Being an Air Force Nurse – Episode 41
Tracee joined the United States Air Force in 1994, She was part of the Nurse Corps as a clinical nurse she spent 4 years on Active Duty and 3 years in the Reserves. She is currently a registered nurse, public speaker and is married to a service member who is serving in the Air National Guard.
Tracee has a military background. Everyone she knew was Enlisted and she had a dream of becoming a nurse and didn’t think she could serve in the military. But while she was in college, she learned about Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and was shocked to learn about the option to be an officer and have a degree. So, she went and talked to the cadre at her school started with the Army ROTC program, but wasn’t under contract. She liked the Army, but was looking for something different so she commissioned into the Air Force after she graduated.
Air Force Nurse
She began her military career at Andrews Air Force base where she received her initial training as a nurse with the Air Force. She initially was disappointed with the eight-week course. But it ended up helping her transition from school to working at the hospital. She spent a few years at Andrews and then went overseas to Germany to finish out her active duty career.
Then she transitioned out of active duty because she really wanted to try out civilian nursing. But civilian nursing wasn’t what she expected and she missed the military. And then when 9-11 happened she decided to go back to the military and serve in the Reserves. She was stationed in California, but got a job working as a contractor in Japan. Right before she left, she found out she may be deploying. She ended up leaving about six months after arriving in Japan to deploy to Germany to help with anyone coming in from Afghanistan or Iraq with injuries and get them through the medivac system.
From military member to military spouse
While in Japan she met her husband and decided she did not want to be a dual military family so when she finished her 3 years in the Reserves, she transitioned out of the military to become “just” a spouse. We then dived into the challenge’s military spouses face. Tracee couldn’t even pick up packages addressed to her without her husband. And military spouses can feel belittled by the military system with words like dependent to describe them and not being able to do basic things like get your mail.