What is it like to serve in the Royal Australian Air Force? Check out this week’s Women of the Military podcast episode where I talk to Jodi Allen about her experience of serving in the Royal Australian Air Force for fourteen years and what she is doing today to help veterans. Although we are from different countries there were so many commonalities between our service and our transition.
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Serving in the Royal Australian Air Force
Jodi decided to join the military because she had left school and was looking for something new. Her parents encouraged her to join the Defense Force. She did not know anything about the military and just went to the Recruiter and ended up in the Royal Australian Air Force in supply. She went to recruit training and struggled with fitness. Because she was not prepared, she was getting yelled at for walking something flipped that caused her to decide she was going to be the fittest person. She talks about how embarrassed she was and that driver motivated her. She ended training as one of the fittest people in the group.
While at her first assignment her brother was sent for his training. They were able to bond together. They both loved being in the Air Force. And it was nice to be together after moving away from family. She loved being in the Air Force the challenge of a new job with each assignment gave her purpose and drive. She served for 14 years until the military forced her to leave due to a back injury she had sustained early in her career. While training for a deployment she was unable to wear the body armor and could not deploy. She struggled in her transition out of the military because she was not ready to leave.
Transitioning out of the military
Luckily, she was able to find a job when she interviewed with an Army veteran. Shortly after that she started her family and was a stay-at-home mom while her daughters were young. Once they began school she needed something for herself. She decided to go back to college and studied Nutritional Science. She found a community while studying at the University. And also was led to the path she is on today when a friend recommended she come to Mates4Mates. A program for veterans with physical and psychological injuries. She had struggled with identifying as a veteran since she never deployed. But her friend assured her that she would be welcomed.
Mindfulness and a new career
She was able to learn about Yoga and mindfulness. Mindfulness can help veterans with many different issues and can be used in daily life. It is a powerful practice and something more veterans should look into. When her friend moved to the next assignment she took over her role of teaching classes. She dreamed of creating a program that included mindfulness, yoga, and her nutritional expertise. People said it would never happen but today Jodi now works with Mates4Mates & the Department of Veterans Affairs on well-being programs throughout Australia.
Connect with Jodi:
Mentioned in this episode:
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