Women of the Military

The Importance of Military Friendships

Episode Summary

Military friendships are what get us through some of the hardest situations. This week Jean is talking about her experience in the military. And one of the things she credits to getting through her first-year deployment is her roommate and friend that she is still friends with to this day.

Episode Notes

Jean joined the military at seventeen

After growing up in Hawaii and seeing the military presence and the fact that her dad and uncles had served. It was also a way to gain independence and get away from a toxic environment at home. She also knew that she would be able to get college paid for after serving in the military. 

She began drilling with the National Guard in Feb of her senior year of high school and attended boot camp that summer after hen she graduated. She thought she was going on active duty, but then when she came back from boot camp, she understood the difference between active duty and National Guard. And decided to make the transition from National Guard to active duty.

Off to Iraq without military friendships

When she arrived at her first base on active duty, she found out she would be deploying within her unit within 30 days of arriving on station. She didn’t feel connect to anyone because she had just arrived. It wasn’t until they were doing training in Kuwait she started to build military friendships. They went to Kuwait and then Iraq. She talked about being young and unprepared mentally for what war would be like. Her deployment was a year long and it felt like a really long time. 

Coming home from deployment was a difficult transition. She talked about how hard it was to stay connected with family and culture back home. There were MWR phone centers and computers, but she had to squeeze in time to find a way to get there. She often chose sleep over a long walk in the sun to the MWR tent. Luckily, through the deployment military friendships developed and she was able to connect with others to help deal with the stress of being deployed. 

Leaving Active Duty for Reserves

She transitioned to the Reserves and moved back to California after her service commitment was up. The transition to Reserves was interesting because the culture in the military was do different. She was also dealing with the guilt of not deploying with her unit. Her boyfriend was deployed with the unit and she heard what was happening. It was hard to not be there. 

She and her husband were both able to use the Post 9-11 GI Bill to get their degrees while serving in the Reserves. They both able to be home to take care of their son. But they still relied on their family care plan to ensure they could meet their Reserve requirements. Luckily, her sister in law in Maryland was able to fill that role. It was complicated, but having a safe place for her son made it worth the trip to Maryland. 

Today and the Future

She is currently in the IRR so she can finish her masters and is working toward going back into the Reserves to finish out her commitment to retirement after she graduates. She is working a few different avenues on how she will be going back into the Reserves. 

Currently, she works for a large non-profit in the Mental Health services area and is working to get licensed as a social worker and provides coaching on the weekends. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Connect with Jean:


Mentioned in this Episode:

Pamela Chavez (Being Stop-Lossed in the Army)

Related Episodes: 

Leading From the Front – Episode 28

The Challenge of OTS – Episode 85

What Branch Should I Join – Episode 82

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Kevin Barba

Episode Transcription

Amanda Huffman  00:00

Welcome to Episode 97 of the Women of the Military Podcast. This week my guest is Jean Brunson. She is a first-generation American who served in the Army. She joined the Army at 17 and served for 16 years between active duty reserves and IRR. She has been working in the mental health field for the past six years and received a masters of social work from USC and military mental health and has worked with veterans who have been diagnosed with invisible injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, and military sexual trauma. In today's interview we talked about her experience of being in Iraq, the challenge of being dual military, and her transition out of the military is another great interview. So let's get started. 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, Jean. I'm excited to have you here.


Jean Brunson  01:41

Thank you. I'm excited to be here as well. Thank you so much.


Amanda Huffman  01:44

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


Jean Brunson  01:48

I decided to join when I was 17. I grew up in Hawaii, and there's a lot of military presence there. But then, you know, my dad's in the military. I have uncles that served as well. But it was more so of a way for me to want to gain independence. And during the time, my senior year, there was a lot of like home stuff going on, you know, so it just was a it was very toxic environment. My mom was married to her ex husband at the time. And I mean, I knew I always wanted to go to college, but trying to go to college and live in a toxic place was definitely not going to happen. And so like one day, I went into my counselors at my guidance counselor's office and she's like, why don't you take that as bad? You know, they haven't every Saturday at six o'clock in the morning. I'm like really, really Miss Allen. And so I just gave it a whirl. And yeah, I mean, I score I just took it I didn't even study and then a little you know how they are their recruiters. They just get your information and they start to call you and you know, I got calls from the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps, the Army, the Air Force. So yeah, I really joined as a way to get away from home, but also gain my independence. And I knew that there was a way to get college paid for I think at the time was Montgomery. So the Montgomery GI Bill was going on at that time. So those are my reasons.


Amanda Huffman  02:57

Yeah, that makes sense. So this was all going on during high school. And then how quickly after you graduated high school, did you head off to boot camp?


Jean Brunson  03:05

So I actually joined the National Guard when I was 17. I joined in February 2004. So I was drilling while I was still in high school. And honestly, I really didn't know nothing about the military. I just was like, Alright, let me go. So I joined the National Guard at 17. I was drilling and then that summer August, I went to boot camp as projected in South Carolina. But I told my recruiter I'm like, Well, let me have this summer. So when a party with my friends and have a good time, you know, I'm like, Alright, we have August because they were looking to ship me out like the day after I graduated from high school. So it wasn't until August that I went to boot camp, but I was already drilling from February until then.


Amanda Huffman  03:44

Yeah, a lot of the people I talked to who enlisted in high school, they go like right after graduation. So that was pretty smart that you were like, my last summer hanging out with my friends. Yeah. So did you stay in the National Guard as us on active duty? 


Jean Brunson  04:01

I went back to do so when I got back. And that's the thing. Like it wasn't really explained to me. And I think during that time it was during the time when they're just trying to ramp up for the war and just get people in. And so I was on the idea that I was going to be active duty, but that's not what it was. So I came back and then I drilled for a few more months. I think it was like back in the guard. I stayed in the guard for about six months. I wrote a letter to the SAR major than California National Guard. They conditionally released me they released me and then I went active duty and then from active duty. I went to Fort Hood. I was stationed with the quartermaster unit and went and then I was there for 30 days and got my CIF issued and was downrange within a month


Amanda Huffman  04:40

Wow, that's crazy.


Jean Brunson  04:44

Yeah, yeah. 


Amanda Huffman  04:45

They're like, welcome to Texas. And now you're going to...



That's exactly what it was. They're like, you know, we're deploying right? And I was like, like, next year they're like, No, no, no, no, in 30 days I'm playing. So once I got there, I had to Catch up with everybody else, you know, with medical and getting everything in order. I mean, I really didn't get to know my platoon and two we were in Kuwait. So I mean, they would see me checking out for me PT formation, things like that. But it wasn't until we got to Kuwait that I actually really started to make bombs with people.


Amanda Huffman  05:17

And what year was it when you went to Kuwait? Was that for the spin up of the Iraq war? Or...



Yeah, so I went so we went to I went in 2000, October 2005. We went to Kuwait we went down to gearing I think we're there for like three weeks I do that little training get familiarized when we got in theater, and then we didn't go down to Iraq into later on in October. So we went to Kuwait for a little bit stayed there did mock up trainings that they had and convoy trainings. And then from Kuwait, we went to Iraq.


Amanda Huffman  05:49

And how long were you in Iraq?


Jean Brunson  05:51

A year. We were there for a full year?


Amanda Huffman  05:53

And what was that experience like? You were, you were really young, because you had just graduated, and you didn't really know your unit very well. So what was that experience?



Like? You know, I was just having a talk with one of my friends, actually, she's an Air Force veteran, too. She's in my company I work for, but it's really weird to think back like being so young, like, I remember like, the buses picking us up and you know, as being yelled at not to look up the curtains and, and then when we got there, we finally like grounded on our gear, and it was just hot. And it's like Tent City, you really don't even know like what you're walking into. I don't even think it like settles in that you're like going to war, you know. And so that experience was really long, I will say that, I don't know that I could have done it now as a mom. Like, I see my counterparts and my friends go through being deployed. And I mean, even my sister, she's that she was in the Navy for eight years. So she was in and out to see with her, you know, with her being a mom and stuff. So it was really tough. There's a lot of a lot of like, mental, like, a lot of mental breakdowns. I would say for anyone that does me a lot of people. And I think there are some times where you get a little complacent, you know, and because you've been there for a year, you kind of just develop a routine and get used to the sounds and things like that and becomes a habitual thing. But for the most part, the friend that I have till today, she was my roommate, she was probably one of the reasons why, like, I really made it back and stayed sane and get didn't get, try not to get depressed and stuff like that, you know, I mean, it's a year is a long time. I don't think we really capture that. And when you're there and you're like counting down the days, like, it doesn't go by any quicker. You know, and I know, you know, so it's like, come on 2006 where are you at? You know?


Amanda Huffman  07:37

Yeah, I had a countdown. I remember that. What was your job. I skipped over that. So it was your job when you were in the army.



So when I was in I mean, I was a feeler I've been with Quartermaster unit. So we did like bulk fuel, or in Iraq. Our mission was both fuel. But we did ECP, tower guard. We also did the aviation missions. So yeah, I was a feeler 92 Fox, and then the unit that I was with was the quartermaster unit tracking unit. And then my last unit that I was with was aviation unit. And that was, that was very different for me just coming from line platoons. And then being around a bunch of like, brass, you know, just pilots and captains and lieutenants and their main mission is just to medivac people. So that was really nice. And, and to be honest, it was like a lot of respect for the things that they have to do sort of just like, the amount of rest they have to get and the training that goes into them being pilots like, yeah, it's a lot.


Amanda Huffman  08:37

Yeah. So did you have to run any convoys when you were in Iraq? Or was your mission on this?



Our first sergeant at the time, like his main mission was I we came with 200 bodies, he wanted to leave, but there was a couple people that got selected to do special missions with the other units that were there. But he really wanted us to focus on keeping job security, just keeping everyone safe. So you know, we had multiple, like, guard, there was a lot of there was a pretty good amount of towers out there and ECP control.


Amanda Huffman  09:09

Yeah, so you went into Iraq, you built friendships with like your roommate and other people and then you came back and what was it like to come back to the States after being gone for a year?


Jean Brunson  09:21

I think...you kind of feel lost. Like, you know, everyone I mean, I guess now I can see it like everyone's still living and everyone's lives are still going on. But there's things that you don't you know, you're just not used to like different songs, different music, popular culture. I know there was like a time when I came back and like you never heard this song and I'm like, No, I've been gone for like a year. I don't I don't even know what this is. Right? So I think really having the grasp your mind around like, wow, I was really gone for a year. And then when I got back, it was really tough to like sleep. I didn't even recognize how horrible my sleep was or that I wasn't sleeping and I think When you're downrange, you're really ramped up. Like, there is no sleep cycle. You know, you're even though if we did 12 on 12 off, like when you're 12 off, you're trying to get those other things done. You're trying to get your laundry done, maybe answer some emails, if you can get to the end of VR. I mean, when I went, we still had to walk to the phone, what was called the phone centers, or the MWR, we had to buy like a phone card and things like that. So, you know, there'll be months when I wouldn't even really like talk to my family because I'm like, do I want to walk in 1000 degrees or do I want to get this rest because I don't want to be tired while I'm out there like garden, the base and stuff like that. So it was tough coming back, I would say.


Amanda Huffman  10:39

Yeah, and I think the transformation of technology and like, when I got to the base, we just had the MWR tents for that individual computers. But then when I left, they had WiFi. And it was like brand new. So exciting to have WiFi.


Jean Brunson  10:58

Wow, crazy. That is crazy. Like I had I remember like having to go to friends. And who had laptops at the time and ask them if I could like upload music to mp3 player because I just needed some music. You know, while I'm like on duty or at the gym. I remember people like carrying like CD players. Like it was it was so crazy.


Amanda Huffman  11:21

And the music, I think when I was at Bahgram, I went on the bus and there was like music. And I was like, I never heard this before. I was like, you just had whatever music you left with. Yeah, yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, it's kind of like you're in a time warp where like, everything is going on back home, but like, you feel like your life is just standing still trying to get through. Yeah, and then you come back, and you're like, oh, life still happening. Just not for me.


Jean Brunson  11:52

Um, but I just also feel too, right. Like, being that young. And being out there, like you really don't really know, like, you're really forced to grow up fast, like making these decisions and sort of being being an adult, like you're you're required to arrive at this moment of being an adult. And I don't know that people realize the severity, that they're asking us, you know, maybe as teenagers to pay, you need to be even though you need to be at the right place at the right time. You're now going into a war zone. And it's still hard to capture your mind, like, get your mind surrounded, you know, with that. And so yeah, that was tough. Like, wow, like, we're really in Iraq, like this is really going on, you can look out and see these people like in their houses, like, That's scary, you know, like, you're sort of like a sitting target. And you know, the armies at the time, like you can't engage if even if you see them doing anything suspicious. So it was definitely rough to just be out there looking at it, you know,


Amanda Huffman  12:57

It's really hard. So what happened after you got home? Did you stay at Fort Hood? Or did you move to a new base or what have you?



I stayed at Fort Hood until 2008. And then I ETSed out and then I went into the reserves. So then I came back to California, where my mom was at, and then I went, and then I stayed reserved the whole time after that, Oh, yeah. And then that's when I got introduced to a new culture of reservists. Like, you know, being on active duty is one thing, and there's certain standards and this and that, and being squared away. But like when you come to the reserves, it's it's its own culture as well, like, definitely, they wear the uniform, but you have people who are managing two jobs, two careers, you know, so they have their civilian side of the house, where they're managing this, and then are their nurses or their directors. And then on the weekends are one weekend, a month, three, three weeks out a year, which I found out later on, you know, their sergeants, their captains are the tenants. So it was really, it was really eye opening for me, because I know, sort of, like on active duty, you know, we pride ourselves like we, you know, their weekend warriors and this and that, but it wasn't until like, I joined the reserves, or I transferred into the reserves that I realized the sacrifices that they make as well. Some of them get deployed, and they don't know anyone in their unit, you know, but they get cooled because they have that MOS that that unit might need, or that command might need. And I also see the value in still wanting to serve but still also wanting to accomplish different goals on the outside of the Army, you know, I mean, so the reserves definitely afforded me that opportunity as well, later on, which I didn't know until, you know, I grew up and stuff like that.


Amanda Huffman  14:38

So you went from active duty to the reserves and did you like doing that transition, like slowly stepping away from the military instead of like, totally, away.



It was tough at first because so my, my husband, he was my boyfriend at the time. He got deployed with the unit that I got to play with the unit and I didn't get stopped lossed. And so that's why I got out. And I was like, Well, if they don't stop loss me, then I need to go home, I need to go and help my mom and things like that. So having to sort of make that decision to pivot. my military career was definitely tough. You know, I was up for promotion, and I had went to the board. So having him downrange with the unit that and my platoon that I knew super tough, and I think it was like a also a feeling of guilt, like, you know, like, why should have been with them, I should have did this. And then when you hear like, your battle buddies and stuff down range on convoys, and you're getting injured and medivaced, and stuff like that, again, it starts to settle in and you're like, Damn, I should have been there. I should have did that. And, and I know you can relate to this, too. And many of us can admit just sort of like that culture. Like you're taking care of the person to the left and right of you, you know what I mean? So...


Amanda Huffman  15:53

Yeah, yeah, that would be a really hard transition. And you mentioned stop loss. And that's when you get deployed overseas even thought your commitments over and you have to stay unitl you're home.



Like, Oh, no, you're not No, no, we're just gonna extend you. Yeah, that's what we're gonna do. 


Amanda Huffman  16:12

My guest, Pamela Chavez earlier. Last year, she talked about it. And then I was like, Oh, that's what stuff last. I heard the term but I didn't know. I was like, that's kind of jacked.


Jean Brunson  16:25

Yeah, we're bad. All my first deployment people were mad.


Amanda Huffman  16:30

Yeah. So you were able to get out, but then you still felt really connected. Your boyfriend now husband was overseas. And yeah, that'd be like a lot of moving pieces and a lot of like, emotional stuff.



When I got to the reserves, I got a two year stabilization letter, so I didn't have to deploy. But when I got there, they got orders that following January to go down to Afghanistan. So it was still like I was on active duty, because here I am transferring out into the reserves to go to school. And then now I'm becoming their rear Dini. And so I'm doing all their paperwork, and I'm going on all their trainings, entertaining wise, because they need personnel to fall into the rear and take care of them while they ramp up for for Afghanistan. So deployment, I mean, especially during that time deployment was common. You know, I think now, the military seems to have slowed down a bit, but back then it was just like, everyone was going thanks. Your chances of being home was not.


Amanda Huffman  17:35

That's true. Yeah. Yeah, I'd applied in 2010. And everybody was going, Oh, yeah. Yeah. So were you able to go to school? Or were you so busy helping with the deployment in the back office, that you weren't able to do that? Or we just really busy?



Yeah, so I was able to go to school. And when I went into the reserves, and I started school, actually, when I got out, I went to cosmetology school first, and I was like, wow, you know, I really loved hair and makeup and things of that sort. And then it was midway through my Cosmo school that I had got pregnant with my son, me and my husband, were about to have my son and I also enrolled into Junior College. So I went to a JC before I transferred to San Diego State. So yeah, so I graduated from Cosmo school, I got licensed. So I'm a licensed cosmetologist. And then I had my son and then I transferred over to San Diego State and and I was still in the reserves at the time. So it was definitely a lot of moving pieces. But I also am one of those planners that I need, like planning Plan B Plan C plans. No. That's because when you transition out of the military, there's definitely no like, manual or there's no cure step one, or step two here. Step three, here's what you need to do visit the VA do these things, there was none of that. A lot of the word of mouth, from other veterans, other people that I encountered, and other like people that I served within the reserves that came off active duty as well. So it was it was definitely a good transition in the in the sense that I always want to go to college and I still wanted to serve in the military. And I was becoming a mom. So I was able to become a parent and go to school, and you know, and then my husband was transit he was starting to transition out of active duty. So it was really good.


Amanda Huffman  19:27

Yeah, sounds like a lot but sounds like you were it was good for you. So he got out of the military after he got home from his deployment? Did he transition to the reserves or just get out?



I encouraged them because you know, he still wanted to serve. And again, you know, during that time, he was a chef now he's all going to cook so he was like you know, they I don't know that I'm ready to stop serving and I was like, you know, while I'm in the reserves, and here's what you can expect. It is totally different from active duty. You You can still be high speed, but you also need to recognize that a lot of the soldiers have not been active duty. So there's a different type of lifestyle for reservists versus activities. So yeah, so he transitioned into reservists. And then he went to school as well both use the GI Bill, which thankfully was around post 911. It was it was, it was nice. It was nice to have sort of that break, but also be able to just focus on your education.


Amanda Huffman  20:25

So you guys use the post 911 GI Bill. And it worked really nicely with both of you because they give you a BAH stipend they've been paid for. Yeah. Yeah.


Jean Brunson  20:38

Especially here Sunday. And then. And then the unique thing about this is sort of, like I mentioned, I was pregnant with my son. So it definitely allowed us a time to be home with him. So we worked our schedule out where like, there was days, my husband will go to school that I would be home. And so you could build your schedule. And it was nice, because so my son had like a really good secure attachment. He always had mom and dad around him very seldomly would grandma step in, or Auntie step in, but for the most part, it was me and my husband raising our son. And, you know, and there were times when we had annual training on the same days, because we're under the same Battalion, but different companies. And so, again, you know, much like dual military, we figured it out. And our family care plan was definitely my sister in law who lived in Maryland, so my husband, he'd go fly my son to Maryland, and then I'd go and pick my son up, you know, so it was like a tag team effort. And I don't know that people even think about that when when you think like dual military, you know, are in the reserves? Like, that's not tough? Like, no, it there were times where like, Jesus, how are we even going to manage like, a final having to fly this kid across the country, so that it to a safe place, and then come back, finish the final and then go to 80 for the next three weeks, you know, or Well, actually like a month, because you need a time to like, unwind, and then go back and fly out there to pick my son up. So kudos to my sister in law. She she's she's my eight, one. And I thought, you know, I don't think anyone can serve without support, especially as a parent, you know?


Amanda Huffman  22:12

Yeah, that's a really good point. I think that a lot of people don't think about how dual military are not just active duty, but dual military reservist or National Guard's and like how you have to figure that out. And like you said, like, having to fly to Maryland to drop off. That's crazy. But it makes sense. Because that's military life. Yeah.


Jean Brunson  22:36

Yeah. And I and I definitely have friends that are like, you know, you don't you don't feel guilty like leaving him there. I'm like, No, like, I think he's gonna be in a safe environment. My sister in law has three kids. So she's been doing this three times longer than I have. She sent me photos we have at that time, you know, we had baselines, it just started, I was like, I feel very confident in her parenting skills. And I know that if anything, she she won't hold that. And so now because of that my son goes to Maryland every summer, because he looks forward to that, or his cousin's come here.


Amanda Huffman  23:09

Right? Yeah, that makes sense. So how long did you serve in the Reserves?



So I served in a reserve for 2008, to 2016. And then from 2016. And so just recently, I went into the IRR, to finish my master's degree. Again, I just wanted to really focus in on school and during my bachelor's program, you know, I was kind of set back a couple semesters because I had to go to att and things like that. And so yeah, and so actually, recently, I've been talking to the retention NCO to see what some of my options are to come back in and commission as an officer, um, because I definitely want to finish up my time. And, you know, I mean, I feel like there's a lot of benefits to to serving and and if you can finish your time and your body's able to do it, then why not?


Amanda Huffman  24:02

Yeah, that sounds really cool. So are you in the process of doing your packet for OTS?



Yeah, so I am talking through a contract right now. There's two options. So I definitely am either going to go back as a enlisted and then reclass another MLS and then drop my packet, maybe a year 18 months later, or I'm going to apply for the social work program that the Army has, it's called the swit program. It's a pretty small program I applied last year and I didn't get it. But I i've been encouraged, you know, from friends, and so just reapply again and my recruiter as long as I just reapply, you never know. And as we both know, like mental health has sort of become a really big theme in the military and they're always looking for for social workers in mental or Behavioral Health Officers. So we'll see what what happens. I mean, either way, like, I'm kind of like in a good place where I can choose the path. It's not like when I was 17 Where they just stuck me in a feelers lot. Nothing wrong with being a feeler like I love that job. But I think where I'm at right now is ready for a new a new transition and to learn a new skill.


Amanda Huffman  25:11

Yeah, that makes sense. I think sometimes when you're enlist, especially when you like don't really know what you're doing which I feel like there's so many people you're like, that's just the recruiters like, yeah that cron job. You're like, wait, why did you sign me up?


Jean Brunson  25:27

But the truth? Oh my god, yes, yes, that was me. I'm one of them. So but it's all good. I mean, I mean, no, I mean, I met great people. It's like, I can never complain about that.


Amanda Huffman  25:37

Yeah, that's really cool that you're in the process of going back in and finishing. And that's really cool that you can step away and then go back. I never really thought, like, obviously, the doors not closed forever on military. But that's just something to keep in mind. Like, you can step away. And then if life changes, and you need to go back, but it's an option. Do that. So that's pretty cool. Thank you. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about what you're doing today. What are you doing today?


Jean Brunson  26:09

Well, I'm home now because of COVID. But, you know, the safe and stay. So right now I work for a really a big nonprofit in the veteran and military sector. And I'm one of their mental health specialists there. So I facilitate groups, there's male veterans, all male veteran groups, all female veterans and couples groups. And so for the male and female veterans were really focused on sort of rebuilding that camaraderie, teaching them coping skills, how to thrive, despite stress, and other variables that may come in your life. So really teaching them how to be resilient to sort of incorporating and transitioning into civilian lifestyle, if you will, with our couples, we're re engaging them or reconnecting them. So sort of building like their friendship level, and teaching them really good conflict management skills. And then we do talk about some ways that maybe previous trauma may bleed over into the relationship now, or are helping some of the spouses who may not have served or had any military connection, really understand their spouse and what they might have went through during their military service. So that's sort of like the what I do in a nutshell, with the organization that I'm with. And I these groups are really ran pretty monthly. And they're, they happen all throughout the United States. They're free to the veterans and their family members on we just ask that they show up with an open mind, I'm ready to have fun, where we do them outdoors, rain, snow, summertime, it really doesn't matter. Like, we're really getting back to getting outside. But also, it has like a recreational therapy component to it. So it's really nice. And then, because I'm also a military social worker, I am also working on becoming licensed. So on the, on my weekends, I see clients one on one individually, and families and couples as well, to get my clinical licensure. So that's also fun as well. So if they're looking for that, they can definitely find me on LinkedIn, or on Facebook, and ask, you know, we can get talking and do some some assessments and see, you know, what kind of therapy you're looking for.


Amanda Huffman  28:40

Yeah, that sounds great. That's, that's a really great resource, especially for people who need it. So that's a good, that's a good thing to let people know about. That's awesome. Yeah, for sure. Is there anything else from your military experience or from your time, even going forward back into the military that you wanted to talk about that we missed?


Jean Brunson  29:09

No. I mean, I think for the most part, I had a really good run. You know, what I will say to female veterans or maybe females that are thinking about joining the military is definitely have the confidence to stick up for yourself and stand up for yourself. It is a it is a man's world sometimes, but that doesn't mean you know, you don't have to speak up right like I think there there were times when because a lot of you know my job MLS was definitely male dominated that I wish I would have woken up and said things opposed to letting it roll off my back. And if there are things or comments that make you feel uncomfortable, definitely speak up, you know, or find someone that you feel safe enough to share, share this information with and don't hold on to it.


Amanda Huffman  29:55

Yeah, that's really good advice. I think sometimes being the minority. It feels Like it's just easier to go with the flow. But if you're uncomfortable or if you don't like what's happening you, you don't have to take it and you can speak up and and find someone if you've if you feel like you need to that you. Yeah, that's great advice. Thank you so much for your time and for your advice for Well, just for mental health and for young women and women who are currently serving in the military. I really appreciate it.


Jean Brunson  30:26

Thank you for having me. This is This was fun.


Amanda Huffman  30:32

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