Being a Single Mother in the Army

My guest today is Teressa Boone. Teressa served 15 years in the U.S. Army. She was medically retired after being diagnosed with combat post-traumatic stress disorder. As a way to begin her healing process, she created Amitza Media Independent – Am I, LLC, an accessible and online establishment to expose the personal matters of U.S. military servicewomen and to bridge the gap between us and our communities by promoting education and unity. Her desire is to reveal realistic and inspirational testimonies through blogs, video, radio, books, uniquely-designed apparel, and community outreach. Ultimately, it’s about bringing awareness to mental health by developing healthier relationships and personal transformation through storytelling.

A 15-month tour to Korea, followed by a year long tour in Iraq. That is what Teressa Boone had to do within the first 5 years of being in the Army. Maybe the two tours that happened with less than two months between them wouldn’t have been so bad.  But Teressa left behind a seven-month-old. Came home to an almost two-year-old. And then returned home after her daughter turned three. The struggle for this single mother during both of these tours was missing those years. Years she never got back.  #army #singleparent #military

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Teressa joined the military as a means of trying to get away from her home in Chicago, Illinois. She didn’t really know anything about the military, but saw it as a way to change her life and took the opportunity. If you want to read more about what led Teressa to join the military and what her home life is like check out her book, Bravely MisEducated: How I Lost My Voice

Boot Camp after 9 days after high school

She headed off to boot camp 9 days after graduating high school with a waiver because she wouldn’t turn 18 for another month. The military and her childhood had a lot of similarities so it was a smooth transition to military life.

She was a logistician and her first assignment was at Ft. Knox. She arrived in the middle of an investigation for a lost M9 and went straight into a place that was on lockdown while searching for the missing weapon.

Shortly after tech school, she became pregnant with her daughter. She liked being out of the weapons area while being pregnant but knows that becoming a single mother at such a young age put a lot of responsibility on her and made her grow up quickly.

Sent to Korea as a new mom

When her daughter was eight months old she was sent to Korea for fifteen months. When she returned home her daughter was almost two years old. She was only home for a few months before having to deploy.

This was a really hard time for Teressa and she actually cried when she found out about the deployment. After being separated from her daughter for so long only to come home and have to leave again was devastating. Even though video technology was beginning to become available she didn’t use it. Partly because it was set times and she was so busy at work she couldn’t do it, but even when she had time her mom didn’t have the technology at home for her to be able to call her.

Cross-training to a new career

At the seven and half year point, she decided to become a Warrant Officer. She thought it would allow her to have more time with her daughter but actually ended up working more and deployed to Afghanistan shortly after cross-training. Afghanistan was hard because she knew the people dying and getting injured. She didn’t know what was wrong and then was sent to Korea. There she had a breakdown and started getting mental health help. She eventually was able to get medically retired from the military.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Episode 1: Why Women of the Military Podcast

Bravely Miseducated: How I lost my voice

Connect with Teressa:

Blog: Amitaz Media Independent

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