New Podcast Shares Stories of Womens' Military Service
Amanda Huffman, a former Air Force Officer, has created a new podcast about women in the military. Her guests talk about deployments, dual service marriages, single parenting, transitioning out of the military, and more.
Why did you start the podcast?
As a woman veteran I have often felt invisible when my husband is thanked for his service while people assume I am a military spouse and not a veteran too. I wanted to give us a voice. I wanted people to know our stories and even if I didn't get listeners I was excited to be recording history and knew that this project to capture our stories was important.
What is your favorite interview to date and why?
Picking a favorite interview is really hard. I think the one I am the most proud of is having the opportunity to interview the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James. I had a chance to meet her at a book signing and was too afraid to tell her about my podcast, but then someone connected the two of us and she happily agreed to be a guest. It is beyond anything I could have hoped for to have someone that high up as part of my collection of stories. And reading her book and talking to her gave me a greater appreciation for all she has done and all the work she did to help make it easier for women to stay in the military.
Who do you want to interview in 2020?
I have actually recorded over half of 2020's episodes already and I have to say that in one interview I cried by the power of Ruthie's words. She was raped not once, but twice while serving in the Army and she became an advocate for another female going through a similar situation. Despite the system not working for her she made sure the same thing didn't happen to this young lady and it was powerful to listen to.
If you were the Secretary of Defense what would you do on your first day on the job?
I have always been taught not to do anything the first day, except listen. When leaders come in and don't take time to listen to the people who are already in the job I feel they can sometimes cause a huge disruption in solving problems. I don't think this means things don't need to change, but you need to spend time listening, asking for advice on how to fix the problems from the people who are dealing with them and then start to implement changes.
What is your favorite military tradition?
We started participating in Wreaths Across America 3 years ago in Los Angeles. The ceremony is to honor those who have served and those continuing to serve was moving. It was the first veteran focused event I had attended since leaving the military and even though I thought I was connected to the military community through my husband's service and being a military spouse I had all but ignored my veteran piece since leaving. The ceremony and act of placing wreaths trigger something inside of me and maybe could be the real reason my podcast is here today. Each year we go to a ceremony near where we live to go and remember and honor veterans. And I love that my boys can do it with me. I hope that by going each year the boys can understand the service and sacrifice given by the military and how they are included in that.
K. Denise Rucker Krepp is a former Coast Guard officer and former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel.
The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.