we lost because again, I was in aviation, and they were shooting down helicopters left and right. So unfortunately, we lost a great deal of people. But yes, and you know what I want to say that even though we were in a combat zone, after a while, and I can only speak for myself, I feel like everybody gets complacent. When I first got there. I was the first one to the bunker. But I think as things settle in, you're kind of a little bit slower to head in that direction. You kind of get complacent kind of like, Oh, you know, I'm way back here. You know, and Bagram or Kandahar. Nothing's gonna happen. But you just never know.


Amanda Huffman12:28

Yeah, I think that's true. I remember the last week I was there, there was an incoming at Bagram. I didn't even wake up. And my friend who woke up he's like, I just waited in bed until the all clear and then I was like, okay, go back to sleep. Because you do you get kind of complacent because you're like, well, the round already went in. 


Andrea Asendio12:55

Run into the bunker, like I think I beat everybody. I was like, Oh my gosh, but then you know, six months go by you're like, Oh, it's another one on? It's all good.


Amanda Huffman13:04

So did you go to Bagram? First or Kandahar?


Andrea Asendio13:07

Bagram first, I want to say 2010. I went to Bagram and 2014, I went to Kandahar.


Amanda Huffman13:15

So you were at Bagram. I was deployed from February to October of 2010. So I wasn't at Bagram but I went to Bagram a lot. And I felt like it was pretty laid back at ballroom like there is incoming every once in a while but not my one of the people I interviewed Vanessa a few episodes. It was a lot of episodes ago, she went in like 2013. And she said there was incoming like every single day. And it was like totally different. Like they had to wear their gear all the time. And just a totally different experience. So yeah, that's crazy. So what was it like being a mom and being away from your kids in a warzone?


Andrea Asendio13:55

I think that was worse than being gone. Or being in a deployed combat zone with leaving my children first time was painstaking. I remember dropping them off. So I live in Savannah. And I remember taking a three hour drive to Augusta with my two boys at the time. And I remember just we didn't play any music. There was no talking. It was me just driving straight ahead thinking about you know, oh my gosh, I'm about to leave my babies. Not for a little like getaway trip, you know, to Vegas or something. But for a year or more, and I'm not even going to be in the same country as them, you know. And, again, I told you I was divorced with their father and I'm trusting this, this man with my two most precious possessions, you know, so I was really worried. And then there was always some sort of thing in the back of your mind that says, Oh, my gosh, you know what, this is the last time that I see them and nobody can take care of your children like mama, I don't care what anybody said your sister grandma mom or whatever. Nobody care in place, mommy. So it was heart wrenching. pulled up, left the car still running, took their stuff out, kissed them and got back in the car and drove off. I couldn't, I couldn't stay. It was it was horrible. A second time was not so bad, because I ended up going again within four years. So I was kind of used to it, but it still hurt.


Amanda Huffman15:17

And your ex husband took care of the kids both times. 


Andrea Asendio15:21



Amanda Huffman15:22

And did he get out of the Army? Before you did?


Andrea Asendio15:26

He was discharged, we'll just leave that.


Amanda Huffman15:31

So he didn't have to worry about the point. And that's it. That adds a whole nother level of dynamics. That'd be another good question. Because in 2010, when I was at Bagram, there was like, m Wr 10s. But by the time I left, there was Wi Fi, on Bagram. So when you got there? Was there Wi Fi, and all the tents?


Andrea Asendio15:51

Oh, yeah, I remember having the rashaan cell phone and everything. I think I had took my magic jack with me and Skype. So I was able to talk to the kids whenever I wanted.


Amanda Huffman16:03

That's great. When I got there. Well, we were at a FOB. And we didn't ever have Wi Fi. But when we got back to Bagram to like go go home, there was Wi Fi and I was like you didn't have to wait for computer and you could just, you know, set up your computer wherever you were. Wi Fi is amazing.


Andrea Asendio16:24

Yeah, I was still able to talk to my kids, teachers and conferences and everything. So yeah, Wi Fi was definitely in.


Amanda Huffman16:32

Yeah, so that makes a big differences of being a mom or an or parent at all, just because you have that ease of communication to talk back home and stay connected with your family. And like you were really involved conference calls with teachers and all that stuff that yeah, that's awesome. Yeah, so you will deploy twice and then when did you get out of the army? Just recently right? Remember? Yeah, so


Andrea Asendio16:59

October 1, was like my first official month like out but I took leave in June but COVID really messed things up.


Amanda Huffman17:07

Yeah, I was just gonna say well, if you just got out and there was COVID because COVID hit you had already dropped your paperwork and you had your plan and then like COVID hit and march and then you started your leave in June. So how did COVID mess everything up? Because we know it messed everything up.


Andrea Asendio17:26

First of all the the trips I was going to take with my children to celebrate that mommy's out was a no go I was taking my children to Egypt this year. As a thank you for everything trip that got canned all of the out processing Soldier for Life all that was I don't want to say half assed, but that's what it was because of the COVID nobody's really hiring right now. Because of COVID. So it really threw a wrench in it. Not to mention my VA benefits. I turned in my VA packet in June, and I have yet to receive my QTC exams for my disability, because of COVID they're not doing any exams right now.


Amanda Huffman18:12

Man, that messed up, like every aspect of your transition. I think some people might assume like, Oh, you you're like you're gonna have a harder time finding a job because people aren't hiring the economy's bad. But then it's like the VA, your Soldier for Life out processing, which is the Transition Assistance Program. Everything.


Andrea Asendio18:33

Everything was with pretty much pencil whip. Hey, this is uh, what's your plan? How are your finances? Okay, great. You can see my initials for me, you know, like, What? Really there? She was like, yeah, just put just put t s on there. It's fine over the phone. That was my transition, more or less.


Amanda Huffman18:50

Yeah, that's really hard. That's Yeah. And especially waiting on the VA at a time where like, you need the money you need. You need all these things I do.


Andrea Asendio19:02

They said don't accept the check until April of 2021.


Amanda Huffman19:07

Oh, my goodness. I'm sorry. It's so hard. Yeah, I think I think that we don't realize how much COVID has disrupted so many different things, and so many different parts of our life, especially like transitioning because I was thinking when my husband retires, we already have a trip plan, like you to celebrate. And I was like, if that was this year, it would have been canceled. And it's kind of like you had that window of like leave the lab. And that's what we're planning on doing too. And so it's not like oh, we'll just do it next year because you don't


Andrea Asendio19:45

Have leave. Yeah, we had it all planned out. I had a travel agent like this was a big thing. You know, I have four children. We were all going my husband It was a big congratulation thing. So no military reception or retirement, all of the money and effort was going towards our trip to Egypt to to the pyramids. And the guy can.


Amanda Huffman20:05

That makes me so sad. Yeah. So that's a real bummer. Because I I mean, I'm already looking forward to our trip. So I can like really empathize with how much your trip goes. We don't have another pandemic, and five or five or 10 years from now, whenever we get out, oh, that'd be so sad. So let's talk a little bit about like the struggle of getting out and being in a place where like nobody's hiring. And before COVID, I bet you felt really good about getting on the military and you had a plan and then COVID happen and your plan just kind of flew up in smoke, like, not only the trip got canceled, but it's not an easy job market. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. I've seen how hard it is for people. So what is your next step right now? What are you trying to do to because the cool thing about military people is they just keep going forward.


Andrea Asendio21:07

Definitely resilient. Definitely. Speaking of resiliency, I'm in a certification. That's called resilience team building. So I'll be a certified resilience facilitator. So I'm hoping that I'll be able to have some letters behind my name to make my resume stand out a little bit. But looking back, if I could give a tip to the listeners, definitely take advantage of school while you're in the military. I've been in 22 years, and I don't have a master's degree, I have a degree in biology, which means I could probably teach PE, or be a substitute teacher, which is not something that I want to do. So of course, you know, I'm thinking, Hey, I'm a major in the army. Surely, you know, there's something out there for me it is not the case, unless I want to take a pay cut. Now I know I'm not going to get paid six figures like I would you know, as a major in the military with no master's degree. But surely, I thought that I would be able to find something. But I'm behind the power curve in terms of certification and education. So I'm really kicking myself in the behind with not going to school further, because I definitely had time and opportunity to pursue higher learning.


Amanda Huffman22:24

Yeah, that's great advice. I think sometimes we are like, Oh, well, I'm good. I have my degree, I have this military background. But then if you don't keep getting those certifications, especially like if if getting your masters is so important, and then all those like certifications that you need on the civilian side, it's so important to prepare for that.


Andrea Asendio22:48

And do it while it's free. It's free tuition assistance is free. Even for officers, you know, we have a limp, unlimited education. So definitely wish I would have went back and took that Master's. Now. I am doing project management at home because of COVID, the course is at home, but it's tough doing that online. So yeah, it's definitely tough.


Amanda Huffman23:14

Yeah, it's so tough. So is there anything else from your time in the military that we didn't cover because I feel like I kind of jumped to COVID got too excited.


Andrea Asendio23:25

I do want to say that I decided instead of putting myself first like usual with my career that I retired because I wanted to put my family first, I got selected for major. And then I also got selected for resident School, which would have took me to Kansas for nine months. So I would have went to school for nine months, took my family then I would have PCS again to God knows wherever. And just looking back, I just couldn't put my family through two PCS moves. Right now I have a 20 year old 17, nine and two years old, and my husband is a warrant officer in another state. So I would have had to take off well, not the 20 year, I would have had to take the other three kids with me and we would have had to move around. So this time, instead of asking them to sacrifice for me, I went on ahead and you know, bowed out gracefully, so that I could you know, give that time back to my kids. So sometimes you just have to know when it's time to go. So I do feel sad. You know, I do miss interaction with people. I do miss leadership and mentoring others, but I felt like it was just time to, you know, have my family first for for once, which is something I didn't do in the past.


Amanda Huffman24:38

Yeah, I think that's really important to talk about because the military does ask so much, especially when you're dual military because you said your husband's a Chief Warrant Officer and is he and you guys were living separately before you got out and now you guys are together or you still separate.


Andrea Asendio24:54

We're still separate. He's at Fort Bragg and I'm in Savannah now near Fort Stuart. So yeah, we've been separated almost a year and a half now, and there's no jobs where he is. That's why I'm not there yet. So yeah.


Amanda Huffman25:08

Yeah, that's really challenging. And it's, unfortunately, it's a part of like being in the military, sometimes, like, the military asked for you to do things. And you either do it or like you said, you didn't want to put your family through that again. And so you decided to make the choice to get out and put your family first. And I think the military is trying to change it, or at least they're trying to change the word to make the military more family friendly. But there's a certain point where the military is the military and like, they send you off to war, they send you to training, they send you where they need you to be, and there's a amount of sacrifice that can never be changed. 


Andrea Asendio25:52

Especially being a woman, you know, as a major, my boss did not want to hear my daycare closed at five o'clock. And I have small children, like a two year old who had to be picked up. And so you know, my boss may smile and say, Sure, Andy, go ahead. But in the back, he's probably like, Man, you know, I really needed her to stay later. And I found myself overcompensating because I knew, you know, at a certain time, every day Major Asendio and you had to leave like, unless it was an emergency, I had to go home, you know. So I felt that was another reason why as you get more up and rank, you get more responsibility. And there's just certain things that are expected of you. And I'm sure other women are doing it are juggling it all. But for me, it just became a little bit more difficult.


Amanda Huffman26:34

That's so true. Yeah, my husband's a major in the Air Force. And he sometimes doesn't come home when I want him to.


Andrea Asendio26:43

A lot.


Amanda Huffman26:44

And sometimes it's really frustrating, because I'm like, the only reason you can do what you're doing is because I'm at home with the kids. And if you didn't have me, right. It's a lot of work on like the spouses or like single parents, because your husband is separated from you, and you're a single mom, it's like, it's so much work to be in the military and to be able to balance home life. 


Andrea Asendio27:09

So its still frowned upon when I can't stay past 430 feel like Andy, you can't stay past 430? No, sir. I have to pick him up by 515 every day, remember? Okay, you know, it's just like, okay, no worries.


Amanda Huffman27:25

Yeah. And what was it like during COVID? Like, in March, when everything like all the daycare is closed, and you still are in the military? And I know, some bases like work from home, but other other people's bases stayed open. So what was that challenging dynamic of those last two or three months before you were on your leave?


Andrea Asendio27:45

At what, thankfully, my replacement was already there. So I was not expected to be at work as often. I'm still very patriotic, I still want to give my best to the very end. So I still went in, you know, when I could. But yes, when daycares were close, you know, having a toddler, it was very hard. There was a couple times my next door neighbor, thank God, I was able to say, Hey, you know, I do have to run in for a couple hours, do you mind? And she's like, Oh, no, absolutely. So she was kind of like my family care plan, if you will. So I work on a support Warrior Transition battalion. So what kind of like a exhilarate to the hospital. So we were open.


Amanda Huffman28:27

Yeah, I think that's like a really hard dynamic, because my friend was she was transitioning around the same time that you were, and her husband was active duty, and like, she would go in for the morning for a few hours. And then he would go in and then she'd go back. And they after, like late evening. And it was it was really challenging because she they have two young kids and they didn't have childcare. And it was like, She's like, when when's my last day? Because I can't do this.


Andrea Asendio28:58

And then senior leaders, no matter what, we're still expected to be there. They didn't matter about your childcare or whatever you had, you had to figure it out and get to work as soon as possible.


Amanda Huffman29:09

Yeah, that's so crazy. And I think that's another aspect of like, being in the military, the military requires sacrifice. There's a mission and like, even during a pandemic, it's the work still has to be done. And, and I think sometimes the military is a little slow on like teleworking. Because they're, when I was in there was like, civilians could telework, but military couldn't do the same job. Can I just do it? Yeah. So you told us your transition advice that you would get certification, get your masters try and get as much as you could while you're in the military. What advice would you give to young women who are considering joining the military?


Andrea Asendio29:49

You know, we are like crushing it with breaking barriers like almost every week. So I say get out there, get your get yourself dirty and do it. If you Want to be an infantry infantry officer infantry man, if you want to drive tanks, I think the sky's the limit. I said go out there and do it. But just make sure that you find somebody another woman that is in the same field that that you are in for accountability and for leadership with all the sexual harassment and sexual assault going on, you know that a lot of those predators like to prey on new soldiers, new newbies. So I would say find somebody that you can trust in your service, and get out there and make it happen. Absolutely.


Amanda Huffman30:33

Yeah, I love that advice. And there is there's so much positive things happening, that women can break barriers be making this amazing change. But I agree that you need to find a mentor, or someone that you can go to for advice. And if you're considering joining the military, I have a free girls guide to the military on my website. And when this airs, I'll have a YouTube channel to help women who are considering joining the military. So you can go check that out. And I'll put a link to that in the show notes. And if you have any questions about military life, you can always email me so or find me on social media. So thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really enjoyed hearing the different aspects of your story, being enlisted being a single parent, going to be an officer all deploying leaving behind kids and then transitioning during COVID. We covered a lot.


Andrea Asendio31:27

Oh man, I didn't even talk about veteran bee. I'm so sorry. I was thinking about it. So I launched veteran beanie and it is a female veteran inspired apparel line, really just a T shirt line, because I feel like women are under appreciated in the military. And so I have like 10 or 15 I'll even wear 15 t-shirts that say female veteran alpha female, Grace and honor equals female veterans. And it's really just a conversation starter, because I'm proud of my service. And I hate going to Lowe's. And I'm asking my husband for the freakin military discount. That's something simple, something minute, but it's like, Hey, I, sir, you know, I did my time. And I think that we deserve more appreciation. More, more, there's more room with a table for people like us.


Amanda Huffman32:17

That's so true. And I have debated on starting a clothing line. And now I don't have to. I'll put links to your website so that people


Andrea Asendio32:32

It's veteranbee.com. And I could do airman to mom, link so they put airman's mom and get 10% off. So I'll do that as soon as I get off the call. So we'll be good to go. Yeah, veteran b-e-e . 


Amanda Huffman32:46

Alright, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. And I'll put the discount code so that people can find it. And I'm gonna go check it out because Veterans Day is coming up. Yeah, recording this obviously when it airs. It'll be a little later. But we'll be able to share that. And yeah, definitely take a look and see what you like. Yeah, thank you so much.


Andrea Asendio33:07

Thanks, Amanda.


Amanda Huffman33:13

Thank you for listening to this week's episode of women of the military podcast. Do you love all things women in the military podcast become a subscriber so you never miss an episode and consider leaving a review. It really helps people find the podcast and helps the podcast to grow. Are you still listening? You could be a part of the mission of telling the stories of military women by joining me on patreon@patreon.com slash women of the military or you can order my book women in the military on Amazon. Every dollar helps to continue the work I am doing. Are you a business owner? Do you want to get your product or service in front of the women of the military podcast audience get in touch with the woman of the military podcast team to learn more all the links on how you can support women in the military podcasts are located in the show notes. Thanks again for listening and for your support.