The Life of a Satellite Communications Airman

Angela served in the United States Air Force from 1998 – 2014. She worked in Satellite Communications for most of her career. After retiring from active duty, she became an attorney in Florida. 

Listen to the whole episode here.

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The Life of a Satellite Communications Airman Episode 63

Amanda: Let’s dive in with, why did you decide to join the military?

Angela: Oh, gosh. Seemed like it was like a lifetime ago when that happened. A lot of times it feels like I’m talking about somebody else and I don’t know if other people feel that way, but, uh, military service was so long ago. I was 19 and I realized pretty quickly after graduating high school at 17, that, you know, in my small town, there just weren’t a lot of options for careers.

And, uh, one day I was at the mall as most kids my age did about that time of year and ran into a recruiter and started talking. And then, uh, you know, after a few starts and stops, uh, finally just took the plunge and said, please get me out of here before I change my mind. And the rest was history. 

Amanda: So did you pick the Air Force or was that just the recruiting office that you happen to go?

Angela: Well, for me, I initially considered going into the Marine Corps, and it may sound shallow, but I thought their uniforms look really nice and especially all the guys. But I had initially considered the Marine Corps and I did speak with them at, uh, at length and I spoke with the Army briefly.

Then, when I walked in a walk past the Air Force recruiter one day and struck up a conversation. And, after hearing from him, I thought that may be where I needed to go. And it just sounded like a, a better option for where I was and what I wanted to do after the military. So, Air Force wasn’t my initial, this is what I want to do, this is where I’m going to be.

But I think once I made the decision to go, it was, it was really what was best for me. That’s it. That’s good that you try the different ones and got a little bit of information and maybe one of my Marine guests, she said you should go Air Force was her advice to women,

http://www.airmantomom.com/women-of-the-military-ebook/

Amanda: How did your career start? You went off to boot camp. So was it at Lackland Air Force base?

Angela: Yeah, that’s right. I started out, I showed up at Lackland Air Force base and me and, uh, probably about 45 of my closest female friends, spent the next six and a half weeks together.

We had all-male TI’s, (training instructors) and, so they were usually not allowed up into the barracks after a certain time in the evening. So that allowed for a lot of bonding time with the girls. And, from there I went across the street to Medina, the training base across the way there and, uh, went into electronic principles.

And then off to Fort Gordon, which is an Army post in Augusta, Georgia, where I spent several months there learning about wideband and satellite communications and, uh, then went onto my first duty station in the panhandle of Florida. So that was my first real taste of Florida in the panhandle. 

Amanda:  Were you at Tyndall Air Force base?

Angela: Eglin. 

Amanda: I had a 50, 50 shot. 

Angela: One of my classmates was, I think we have one that had orders to Korea and one had orders to Shaw in South Carolina. and I believe one went to Minot. I think out of all of them, I think I won out for sure.

Amanda: So what do you do in like satellite communication? What part of your job can you talk about that? 

Angela: The biggest thing that we did from there was one when I first reported to Eglin, I was part of a wideband shop, it was wideband and Satcom together, but they had wideband crews and Satcom crews and the wideband crew basically did point to point communications.

So it was Microwave. You think about microwave towers that are only, you know, say 50 feet high and they just transmit, end to end and you have, usually telephones, just real primitive communications from there. At least when I did that, then I transferred over to the Satcom crew where we did more satellite-based stuff.

So it was, taking all of the phone lines and internet and things like that, trunking it together, and then shooting up into space, and then they distant end would, you know, bring it down through amplifiers and whatnot, and then they take it back out to the end-user. That’s kind of the, it’s the layman’s version of what it was, there’s a whole lot more complicated with, you know, all the different, terms and terminology that they use for that.

But that was basically what it was. 

Amanda: So you were in, in 1998 and like that was like the early stages of like all that sort of technology. I mean, space stuff had been around for a while, but it started to change a lot. And like the late nineties, early two thousand. So like, did you see any big changes over your career on like how much the satellite took over or was they always a big part to play communication do you think?

Angela: As the world changed and we became more involved in a lot of other areas of the world, I think satellite took a more of a front seat where before point to point and microwave communications were more of the standard. I remember I can remember going from a certain cable type with our microwave systems to fiber.

So I got to see a lot of the fiber stuff coming on board a lot more. And that was a pretty niche area at the time. So when you got to learn a lot about that, it was kind of like, you had a secret that a lot of people didn’t have because the older, I say older, but the more seasoned technicians had dealt more with the ground-pounding kind of communications. The basic telephones and things like that.

Then we started dealing more with a fiber communications long haul and things like that. So I’ve, I think BNN during that time was really fascinating and seeing how things were changing and things were growing. But then also with the way the Air Force was at that time, we were on the heels of 9/11 and there was a whole lot of, joining fields, pairing down forces and things that made keeping up with all the terminology, the technology, and being able to keep our communications footprints small and compact in the theater. I think it made it really challenging, but, it also made us really self-reliant when it came to dealing with, you know, kind of the fly by the seat of your pants ordeals that we were handling. 

Amanda: Yeah. That sounds like it would be really interesting to know all the technical details. So how long were you in Florida? 

Angela:So the first time, or when I was in the panhandle, I was up there for just a couple of years. then right at 9/11, I, PCSed or change stations and went to Korea. 

So while everyone else was here stateside, reeling from the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, flight 93. I was learning any language in Korea and had no idea what was going on back here. And at that point, a lot of the comm systems were down. So it was kind of hard to get information back to the States. And more to that fact, my, my parents didn’t know for the first couple of days if I’d even arrived in Korea safely.

So they weren’t. Yeah, they were grounding planes left and right. So nobody really knew who was where and what was happening. And, this, it made for a crazy time, which I’m sure you, uh, you can attest to that as well. 

Amanda: Yeah. That’s really, so you were in the middle of like, moving to Korea right around when September 11th happened, and so, yeah.

And that, that would just be, I was saying side effect, but that’s not the word I’m looking for. But you know, that’s like one of the things that happened that I think people don’t really realize like if you were moving or traveling during that time like all those planes were grounded and technology wasn’t as good as it is today.

And I don’t even know if it was as good as it is today if there would still be ways that you couldn’t really get ahold of people. So that’s an interesting situation. So your parents were probably worried about you?

Angela: A little bit, I think. and you know, that one of the first things they did, of course, was they shut down a lot of bases because they’re trying to figure out, you know, kind of what was going on, what’s the response?

How do we handle this? Which I think was, uh, the, the fast-acting, you know, from a military perspective in protecting all of the, uh the infrastructure that we had. I think it was, it was good on them for that, but at the same time, for someone who had just arrived and in Korea, and, they shut down the base.

And so more to that fact, my primary supervisor lived in off base housing. Well, it was, it was base housing, but it was located off post, He couldn’t get on base to let people know, Hey, she’s here. And I just happened to run into one of our admin girls. She had stopped back by the door to pick up some stuff to take back to the squadron.

And I come walking out of my room, I’m like, uh, hi. And she’s like, Oh, you’re our new person. Come with me. And I’m like, Oh, okay. Do you know what’s going on? Is this a joke? And so she’s like, yeah, no, not a joke. It’s like, that was mean. I thought everybody had just left me and I was awful. But I survived. Everybody survived.

So we were, we were good. But it took a few days before everything started making sense. 

Amanda: Yeah. Well, it’s really interesting. Fascinating. So you were in Korea for a year?

Angela: I spent a glorious year in South Korea. You know, I really enjoyed the experience there a lot. You know, it gets a lot of mixed reviews.

Some folks were like, ah, I don’t want to go to Korea, and then a lot of people either, Oh yeah, shopping, which the shopping is pretty good in Korea. I’m not gonna lie. But yeah, I had a full year there and then, a follow on to North Carolina and came back to stateside, actually was leaving the airport, right at the one year anniversary and uh, got to hear on the radio the moment of silence and driving under the overpasses and the flags draped down on the overpasses and all that stuff.

I think that’s when it really hit me that something happened back home that you know, was really not just something you see on TV. 

Amanda:Yeah, that makes sense after being away from here and then coming home and the reality of it and just the gravity of it all when you’re stateside. So you went to North Carolina and did you continue to do satellite communication?

Angela: Yes, I did. 

And let’s see, I was trying to remember, I mean, we had several deployments and stuff while we were there and I think one of those included going to Iraq, that wasn’t my first deployment, but it was the first one where I think we were being shot out on a regular basis. So that, that made it, added a whole degree of difficulty to the whole deployment aspect of it.

Because before deployments had just been, Oh yeah, we’re going to deploy here. We’re just gonna make sure the comm stays up and you know, it’ll be fine. And you know, everything’s good and nobody’s getting hurt unless it’s heat exhaustion. But then you go into, uh, you go into an environment like that and you realize that you know, some, some of it is, is very scary.

It can be, uh, quite, uh, quite interesting to deal with. 

Deployed Together

Amanda: So you deployed a few times and then when you went to Iraq was when the first time you really saw combat on like a close level and that change, you still had your job to keep the communications up, but then you also had the attacks that made the whole deployment more difficult? So what was the hardest part of being deployed to Iraq? 

Angela: I think at that point, I mean it was just the uncertainty. And I  remember, you know, there, there were a lot of comments made about, you know, your, your time, there is pretty much a crapshoot. You know, you don’t know when your number is going to come up and, and all that.

So it was, I think very, it was very concerning, you know, cause, uh, there’s just a lot of uncertainty and you didn’t really know. You know, because of the way the base was laid out, the situation, everything, the volatility in the region and everything, even though we didn’t have many opportunities to go off post, and most of us had no opportunity to go off post.

I think it was just, the gravity of the situation, you know, kind of made it very, very sobering. And, and that’s not a government order one or general order one joke, but it really has kinda, you’re kind of like, Oh, this is, this is real. and I think the other part of that, at the time when I was deployed to Iraq, my husband at the time was also deployed to Iraq, but he was deployed to another area within Iraq.

He was actually in the Marine Corps.

And so when we were both stationed there, or I’m sorry, deployed there, you know, there were, we had their challenges with being at different posts or bases along with the challenges of, you know, being able to communicate back and forth. Letters don’t travel any faster, even though you’re in the same country.

So it’s you know, it, it made for,  I mean it helped kind of pass the time because if he had just been deployed and I had been back stateside, I think it would have been a lot more stressful situation. I think being there kind of gave my mind something to do. But, at the same time, you know, you, you don’t know.

And where we were, we were, in an area that, saw a lot of the injured folks heading back stateside. So we were one of the pass-through stations there. And, I did volunteer at the hospital quite a bit just to keep busy. But, you know, you never knew. It was always in the back of my mind, am I going to walk in one day thinking I’m going to volunteer, and then there’s my husband. 

So it was a little concerning then, but, you know, we made it through that deployment and, I think, you know, because we’re Air Force, we had a shorter deployment cycle. So I came home first and then he came home and you know, everything was, everything was fine after that.

I mean this as well as it could be considering. 

Amanda: So he was not in the same branch as you?

Angela: My first husband wasn’t, no. My current husband, he was Air Force or we both retired at the same time. And then my, my ex-husband retired. Uh, I want to say it’s been maybe a year ago, I think. I think it’s been a year since he retired.

So three retirees, all in one little group.

Amanda: How did it all work with him being in the Marine Corp, you being the Air Force were you able to get stationed like close to each other or at the same base or how did that work?

Angela: Well, it didn’t work. Hence why he’s my ex not kidding. Yeah. He, uh, let’s see. So when we got married, my follow on, so we got married right before I went to Korea, and then my follow on was, to North Carolina.

So we were able to be stationed somewhat close to each other, then he moved on to the DC area, and then I followed,  a few months later. you know. And for, for dual service and the rank situation, one of the things about being enlisted is that the higher ego and rank, the smaller the opportunities are to move at will.

And when you’ve got two people that are both moving up in rank, pretty consistently, it can make it even more challenging to find jobs, especially considering his job. He goes in a, he goes in a pretty sensitive job that only had a few bases that they could actually go to. And even fewer that were near Air Force bases. 

So, it took a lot of, it took, uh, a lot of shuffling to try to keep us together. But ultimately, I think being dual service that way, I think they, they overall that are really good job at being able to keep us, as together as possible,  as quickly as possible. So it wasn’t always, you know, we were moving at the same time, you know, like I said, the last base that we transferred to, I followed on about, I want to say it was maybe six months later, but I mean, a six-month lag is really not that bad in the grand scheme of things, especially when you see it as technology got better,  you know, we were able to talk, we were able to drive back and forth, so it wasn’t, it wasn’t awful. 

I mean, it wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t awful.

Then my current husband, being both Air Force, it was a little easier. We were in different career fields, so, at least they weren’t trying to figure out how to keep us in different work centers. Anything like that. So that wasn’t so bad. But even with that, as we increased in rank, we were both concerned that,  the chances for us being stationed together longterm would be, you know, fewer and far between, especially since, by the time we retired, I had already completed a short tour, which was in Korea.

I had already completed a special duty assignment, and I don’t think he had, if memory serves me correctly, I think he only had a long tour. And there were no short tours, there were no special duty assignments, so I was concerned that he might get involuntarily selected for something like that and ended up being somewhere like, you know, that wasn’t, wasn’t exactly conducive to dual military.

Amanda: I think you hit a lot of the challenges, especially like my husband and I faced when we were both in. We never PCSed at the same time and like we were able to get stationed together. But when you were talking about how like there are select bases, there’s only few bases that my husband can go to and my career field couldn’t go to most of them.

So it’s really challenging to figure out how to get stationed together. And it’s a lot of work on the member’s part to do all the coordinating with the different functionals that get you thinking, and it’s not just like, Oh, you write it out on a piece of paper. I’m married to this person.

Amanda: And then they make it happen. They like work with you, but you have to do them a lot of new work. 

Angela: And I think that goes back to one of the things an old supervisor told me,  toward the beginning of my career, he said, you know, no one’s gonna cheer for your career as much as you do. And so if you want something to happen or you want to start an outcome, you’re going to have to make it happen.

And I think that that was one of the things that just kind of stuck in the back of my mind. And, you know, while it wasn’t always ideal, you know. Kind of like if you, if you force it or you become the squeaky wheel, eventually things will work out, or you’ll find a way to work around it so that you can at least make it livable.

Amanda: Yeah, I’m sure. So did you have any challenges besides dual military,   while you were serving in the military?

Angela: There were, there were a lot of challenges.  You know, it’s kind of, I think when you step back and you look at it, I don’t know that many of them are unique to military life. I think it’s stuff that people in the civilian sector experience as well.

 You know, I think the military does a pretty decent job in making sure that,  you know, for the most part there’s professionalism and courtesy that, you know, that goes all the way through.  I did see a lot of things in the military that I wished I hadn’t been a part of or wished that I’d been better prepared to handle.

But I think overall,  you know, the military tries, I think they try, it’s just a lot of times they’re having their hands bound by, you know, policy, politics, you name it.  So along with that, yet, you know, for me, I joined a field. I had no idea. You know, if someone had said to me, you know, before I went in the military, they said, Hey, you know, you’re going to do satellite communications and that’s what you’re gonna do for your career.

I would have been like, I know. I don’t know what, that doesn’t even sound interesting.  but once I got into it, you know, and if you think about it when you go through, when you’re looking at that book, unless you had, you came in with a guaranteed job, they sat you down with a book and they said, pick like your favorite, I don’t know, five jobs or something like that.

Pick something that you want to do. Well, for me, when I was looking through that book. I was looking for the bases that we’re going to get me away from Lackland as soon as possible. I ended up, you know, at the time, that book, I had said that electronic principles was located at Keesler and I’m like, Keesler sounds fun.

I like Mississippi, but it was not at Keesler at that point. They had moved that to Medina. So the joke was on me. I was like, yeah, I’m getting out of San Antonio. And they’re like, yeah, you’re going to cross the street. So, you know, I don’t think I, well, I never. For sure though that little book did not adequately prepare me for what was ahead.

And then when I actually got into school, I was like, well, I mean, I guess I’ll be all right at this. They’re teaching me, which is cool, but, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with it.  

Then I showed up at my first duty station. I was in a male predominant work center, which I think happens more often than not, and I think that’s just statistically because of the number of females to male ratio in the military in general.  So you learn really quickly to develop a thick skin to a lot of things, but at the same time, it was a great assignment. A lot of the friendships that I’ve made are ones that I still have today, and,  I think had it not been for a lot of those people I might’ve checked out after four years.

Amanda: Yeah. I think people are really an important part that makes up your military career. If you  decide to stay or if decide to get out. So I know that you are a mom. When did you become a mom? 

Angela: Well, interesting thing about that. So I, I returned from Iraq and my first husband returned a few months later. And,  I would say, well, listen, well let’s just say that same year I became a mom. So. It was, yeah, a little unexpected, but,  you know, now our, uh, our daughter is experiencing the teen years, which are a joy in our house, as I’m sure you can imagine.

But she’s, uh, you know, she’s in a really good environment and, you know, despite the fact that her dad and I are divorced, we’re usually on the same sheet of music and can communicate pretty effectively when it comes to handling a teenage girl and, uh, I’ll all that comes with that. So, yeah, we were dealing with the fallout of Iraq and just kind of getting back into being a couple again and post-deployment couple, and then, you know, here’s, here’s a baby.

So good times.

A Change of Perspective

Amanda: That’s a lot to deal with. And It makes it for a challenging transition. So you are, as a mom who served in the military, I don’t get to talk to a lot of women, get out of the military when they become moms. 

So was it, were there any hardships or challenges you’ve faced being a mom and staying in the military? 

Angela: Oh, yes. So the PCS that I told you about where he moved to the DC area and I moved shortly thereafter, about six months after, our daughter was about three months old when I moved. So I spent the first three months of her life with him being several hours away, driving home on the weekends.

So it was a lot like being a single mom,  especially during the week because there was nobody else there. My parents were miles away. His parents were even further away, and you know, he, he would come home when he could, which I get. So, but military being what it was, we were,  you know, we were hours apart and you kinda, you go, well, all right, you just kind of knuckle down and go, all right, we’re going to do this.

We’re going to figure this out. I even considered leaving the service at that point because, you know, they, as you know, they offer,  to let you out of your contract for, you know, for things like that and I, I really thought heavily about it. I went and picked up the paperwork. I was ready to go.

I’m like, I’m not doing this by myself. I didn’t sign on for this but then ultimately, you know, it was kind of a last-minute thing. It was like, Oh, here, uh, we were able to pull some orders and I’m like, sweet, I get to stay. Cool.  so then I moved and then we were able to, you know, come back together with, with our daughter and actually, you know, have that.

Even then there were still, you know, I deployed again after, uh, we were both in the DC area, so he got to be fulltime Mr. Mom. And that was an eyeopening experience for him as well. And then also being a world away from your child when they’re very little was,  was pretty rough. And I know I’m not the only one.

I remember when I went to Iraq, one of my friends,  she was right at the, like the six-month mark. I believe it was, I don’t, I don’t recall, but I think it may have maybe about six months before your deployment eligible. And she was like, right. It was practically the day that she became eligible was the day we were leaving for Iraq.

And I remember standing outside, we were getting ready to leave and everybody’s saying goodbye to their parents. And she sitting there holding her little baby and I was just like, Oh my gosh, like this can’t be happening. This is not right but it happens. And then I know it’s, she’s not the only one, and I wasn’t the only one.

And,  you know. I think that was probably the biggest challenge. You know, when you have a spouse that’s military as well, you kind of get in the mindset, you’re like, look, I’m doing my job. You do your job. We’ll high five in the doorway if we have to, you know, fine we’re, we’re both starving in our own right.

But when you have a little one, I think it changes the perspective a lot. 

Amanda: Yeah. It has to be hard. One of the first interviews I did on the podcast, it’s episode three. I talked to Cynthia and she left when her daughter was just over a year old and we talked to them about the challenges that she faced, leaving her daughter behind, and the Air Force has changed the policy so that now it is a year.

But she even got a lot of push back. They tried to send her at 11 months and we’re like, well, you, you, it’s more than six. And she was like, but they changed the law so that I could stay home for the first year, and that was really important for her to fight that not only for her, but for all the people that fought to make that happen.

Angela:I’m glad they changed it. I mean, it’s still not, I mean, and people understand too, and even if you, once you have a child, you have to understand if you’re going to stay on active duty or you’re going to stay in a position where you could be deployed. I mean, it is a risk that you’re, you’re accepting. Just like when you sign up to join the military, you’re, you know, accepting the risk that they could send you somewhere where you may not come back.

So I don’t mean to sound callous about it. It doesn’t make it any easier, but it is one of those things where you go into it with your eyes open, going, look, I know this, this is real. This could happen. And at the end of the day,  you just kinda, you do your best to stay distracted as much as you can so that you can focus on your job and not the, not the fact that your child is half a world away, kind of how everything that goes with that.

Amanda: Yeah. That’s. Yeah. She talked about all those things. Yeah, the interview. So I don’t want to, like, we’ve already talked for a little bit, so I don’t wanna like dive more into it, but I feel like, I feel like it’s an important thing to talk about and mentioned because that was like one of the big driving factors for me to get out because my career field-deployed a lot, and I knew that within six. Well within a year of having my son and I would likely deploy and I just, I couldn’t do it.

 it’s tough. 

Angela: It’s tough. And I don’t think there’s any fault to be had either way. If you stay cool, if you go, hey, that’s, you made the choice that was best for your family and your situation. And I think that’s either way.

Either way, it’s the right decision.

Are you leaving the military? Are you unsure what comes next? Struggling with what do next? I can help. I served in Air Force for six years before becoming a military spouse, mom and blogger. The transition from military to mom was a hard one for me and the one thing that helped me was finding purpose again. I want to help you navigate the transition of life after the military and help you thrive. I created a workbook with the tools I have learned the past four years. Leading me from lost, lonely mom to momprenuer. #militarylife

Leaving the Military

Amanda: I agree completely. So why did you decide to leave the military?

Angela: So this was one of those,   this is one of those situations that has a lot of answers or a lot of reasons.  You know, first and foremost, you know, my family came first by this point whenever my husband and I decided to leave.

At this point, I had divorced my first husband. I was now married to my current husband, and, uh, my current husband and I had recently had a child, she was, let’s see… She was about a year, almost a year and a half, I think at the time when I, when we both retired and having gone through deployments and stuff like that.

It was one of those things, you know, I didn’t want to risk as being stationed away from each other, and neither did he, we didn’t want to have to leave our children with someone else or run the risk of both of us becoming, you know, hurt, incapacitated, kill, what have you. Then leaving our kids to grow up in places we didn’t want them to be.

So they had come out with… and by this point, I had changed jobs. I was no longer working in satellite communications. I was working in another career field that I was extremely unhappy with. And by this point, they had come out with the TERA option, which is the temporary early retirement authorization, which is where they were allowing folks between 15 and 19 years to retire early. And, uh, luckily my husband and I both fell into that category where we could retire early, and kind of, you know, start the next chapter. 

And the military was kind enough to deposit us where we wanted to go. And then we began phase two of, of the dream, I guess. Now at this point, you know, when it came to, what are we going to do?

My husband had his career when he was on active duty and it was something he loved doing. And he really,  you know, he, that’s pretty much what he’s known his entire adult life. And so it was a no brainer that you would continue doing that on the civilian side. And he immediately enrolled in school and began all the certifications and things that he needed to keep doing that job here in Florida.

For me, it wasn’t quite as cut and dry.  I spent a lot of my time in the military working on education.  I left with two associates degrees, a bachelor’s degree and undergrad certification and a professional manager certification. So I had tons of certifications and degrees and pieces of paper, the lined a wall beautifully, but no idea what I was going to do with it.

 And we talked about it. My husband and I talk about it at length and said, well, what are we going to do? You know? And he said, well, whatever you feel like you want to do, well, you know, I’ll work extra. Do what we need to do to support the family so that we can, take care of everything that needs to be taken care of.

And one day I got this harebrained idea that I was going to go to law school. I was like, well, that sounds fun.  I knew I had the Post 9/11 GI bill and, they were going to pay for, most of, if not all of my law education. And I figured if,  if the GI bill was going to cover any school, I was going to go to get the best education that I could out of it. 

And to me, I often joke that I’m horrible at math, so I didn’t want to go to medical school, so I went off to law school instead, which is, you know, they tell you that they’re like, Oh, if you’re bad at math, go to law school. No, no.

There’s a lot of math in that too. 

So I went to law school and,  graduated and took the bar exam and ultimately became an attorney. And,  you know, luckily having the retirement piece, you know, collecting the retirement paycheck that we’ve been collecting since we’ve retired, allowed us to,  to pursue this, you know, pretty much, I don’t want to say on the government’s dime, but I mean, it basically, it set us up pretty well.

And I don’t think we would’ve had that, had it not been for the early retirement. So yeah, that was, it was kind of a, a wing and a prayer. And we just said, well, we hope we both, we both get approved for this retirement. And we did, and we took the leap and. you know, it’s been smooth sailing for the rest part ever since.

Amanda: So your transition seems to go pretty well. You guys transitioned out from both being end up both getting out and now you’re a lawyer, which is really cool.

Angela: It’s fun. It’s, it’s a lot of people think bad things, awful things about lawyers. They think, uh, just the absolute worst. But, there are good attorneys out there.

There are ethical attorneys out there and there are people that honestly care about the work that they do. And, I do, there are a lot of jokes, you know, I, I get poked fun of quite a bit, you know,  I think I’ve heard just about every single lawyer joke there is out there, but, you know, I, I do find that I attract a lot of veterans, a lot of military and things like that in my work because, you know, I understand where they’re coming from.

I’ve been through a lot of what. They’re going through and being able to help them because I have a skill that maybe they don’t have or that they can benefit from. That’s at the end of the day, that’s what it’s, that’s how I know it’s worth it. 

Amanda: That’s really cool that you can tie your new job and back to serving veterans and connecting with them, which I think is one of the key pieces that has helped me in my transition.

Are you considering joining the military? Have you signed up to join the military but still have questions? Check out my free guide to help you prepare for military life. Check out a girls guide to military life today. #militarywomen #joiningthemilitary #military

Amanda: So my last question is, what would you tell young women considering joining the military?

Angela: Go Air Force! No, no.  I, I think it’s one of those things.  I get to the military is not for everybody.

It’s truly not some of, some great folks that walked away from the military and I’ve helped people walk away from the military.  When it comes to girls considering joining the military, I say, that’s where I just ask, what do you have to lose? You know, it is,  it’s a great opportunity. 

I’ve, I’ve enjoyed it. As I said, a lot of my best friendships came from the military. Not everything was all sunshine and rainbows and flowers granted. But I think overall the experience was, was very good. I think that I wish I’d had more females to talk to before I join the military because there.

I had a ton of questions.  Most of them probably involve MEPS, but beyond that, I think that, uh, you know, they should talk to somebody about it and talk to, and not a professional or therapist or anything, but talk to other women that have served, talked to different branches of service and find, uh, you know, find what will make you happy.

And at the end of the day, if you don’t like it, it’s four years usually. Do, just check it out and, you know, it’s better to live a lifetime of knowing what happened. Rather than always asking what if. 

Amanda:Yeah. And that’s part of why I created the podcast, to give young women a place to hear stories.

And if you listen to up, episode 34 I talked to Mariah about going through MEPS and her experience, which is a little abnormal cause she, but I remember going to MEPS and my recruiter was a male and he didn’t like tell me anything. And then I was a little like, Oh, Oh, okay. This is what it is. So yeah, and that’s what the podcast is for, to help young women to have more women to talk to.

Because a lot of people don’t know people who are women in the military. So hopefully our stories can help them hear about what our experiences were like and help them make their decision on if they should join or not. So thank you so much for being on the podcast. I really have enjoyed getting to talk to you and hear about your military experience.

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Check out Angela's story this week on Women of the Military podcast. Episode 63 is about her experience in the military as a Satellite Communications specialist. Hear her story or read it on the blog. #militarywomen #womenofthemilitary #satellite #militaryhistory #airforce #dualmilitary #miltomil

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