I was just the average enlisted military person. I worked in the back shop at first and then the flight line. Like most maintainers; I hated my job. The military has many positive aspects. However, the way I have been treated and seen others treated has made me realize that a 20 year maintenance career is not for me.

I worked in the civilian world for an extended period of time before enlisting, so I didn’t fall for the typical military thought process that if I got out, I won’t be able to support myself. I enlisted for the selfish reasons of money, health insurance and education. After 6.25 years of honorable service, I still think I made the right decision to enlist but I regret going maintenance.

I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, SD (USA) in 2013.  When I first arrived, I worked in the back shop for the engine. It was horrible. I expected more work and better behavior from co-workers. I deployed for the first time in 2015 to Qatar. My deployment got cut short when I got appendicitis and soon after, needed advanced knee surgery. When I came back from this deployment, I was stuffed right back in the back shop. Once my knee healed, I was moved back to the flight-line. Shortly after my PCA (permanent change of assignment, a PCS is a change of station.) to the flight-line, I deployed to Guam.

My husband (then boyfriend) also deployed to Guam with me. We got married in Iowa shortly after our return from the Guam deployment. I had received orders to Korea but I denied them. My husband and I applied for and thankfully received joint spouse orders to Nellis AFB, NV (USA). We arrived at Nellis towards the end of June 2017.

That AMXS unit operated a lot smoother and with less drama when compared to the previous base. However, good leadership was still a problem and some of my co-workers behaved in the same manner that the Ellsworth ones did. I was tired of not fitting in and being teased/gossiped about. Getting pregnant in 2018 only assisted in highlighting the true nature of how females are treated in maintenance.  I did apply for retraining but it was denied. It was huge dramatic mess, simply because of 1 manipulative person. It was a combination of that and how I was treated in maintainance that helped me decide I would not reenlist in the military.

My husband plans to make the Air Force a career and stay in for his 20. He applied for retraining in October of 2016, while we were deployed to Guam. He was a crew chief for the B-1 for almost 6 years. Now he is a unit training manager. I think he is a lot happier at his job because there is freedom from the rigors of the maintainer world and a better work atmosphere.

Enough about the military. Let’s get a little more personal. I’m a happily married woman.  I’ve had my fair share of bad relationships and I’m so incredibly blessed to have found the love of my life at my age. We are caretakers to a our version of a zoo. It consists of 2 cats little cats, a dog and a hedgehog together. We welcomed our first and only child in October of 2018. She is one of the highlights of our life together. We both made the decision for me to be a stay-at-home mother once I separated from the military. It is one of the best decisions I’be made. It has its challenges but it’s incredibly rewarding.

My hobbies include (but are not limited to) knitting/crocheting, reading anything but tabloids and various video games. My husband enjoys casual intellectual debates, painting, drawing and Star Wars.

 

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