Welcome to episode 12 of Women of the Military Podcast. Today’s guest is Susie Wilcox. I found Susie through a blog post on How to Milspouse where she shared her experience as a Marine and military spouse. After reading her story I knew I needed to have her as a guest on the podcast.
On the advice of a friend who had joined the Marines a few years before Suzie started looking into the military. He urged her to join the Air Force, but she was strong-willed and independent. She walked straight past the Air Force recruiter’s office and joined the Marines, she was at MEPS four days later. Susie joined the Marine Corps in August 1999. She served four years on active duty in the Corps. Her military occupation was water purification. Nowadays she is a mother of four teenagers, a yoga instructor and runs her blog, Susan Leda – Dishes are not for the faint of heart.
She deployed when her boys were 2 and almost 1. She was part of the initial invasion into Iraq. Her team arrived in Kuwait and it was just a desert. The Engineering team which she was a part of worked to build the base up. It went from dirt to a functioning military base when they left a few months later to head into Iraq. She was only able to communicate back home twice. One time was a planned call home and the second time was when she got a red cross message that her grandfather had passed away. Because of where she was, she was unable to leave Iraq to head home. She talked about coming home and her one year old not remembering who she was and how much time it took to rebuild that bond. And she also talked about how much her two year old was affected by him leaving. He had a hard time letting her leave after arriving back home. Part of the reason she left the Marines when it was time to reenlist was that she didn’t have the support network she needed.
Susan found herself in the military. She was able to excel and learned a lot. And after leaving the military she was able to look at life with a different perspective.
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