Welcome to episode seven of Women of the Military Podcast. In today’s episode, your host Amanda Huffman interviews Ashley Metesh-McCoy.
Ashley grew up as a military brat. She served in the Army National Guard while attending college and participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. While doing this she was able to combine her Montgomery GI Bill and ROTC scholarship to graduate from college with almost no debt.
Off to Afghanistan
Her guard unit was mobilized to deploy shortly after she graduated from college. She was not slated to deploy since she was still at training for her job as a new 2d Lt. When her unit had almost completed training her boss asked if she would be willing to go she said yes and a day after Christmas, she found herself headed to Fort Sill to prepare to deploy to Afghanistan.
When she arrived in Afghanistan she found herself tasked to the S1 (Personnel) shop. After getting the unit up and running she was ready to do something else. She was able to get assigned to a Human Intelligence Exploitation Team (HUMINT) team. In this job, she was able to go out and see different parts of Afghanistan and felt she was making an impact. She also helped to hand out and collect shoes to girls and boys in Afghanistan that she saw on missions outside the wire.
Coming Home from War
Upon coming home from Afghanistan, she struggled to find a job in the civilian world. Her only job experience after college was going to Afghanistan and with a recession and being unable to translate the work, she did overseas she struggled to transition back to civilian life.
This episode talked specifically about the way that viewing the world after a deployment can be dark and black and white. We dived deep into the loss of purpose and the struggle to find meaning after spending time overseas. This episode talked about so many things I experienced but hadn’t been able to put into words. I am so thankful for Ashley’s willingness to share her story. I hope this episode can help those struggling with coming home. And hopefully, help military spouses and significant others understand some of what happens inside the head of a service member upon coming home.
Ashley loves bringing people closer through unique travel experiences. To her, travel is an opportunity to grow individually and in relationships through shared experiences in new cultures. Ashley is a US Army Veteran, mom of a curious and energetic four-year-old daughter, wife of an Army Soldier, dog lover, foodie, self-proclaimed artist, and empathetic soul. Through her business and volunteer activities, she is always seeking ways to give back to the military community.
Learn more about Ashley here: Kinship Vacations
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