Women of the Military

From Military Service to Military Spouse - Episode 88

Episode Summary

It isn’t uncommon for military members to pass the tradition of military service down to their children. Charlene wanted to attend college and didn’t see a path forward with the military. But then she learned about how she could become an officer while earning her degree and everything changed.

Episode Notes

This episode was made possible by my Patreon supporters! Sign up in the month of August to get a free copy of Brave Women Strong Faith!

Charlene joined American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) in 2015 as supervisor of the Survivor Assistance team. In her role as Assistant Secretary, she works closely with the Chief Operating Officer in managing AAFMAA’s life insurance business with a focus on contracting, support services, and information technology. Charlene is a Veteran of the United States Army Chemical Corps serving six years including a company command position. She is also a current active duty military spouse and has the distinction of being AAFMAA’s first female officer.

Charlene grew up in a military family and struggled with what to do in college. That is where she learned about the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). She had heard of ROTC before college, but thought you needed to be a nurse or a man to serve, and since she didn’t fit either of those categories didn’t think about the option of joining the military. When she found out about the options available through ROTC she joined and found the structure and organization she was looking for. 

She served in the Chemical Corps, starting at Fort Hood in Texas, then she went to Captain’s career course. While she was there September 11th happened. She was slated to go to Korea and initially tried to change course so she could be ready to respond. But ended up going to Korea per the needs of the Army and met her husband while being stationed there. They got married in Korea so they could get stationed together and she became an instructor at Aberdeen Proving Ground. It was there she decided to leave the military behind and become a stay at home mom.

She stayed at home for 10 years, partly because she was overseas and there were not a lot of options. And when she came back stateside, she decided to dive back into the workforce. She used resources available on the Army post and the USO. She was able to get a job at AAFMAA which fulfilled her calling to serve others and make an impact. 

Mentioned in this episode:

Facebook: Career Military Spouses Group

Facebook: Milspouse Entrepreneur Group

USO Pathfinders

AAFMAA

Related Episodes:

Weapons System Officer in the Air Force – Episode 71

Serving as an Officer in the Marine Corps – Episode 51

From the Halls of WestPoint to Iraq – Episode 38

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Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman  00:00

Welcome to Episode 88 of the Women of the Military podcast. This week my guest is Charlene Wilde. Charlene served in the Army and she met her husband while on active duty and then she left the military to be a military spouse and stay at home mom. She chose to stay home for 10 years while her husband was deployed regularly and with them moving every two years she decided to reenter the workforce and found it was difficult but well worth it and currently works at the Air Force mutual aid association is another great episode and I can't wait to get started. So, let's dive right in. You're listening to the Women of the Military podcast where we share the stories of female servicemembers and how the military touch their lives. I'm Amanda Huffman. I'm an Air Force veteran author of women of the military and a collaborative author of Brave Women, Strong Faith. I am also a military spouse and Mom. I created Women of the Military podcast as a place to share stories of military women past and present with a 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 of the military. Welcome to the show. Charlene. I'm excited to have you here.

 

Charlene Wilde  01:32

Well, thanks. It's great to be here.

 

Amanda Huffman  01:34

Let's get started with why did you decide to join the military?

 

01:38

Well, it was kind of an easy decision for me, but not one that I had planned for years, like my whole life. Both my parents were in the military. And so it was never something that was brand new topic in our house. But whenever I was going through college, and I couldn't quite decide what I wanted to do with myself, and I had changed my major like three different times and really was struggling of what I was going to do that I just happened to go to a college fair at the university that I transferred to. And there was ROTC desk there. And I was like, Oh, well, I hadn't even thought of that before. And it was just like, all the lights went off for me. And I was like, that is a great idea. And so that was the kind of the structure that I needed at that time in my life. And then that just turned into a great segue for me to start off my career.

 

Amanda Huffman  02:32

And you mentioned that you were a military kid.

 

02:35

I am. So my father, he served 21 years in the Marine Corps. And my mother actually, she was one of the few women Marines and that's how she met my father. So I was always kind of a, our house is always very structured and, and it was just kind of a different way to grow up, I guess.

 

Amanda Huffman  02:55

Yeah. And one of the things you mentioned that you went to a career and found out about ROTC. Did you know anything about ROTC before that?

 

03:07

I did. And I knew that it was there. I guess I never really thought it applied to me. From where when I grew up at that time that it wasn't really the only people that I heard that they were really trying to recruit for more men or nurses. And if you didn't fit into one of those two fields, my perception at that time was that it didn't apply to me. And so that was kind of an eye opener for me. When I started talking to someone and there's a recruiter there that I was like, Oh, this is open to like normal people to a woman like myself, I hadn't even just dawned on me. I hadn't thought that it was available to me that I could just, you know, I could still serve without being a nurse.

 

Amanda Huffman  03:58

Yeah, I think there's a lot of little just stereotypes that kind of like get in your head that you're like, Oh, well, that doesn't even apply. And then when I found about ROTC and even the military in general, it's like, oh, I could do this?

 

04:12

Exactly. And I think that part of that, as well as that my mother, she was in the Marine Corps at a very different time in the 60s to where, you know, she was in the, you know, the women Marines were I heard about her stories my whole life where they only had to wear skirts all the time, and she had to wear lipstick every day. And you know, all these stories, I'm like, Oh, my God, that is not something I want to do. And so that was just kind of it was an eye opening event for me whenever I realized, Oh, I could serve too, and without having to do that. So that was really exciting for me.

 

Amanda Huffman  04:48

So what branch did you decide to join?

 

Charlene Wilde  04:50

Uh, sure. I went into that into the Army. And when I was in the Army, I was in the chemical corps because I had a bio major and a microbiology major and says kind fit right in. 

 

Amanda Huffman  05:00

So you did ROTC and you talked about how that structure like helped you and got you where you needed to be. And then you went active duty and where did you go first? 

 

Charlene Wilde  05:11

So, from a practice duty, my first station was at Fort Hood, Texas. And so that was at the beginning when they were trying to stabilize lieutenants for your first and second lieutenant your times into one base. And so I was at Fort Hood for my all my Lieutenant years, started off with being a battalion, chemical officer with the aviation battalion and then went on to being a platoon leader at a mechanized smoke company, all inside of first cab inside of Fort Hood. And then from there from Fort Hood. I went on to went on to after a captain's career course went on to Korea, where I was a company commander and a chemical battalion and then after Korea went on to Aberdeen Proving Ground or I was an instructor, at the ordinate school.

 

Amanda Huffman  06:00

What was it like to go to Korea and see the culture and just I mean, you're away from family and all the different things about being overseas in that area.

 

Charlene Wilde  06:12

I was, I gotta be honest as being single and I was pretty scared first because I had never left the United States before. But once I got there, it was cool. Even though it was a different time. It was right after 911 when I went to Korea, so everything was on lockdown. And so you couldn't go off base and your uniform and you had a curfew. And so those kind of things were just really bizarre time. But it was once I got used to it, it was it was really cool. It was I love to travel. And so it was kind of right up my alley of being in a new culture, even though it was very different at first, just the whole feel of not being able to communicate with the people outside was very scary.

 

Amanda Huffman  06:55

Yeah. And were you there when September 11 happened?

 

Charlene Wilde  06:58

I got there right after and so I got there in December after 911. And so I was a 911 happened I was at the captain's career course. And so I remember I tried to get away try our branch manager, I tried not to go to Korea because I thought I needed to go somewhere else and, and serve where I thought I'd be more effective. But they're like, no, you're going to Korea. I wasn't too excited about it at the time that it turned into be a wonderful experience.

 

Amanda Huffman  07:30

Yeah. And I think sometimes you want to go somewhere, but then you're needed somewhere else and you have to fill each part of the mission is so important and critical. Success.

 

Charlene Wilde  07:40

Yeah, it really is. And that was hard for me to grasp at the time. I just really I think everyone that was at anyone who was serving at that time, you know, really just wanted to be part of it and just feel like they were contributing. And so that was kind of hard for me when they're like, no, you're going to Korea it. So it was difficult at first for me.

 

Amanda Huffman  08:02

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Charlene Wilde  08:59

I went to I Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, where I was an instructor at the Ordnance school. I was the the chem bio instructor for all the new lieutenants. So that was really fun. Actually, it was just kind of cool to see the whole little cycle coming around again. And so. So that was Yeah, that was fun. But it was actually was a great segue then for me to to get out as well.

 

Amanda Huffman  09:24

Is that where you met your husband?

 

Charlene Wilde  09:26

Well, actually, him and I met in Korea. And so we were both company commanders together. And from that time that then we tried to get stationed together and he had already had orders to Aberdeen. And so that was where branch found a place for me.

 

Amanda Huffman  09:43

That's good. Yeah,

 

Charlene Wilde  09:44

it was good.

 

Amanda Huffman  09:46

So did you guys get married before you left Korea? Or

 

Charlene Wilde  09:49

We did we got married at the embassy. The Embassy in downtown Seoul on our Birkenstocks. And it was as we always look back, like yeah, we have such a fancy wedding. And so in the main reason we did get married was so that we could get stationed together at the follow on assignment.

 

Amanda Huffman  10:10

Yeah, cuz you can tell the military Well, we really like each other like, we don't care.

 

Charlene Wilde  10:15

If you like each other, you're not married fine.

 

Amanda Huffman  10:19

Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. So you guys were able to get stationed together and you were military. And you said that's when you transitioned out of the military. Why? Why did you decide to transition out?

 

Charlene Wilde  10:33

Well, you know, it was a really difficult decision, but it was one that I haven't regretted since we're after we were stationed there. He got orders to deploy. And we found that I was expecting and as we were kind of processing all of that, it just happened to be that he deployed when my son was six weeks old, about the same time I had to go back to work. And so it all happened to all at one time. Were you No, now I'm in a army spouse, I'm still active duty and I have a newborn child. Oh, now I'm going to be single mom, too. And so that was just like all at one time. And I didn't leave right away because I was like, No, you know, you're not going to give into your emotional side and you're gonna, you're gonna stick this out. But it just made sense for my family and for myself at that time that with the deployments happening more and more that I was scared that I would deploy as well. I didn't really want my son to to be raised by someone else. And that was just a decision that we came to together that so I decided to get out so that I could be home with him.

 

Amanda Huffman  11:41

Yeah. And I think sometimes people don't realize like, that's the reality that especially at the time, like a few years after September 11, where dual military families really did have to worry that they make you have the Family Care Plan of who's going to take kids that was not something that you just put on paper it was like reality of what you might have to face and what the struggles where.

 

Charlene Wilde  12:04

it really is. And when you're hit with that reality, and it is a very real thing that's going to be happening in your life and you know, it's going to come to you eventually that you know that that's no longer just a paperwork drill that you're doing, you know, this is probably going to be happening. And it was a, you know, a harsh reality check for me and for my husband, and we were like, you know, he gave me the complete decision is like, whatever you want to do. And I just, I didn't want to put my son through that.

 

Amanda Huffman  12:35

And sometimes people have asked me because I got out my husband stayed in. Was there any other discussion about like, you staying in and him getting out? Or was it always just that you would get out and that he would stay in?

 

Charlene Wilde  12:48

And no, actually we had that very real discussion where then he'll tell you to this day that he always has thought that my career further than his but I think that what it came down to Was that his unit was already deploying and he was in a rapid deploying unit. And so it just kind of made sense for me. But it was not the automatic decision for me to get out. We, you know, to kind of did our decision matrix like every good military officer does to decide what was best for our family.

 

Amanda Huffman  13:19

Yeah, I think decision matrix is like how I had to make the decision because like, emotionally I like wanted to stay in but then the reality of life I couldn't it so well, until I put it on paper. I know like how you talked about how your husband was, like, already deployed. So like, if you had stayed in, you would have had to stay in through the whole deployment time that he was gone, and then when he came home, then figured everything out and it would just delay the process and make it harder or is is that what I'm understanding? 

 

Charlene Wilde  13:50

No, that is what your understanding and and we had already, like my branch manager had already kind of let me know ahead of time of like, Hey, you Know, your next assignment is, you know, the next base down the road and you're probably going to be deploying, you know that they had given me this heads up. And so I knew this information and and so that's what kind of made it a little easier for me is that he was already deployed. And so it just was what made sense for us at that time.

 

Amanda Huffman  14:18

So how quickly after you said you had your six weeks of maternity leave, and then you went back and then he was deployed, and I'm like life was happening, and how quickly was it between when you decided to get out and then got out?

 

Charlene Wilde  14:31

I think it was six months afterwards. And so it was, yeah, it was about six months after I went back to work that I realized that that's not something that I wanted to continue doing while he was deployed like that. And knowing that his job that he was in the he would deploy three, six months and then come back for a month and then deploy again. And so that's where his unit was doing.

 

Amanda Huffman  14:53

Yeah, that sounds like a lot of instability with him being gone. And then with you having deployments and I say that when it was just my husband and I, before we had kids, it was complicated, but doable. And then with kids, it was like it just upped the ante and made it even more complicated to figure out.

 

Charlene Wilde  15:13

Yeah, and of course, you know, you never have family nearby. And so I, you know, it was all of our family was far away. And so, yeah, I look back at that time, and I'm like, you know, how did I do that without any family support? Yeah. It just baffles my mind. So yeah, it's not easy. No.

 

Amanda Huffman  15:31

So you separated from the military. And did you decide to be a stay at home

 

Charlene Wilde  15:36

mom? I did. And I, from that time, it was I yeah, I just decided to stay home for this for a while until he was a little older. And then we had our second son, you know, thanks to deployment. We had our second son there, but a year or so afterwards, but I yeah, I did stay home for 11 years, actually. Because after he left, that unit, that We ended up going overseas and it just didn't make sense for me to while I refuse to work at the commissary or be a PX checker. So, so due to job availability, I didn't stay home.

 

Amanda Huffman  16:12

Yeah. What was it like to leave the army and go from working especially like you were working and kind of like single parenting while your husband was deployed and you had a kid at home, and then you went from all those crazy responsibility to being home and not that being home is like super easy, but it's very different and challenging in different ways. So what was that transition? Like? 

 

Charlene Wilde  16:36

Yeah, that transition was something that I didn't even expect to be difficult. I at that time, there was just so much going on mentally I thought, okay, I just need to refocus and, and you know, and figure out what role I'm doing today and what role I'm going to be in that role that transition and turned out to be so awkward and difficult just trying to then assimilate. back into being a stay at home mom, which I'd never experienced before, but back into like the FRG group where that's who my support system was at that time. I remember going into my first meeting after I'd gotten out, and hearing some people complain about just kind of, I thought were trivial things where, you know, I just wanted to stand up and say, just deal with it, you know, just pull up your bootstraps and just carry on, you know, but then I realized, Oh, well, not everyone thinks that way. And so I had to kind of check myself as I tried to figure out who I was and how this was gonna, you know, play out that not to be abrasive and over rolling sometimes.

 

Amanda Huffman  17:45

Yeah, it's funny that you said that because at the time of we're recording, this is when all the Coronavirus stuff was going on. And I was in a Facebook group that was full for the spouse group that I'm in and they were complaining and I was just like, you know, It's not that big a deal. And then I was like, maybe you need to calm down. I was getting very like, this is the mission, we need to follow the mission. And I was like, there's your military spouses the training they receive. I know.

 

Charlene Wilde  18:14

I know, I have to constantly kind of check myself. In some Yeah, that was probably the one that was difficult times. For me, it was just kind of figuring out, you know, that I was no longer in a leadership position that I was, you know, quote, unquote, just a spouse and, quote, unquote, you know, a dependent and that was difficult. I didn't expect that to be a hard mental transition for me, but it really was.

 

Amanda Huffman  18:41

Yeah, it is. It's really tough. And I felt when we were both active duty the military kind of cared about, like, my career and his career. And, and then I left and they were like, phew, now we don't have to worry about her and I was like, wait, what happened?

 

Charlene Wilde  18:57

Exactly. I felt the same way. Even when I was transitioning out that, you know, now they had this big focus of everyone must go through Soldier for Life, everyone must go through these transition courses, make sure you have your resume ready, make sure you do this. When I got out, it was like, Well, if you want to go go if not then okay. You know, that was really like, Oh, all right, you know, and it was like, Oh, wow. Thank you for that. I just felt that it was just wasn't a big deal at all. And like you said, it was almost like a relief was taken off their back. Right.

 

Amanda Huffman  19:33

Yeah, I think it's changed a lot in the transition space since I left seven years ago. And so and you left about 10 years ago, right. We were pretty close. So I think I think things were starting to change for, but it was the early stages. And I felt really blindsided by like the emotional aspect. I didn't realize how much being an officer in the military was a part of who I am, who I was. And then all of a sudden, I was not that. Did you feel any of that?

 

Charlene Wilde  20:07

Oh, absolutely, absolutely. It was, like I said that transition to the first time I was called the dependent, really kind of threw me off guard and I wasn't ready for that. That all of a sudden I had no vote and things or I was used to being in charge and just making decisions and just doing it and not thinking twice about it. To win the first time we were our first PCs after I got out. Of course, he was gone. And so I was handling things and I was at the, at the office trying to arrange for the movers. And the first time someone said, Oh, you can't do that by yourself. You need your sponsor. And that just threw me. Totally off guard. I didn't know what to do with myself. 

 

Amanda Huffman  20:58

Yeah, when I got my ID card room. nude, it turned into this big drama thing. didn't send the paperwork the way they were supposed to. And then I was like, but all the other times I just would come in and give my ID card and it was like no big deal. And then all of a sudden, I was like, Oh, no, you need your sponsor, and they can't just sign the paperwork. They have to be with you. And I was like, it's just an ID card. No. 

 

Charlene Wilde  21:21

yes, yes. Yeah, that was that was that was really hard for me. And I think that I didn't really grasp that I think, maybe injury like two years later, of really did I really grasp the whole idea of being a dependent and it was okay with it. It took me a couple years to really kind of assimilate, I should say, into being a military spouse from being a military sponsor. So that was definitely a journey I had to take.

 

Amanda Huffman  21:53

Yeah, I think that's a good way to talk about it because I I was really active in my husband spouses group was on active duty and I felt like I was a spouse. But then when I left, and I was like, Oh, these are all these list of challenges that I didn't face because I was in the military. And so it was kind of like I was married someone in the military, but then I had this like, totally different experience, because I wasn't dependent on him the way that you know, the military forces, spouses to be dependent on their anything like it really is like, if you want to get your ID card renewed, you have to go with your spouse to that card office. And when you're moving, and your husband or wife wants you to take care of these things, but you're the you're not the service member. Some of those things you can't do, and they have to do and it really makes it challenging, especially to go from being in the military to not and be like, Oh, this is what I thought it was.

 

Charlene Wilde  22:51

yes, exactly. And I think that was a journey for my husband to because he was just so used to me just you know, just taking care of him. And to where he's like, oh, oh, okay. So that was so you we got through, but it was probably a couple years before I really was comfortable and was confident as a military spouse though and didn't feel awkward.

 

Amanda Huffman  23:15

Now you have transitioned out of being a stay at home mom, and you went back into the workforce. So let's talk a little bit about what that transition was like and how it all happened.

 

Charlene Wilde  23:26

Yeah. And so when we were stationed overseas, I was I was ready to go back to work then. But there was a lack of jobs available. And so but I knew that I needed to do something and so before I actually started working full time, I started doing like home based businesses just to get my feet wet to kind of slowly transition from being a stay at home mom to working. So I did Pampered Chef for a while and I volunteered like crazy, just to keep my mental everything going girl going up. And then when we moved here to Northern Virginia, that that's whenever I really just, it was my full time job to find a job and not just find a job but a career that was meaningful to me. After the long break that I still had a desire to serve my military community in some capacity, and I was determined to do so. And so I went through Fort Belvoir for their stuff center there for that just forgot the name of their center. But they really helped me kind of go that went to all the workshops and helped me build my resume backup and, and through that I did find the AF my where I work now, which is, for me was a perfect fit, because it's a nonprofit that serves only military. And so for me, I was like double score, I get to do something that I believe in. And it was great.

 

Amanda Huffman  24:55

Yeah, that's great. And so that's great that you use The resources on base and that they helped you find a job. Is there any advice you would give someone who's like looking to find a job, especially if they've been out of the workforce for more than five years?

 

Charlene Wilde  25:12

Yeah, it took me a little bit. I would say a good month or so once I decided I was ready to figure out okay, well, how am I what's my game plan here? What's my, how am I going to accomplish this mission? And so it really just took getting your feet on the ground and getting on the computer and I googled, you know, military spouse, I googled what options were available to me. I knew I had these big bases nearby. And so it really just kind of took me you know, just getting past my fear and feeling inadequate because I had been at home for so long once I got past my own fears that I just kind of dove in and, you know, drove to Fort Belvoir because I had found this webpage on their Facebook page like without legs. And so then I just kind of checked it out and said, you know, made myself an appointment and said, you know, really, how do I start here and they have advisors there on post that we're like, sure, you know, we have these workshops, and then they encourage me to start going to just job fairs, just so I could get comfortable talking about myself, and comfortable, you know, knowing what jobs are out there and what careers are available to me. And what I'm really qualified for, because that was a big fear I had was I'm not qualified for anything anymore. Because I've been out of work for so long. They helped me see that No, just because you had a break from you know, you know, quote, unquote, working that you're still very qualified and you know, here's what you can do. And so once I got past my own fears and just kind of got my feet wet, went to job fairs, and when to workshops, and just to get myself mentally back in the game. Yeah, that's great. And do you have the flexibility of being able to take your job with you when you move? Or is that something you're worried about right now? Well, we do an asthma does have a different avenues for that. But the position I'm in now isn't, isn't something that I could definitely I could move with. But what appealed to me at first was that we also have something called spouse link ambassadors, or we hire we have certain bases that you know, are are great for our company. And so we have military spouses that we hire on those to do events for us that they do different tables, different fairs, whatever on different bases that to get our mission out there. And so I knew I was new. That was an option for me that if I decided to leave my current position due to a PCS.

 

Amanda Huffman  27:54

That's awesome that you were able to get that confidence and be able to get a job and Do something that you love. I think that's a great success story and is really cool for people who are maybe discouraged. Or maybe they feel like they can't do it. But then now they know that there's resources, you just have to go out and find them.

 

Charlene Wilde  28:15

You know, and I think that's whenever. And with today's technology to that there, I asked one on Facebook and just kind of searched what resources were there. And I actually found a couple of different Facebook groups that were people that were, you know, career minded military spouses group, and I was like, Oh, this is great. And so I just kind of gathered a lot of their insights of, you know, how they went back to work or how they change jobs when they PCs and, and it was a really great avenue for me to ask questions that you're kind of afraid to ask in person sometimes.

 

Amanda Huffman  28:51

Yeah, it sounds like that's a great resource. I am in a military spouse, entrepreneur group, and it's the same thing like others. military spouses who are entrepreneurs and then you can ask those questions and get support. And I think if you want to work if you want to own your own business, I'll put a link to the Facebook group, male spouse creative, and maybe I can get the Facebook group that you mentioned. So I put that in the show notes so that people can find it because I think being with like minded business owners or people who do want to work in that having that resources are invaluable. And especially because it is digital, and it goes with you and you don't have to find it again every time. Exactly. And then I will mention that another great resource that I found that helped me kind of gain my confidence was the new ISOs that are most military installations. They actually have networking groups that I started attending that you practice talking to another spouse, and you write down like your, your goals on paper and you talk to them about it, almost like a mock interview. And so you're actually practicing getting yourself back out there. And that was really cool. And then they have the coffee connections afterwards where you can practice, you know, talking, talking about yourself, because everyone has to stand up and introduce themselves. And so that was that was a great avenue for me as well. And you. So there, Pathfinder program really just really helps a lot. Yeah, that sounds like a great resource. And I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well. I want to thank you for your time and I wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything. I still have one more question, but I wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything from your time in the military and your transition out and going back to work.

 

Charlene Wilde  30:40

I guess the only thing that I would kind of want to mention is that athma that it was never such a great fit for me. Because they are a not for profit that only serve the military community, you know, through and 45% of our employees or military spouses and natural duty. And so not only do they have a great mission, but they actually support the mission through hiring military spouses and veterans.

 

Amanda Huffman  31:09

That's awesome. And I'll put a link to athma in the show notes so that people can learn more about them as well. Great. Great. And then my last question is, what advice would you give young women who are looking to join the military?

 

Charlene Wilde  31:24

You know, I would tell anybody who's thinking about going on that career path would just to be bold, and to not second guess yourself, if going into the military, something that appeals to you, or just as interesting to you not to be intimidated by you don't have to be a GI Jane to serve in whatever capacity that you can be yourself and, and just to boldly follow your dream.

 

Amanda Huffman  31:50

That's great advice. I think sometimes we have this idea of what it means to be in the military and you're right, you can just be yourself and there's so many opportunities out there. Absolutely. Absolutely. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to share part of your story.

 

Charlene Wilde  32:09

Well, thank you for having me. It's I always enjoy talking about just that time and services encouraging anybody else who's thinking about joining the military or is afraid to go back to work after they've had a break to just just be confident in yourself and to know that we can all serve.

 

Amanda Huffman  32:28

Thank you. All right. Thank you Have a great day. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of women of the military podcast. Do you love all things women on 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 can 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 of 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 a woman of the military podcast team to learn more. All the links on how you can support women in the military podcast are located in the show notes. Thanks again for listening and for your support.