My spouse and I were married in 2007, right after he entered active duty, during frequent deployments to Iraq. As a new military spouse, I lived in two places simultaneously: I drove almost three hours in each direction to finish nursing school, 150 miles from my husband’s first duty station. It was an intense time. For two and a half years, I split my weekdays between finishing college and spending time with my spouse when he was not deployed, driving several hours between the two cities, all while navigating a steep learning curve about military culture and the impact of combat deployments on families.
When we decided that my spouse would stay in the Army past his initial commitment, we both worried it would be tough for me to find meaningful work wherever we moved. I started my career in 2010 with the most special privilege of caring for military families at Fort Hood. I understood the challenges these families faced because I, too, experienced them. There, I found my true passion: to support military families. From that point forward, I knew that supporting military-connected families would be the focus of my career.
When I started with AFSC/Magellan Federal in 2014, I was amazed at how much the leadership understood the challenges I had overcome to be a working nurse amid my spouse’s military career. I’ve worked with Magellan Federal to support military families at three Army installations, and now I have the privilege of working remotely.
I’m very grateful to have found an organization that values my contributions to the military community and creates space for me to support the military community professionally. Now, I can use my nursing experience caring for military families to teach other professionals how to support this unique population. I have the honor of supporting counselors and therapists who will be caring for my community—my military-connected “extended family”—all over the world.