It was the benefits of joining the military that drew Lindsey to the Army. Lindsay Helm is a former Information Technology Specialist in the United States Army. Shortly after leaving the Army, and working in corporate America for companies such as Amazon, Intuit, and the DOD, she realized a gap in education and retention for employers hiring within the military community. She launched Empower Employ, a company focused on supporting the economic impact of Veterans and Military Spouses through corporate education and technology.
Lindsey was looking for a way to get out of her small town in Kentucky and find a way to pay for college. When she met an Army recruiter he told her he could make that happen and she signed up. Because she was 17 it took staying at a friends house and not coming home before her parents would sign the paperwork. But eventually they did and she left for Basic after graduating from high school.
Exposure to diversity
Growing up in a small town meant the number of people she knew was small. When she joined the Army she met so many different people and it opened her eyes to a new world. She continued to experience new cultures when her first assignment took her to South Korea. She got to experience a new country while also working along side people who didn’t look like her and had a different way of viewing the world since they came from all over the country.
Trauma in the military
She had an experience in Korea where after one drink she can not remember what happened. But the next day when she was taking a shower she found a condom inside of her. Not knowing what happened she didn’t know what to do. And when she told her roommate instead of offering support she made fun of her and spread rumors about her and she was shamed for what happened. It has taken a lot of therapy and time to help her start to move past this experience but is something she still see lingering effects in her life today.
Leaving the military
After three kids and being married to a service member she decided to leave the military behind. But transitioned to be a government contractor that set her up for success. She eventually got a job working at Amazon but as lots of changes happened including the loss of her brother she started to re-evaluate things. She started her company Empower Employ to help connect veterans and military spouses with companies. She is excited about the future and what will happen next.
Her advice for young women considering miltiary service is to look at all your options. Don’t just look at one branch, look at all of them. And when you pick a career field figure out what skills you can gain from service and how they will transfer to a career. It doesn’t mean you can’t join the infantry, but think about what you learn from your time and how it will help you in the future. If you have more questions about joining the military check out my book, A Girl’s Guide to Military Service.