Kia Baker hosts the Female Veterans Podcast. She is a mother and Navy Veteran with a passion for helping her fellow female Vets find a place to share their stories. We discuss her work with some of those women who have experienced Military Sexual Trauma and Homelessness. She is a vivid inspiration on a path of amazing things including a non profit to further her reach to even more service members in need.
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Welcome back to her brotherhood. I am here with Kia Baker from the female veterans podcast, and she has done me the extreme honor of being a guest on our show. And so Kia welcome and thank you for being here. Pick my pleasure. Thank you for having me now. I stumbled upon you so blissfully when I was researching female veterans and I found your podcast. Can you tell me about your podcast in what in the world brought you to start that?
Well, the female veterans podcast was born because I felt that our stories are largely untold, that there's a culture of silence surrounding military stories in general and especially for women. And one of the big reason that the podcast came toe life is I was visiting Los Angeles with a friend and we were strategizing foundation that I was considering developing, which I am in the process of developing right now called Artemis Thehe. And I wanted to do something for homeless female veterans. So we visited the vet Center in Los Angeles in Culver City and we met with the outreach coordinator because while we were there, I wanted to do something we thought we might go pass out food or clothing and go talk to some of the veterans females that are living on the street. And when we got there, he said, you know that it was really amazing what we wanted to D'oh. You know, our hearts were in the right, please. But what they really needed was a void because the female veterans living on the street, they don't get the same donations that the males get. And it's due to the prevailing perception that veterans are male even day that when the donations come in, they don't get things for females. And so the women are left to take what's left after the men, if it fits them, or even if it doesn't. Or sometimes they just get like a blanket. If they have that in stock from the V A hospital. And um, it broke my heart is what it did, and she said they needed a voice and I decided to be that
Wow, that's so powerful and I never really thought of. I mean, yeah, because you deal with all the biases anyway and then to think of dealing with those kind of biases with because of donations and people don't even. I mean, like you said, they just need the voice. They don't even realize it. So I never even really thought about that. That's just such a great point. The homelessness, the homeless, veteran population. How is it looking for four female veterans?
Well, I believe it's about 9% of the homeless population is female veterans. And so it just breaks my heart because more and more there are more and more female veterans. And a lot of these women that end up being homeless are are suffering with PTSD or are dealing with the trauma of, um, military sexual trauma. So, um, there they land on the street. A lot of them are separated for, um, quickly, rapidly, and they don't have options or they don't have family. And while they're dealing with these issues, they have nowhere to go. And so, in order to rehabilitate them, they need more. They need a chance. But, dr that I don't believe that any person, male or female who has served this country should return not having their basic needs met. And so, um, it's important to me to try to do something about it
excellent. That's that's why I have so many of us air here doing this like people think podcasting or something like that is just like this business venture. And it's like, No, it's a passion venture. I mean, sure, there's someplace other than air doing it just better make money and better a business. But we're doing it because, like you said, you feel like you need someone told you we need a voice and you're like I got one of those. You can put that out of there and there there's You can't put a price on that. So that's amazing. And what ties you what, um, brings you to the, uh, the vets? What's your military type?
Well, I'm a Navy veteran,
And so ever female veteran. Um, it's important to me because I feel a connection to my sisters. We're all sisters because we've had the same or similar experience. They're not all the same, but one thing's for sure. We as women did something that a lot of women don't do it, and we went and assimilated into a male dominated environment, and Weiqing threw it on the other side. And no matter what your experience, Waas good or bad, we had one and go. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
My kids Are
you also here? That's a little slice of life right there. And I'm not anything that out because that's real life. That's the real life of a woman at home, you know, with kids talking about her, her veteran history and how she's helping vents in the future. And you got a little kid running around squawking at you. I mean, that's life.
And I'm doing all this with my kids and, you know, being a mom, Um, my kids were just 13 and four. And the reason why I can't do this is that they're old enough to sort of be a little bit more independent. I e o Hey,
if they're there, I would love like, if they're there, feel free to have him come Say hi.
Say hello, Lucas.
I Hi Lucas
04 Hossam, what a great age!
know the other one. Yellin I love it. Thanks.
I okay. Can you feel your brother something Money?
Because it's really it Is reality like that is just you know, not I mean men and women, all parents with it, But it's that's, you know, trying to do something and be a mom, and it's not. We try so hard to just slice that often be like, okay, gets quiet and shut the door. And it's like people don't realize all of the background challenges that come with everything that comes with being a woman, you know. And so
it's true. It's true. Um, I mean, I obviously I adore my kids, and for 13 years I did nothing but my kids. And as they got older, I realized that, you know, as the elite needed me a little bit less, um, that I had more room in my life to do more, to give back to humanity, to give back to my veteran community. And it's important for me to do that and they understand. And you heard,
Oh, you're doing it okay, you know that it's important, you know, it's important work
that's so great. That is, that just chugs at my heart because it's so true and they see their mama doing something, heard about what you've done in the past and they see what you're doing in the future, and it's so important. And thank you for your service. I'm curious. What? So I wanted, I wanted backtrack from what you're doing now. And I want to look a little bit back in your history and what made you choose the navy and what made you go into the service? And what were you doing there?
Okay, so my mother Ah, Woz in love with the army, and it was her dream to go and third in the army, and she got married young and had a family young. And so she was going to be going when she was older. And I'm once we were when she waited till I was about six years old and she was gonna leave her boot camp. And it was the last year for the age allowance for her to go. And, um, she, uh, was training to go to boot camp, and she was about to leave and found out she was pregnant, which was very bad for her, because it made her have to give up her dream. But it was really exciting for me because I got a little brother,
Um and he's awesome. And um, so she didn't get to go. So when it came time for me to start looking at colleges, being from, you know, a low income family, Um, he said, Listen, I don't have it. Um, And what I want for you is to go into the military anyway, and for two reasons. Because they will pay for you to go to school and because I believe that it is the the right foundation to begin life. And so I'm fine. Okay, I can get down with that. And so I knew here earlier. He knew my father more year that I was leaving for the military and no, a navy, Honestly, because it seemed like they have more fun.
And I was a
private school girl, and I wanted Thio experience life, go around the world and have fun. I mean, he just sold it really well, actually,
no. Hey, hot here like you have. That's where I'm going.
You know, the
job of a recruiter, man. He must have been. He had it down.
Yeah. Yeah, and I thought I'd go to the TV and and off I went.
How? What? Didn't you know? You don't hear that story very often about the mother and her wanting to go on not being able to you. And, um, I'm so glad I asked you that. My my mom kind of had a similar thing happened to her where she was a school teacher and she was going thio. She had put in to go on the challenger, that space shuttle, and they took one school teacher and she had signed up for that. And it looked like she had a really good chance going. And she found out she was pregnant with me.
said, then should I buy one, Of course. Is injured. Yes. And so we all know what happened with that crash and but her whole life, she's always looked at that. You know, one is she was so excited to go do something like that. And then because she was pregnant, it took that opportunity away from her. But then the same time, what a blessing. Because you never know working on the other side. So yeah, but that's you know
what's really crazy about that? That she said, that is that I am. I have been my entire life completely in love with Napa. Okay, Hand and a space exploration has been one of my favorite things my entire life. Long on beginning with the challenger and I do number watching it happen on TV. And so it the minute you said, you know, she was a schoolteacher. And you want to do that? I knew
exactly what I was talking about. Yeah, a lot of people don't even they forget that that was yeah, that the teacher was on there and how that even came about. Yeah. And she was That was something she was really pushing to be one, that teacher. And so, yeah, how many people do you know that background story? And so you look, you know, there's a lot of things in my life where, you know, she's like, Gosh, I wish, you know, she was never She was never like, No, don't flying helicopters. No, don't fight fire. No, Don't You know, don't do all this crazy stuff because it was all stuff that she wishes she may be would have done or could have done. Or, you know, it's, um yeah, her mother is really kind of pushes into places that they may be dreamt of going, so that's really cool.
Very cool. Then your mom's going to meeting.
She is. She's pretty day ing awesome. A new mom. You'll hear this eventually. I'm not just saying that, because I know that because you are, uh she's finding a whole other battery now. Her big battle, which she is kicking ass at his cancer. Or so she's doing great.
Well, I'm grabbing here. She's
doing no women. What did you do in the Navy? I miss that.
I was a happy little Corman.
Okay? I didn't know
I did. I did working. I started my career in medical records, and I finished my career equivalent to a pharmacist.
Oh, wow. Oh, great. Yeah, I just you never. Everybody just forgets all of the different routes where the military takes use. That's super interesting. And so now you have. So that's where he came from. It's how you were tied to it. And then when did you when were you discharged?
I My official end of obligation was in 1999 November.
And, um, and then my inactive reserve finished three years later
and then you became a mama later, down the road,
and you say you got a 13 year old right now, that's great. And so tell me for your transition. What was your transition like?
Well, I will tell you this. Um, from the time I got into the military, I knew I was more of a free spirit, sort of a hippy soul. So I knew that it was a means to an end for me to learn some really valuable skills as well as gain the G I. Bill, go to college. My dream was to go to college, and then So when I got out of the military, I believed my fill in the pharmacy would really benefit me. But just before I got out, I realized that a technique a pharmacy technician in the military, you have the same responsibilities and privileges as a pharmacist in the civilian world is very different. And so I realized that I would not be able to continue my career in the pharmacy without going back to school in getting ah, pharmacy degree. And it seems like an awful waste of money to learn something that I've been doing for the last three years. So I decided that I would try my hand in corporate and corporate America, then is a lot different than it is now. We're, like, known at odds in yoga, You know, that that wonderful millennials created. It was very different for for a gun expert, and, um and so I didn't I didn't transition well, because there was a lack of camaraderie, the sense of family that you have in brotherhood, sisterhood of the military, which is a very different dynamic. People spoke differently. No. They'll use the same terms as we use. Right? And the military was just a completely different environment. And it was shocking for me because the entire time I was in the military, I was almost kind of counting down until I was out,
So, um, slaw Because I Yeah. So it was a shock to me to miss it so much. And, um and I
don't know how many years were you in?
I was in for five years. Active three years, inactive reserve.
Okay. Yeah. Become It became who it becomes who you are. I would assume it's kind of like with me and firefighting. I mean, it's it's it becomes your way of life, and you know it's not just a job. People, they're like, What's this? What's the struggle? It's like, Well, it's not just a job.
No, it isn't me. Even if you think that you are not a life, you know the job, you get broken down and built back up and as into what they want you to be. And for me, I had a very hard time, um, being reprogrammed. And though, um, I would sort of always kind of have a rebel heart. I can't
For me, being in the military was difficult. I mean, I had a really good experience until the day I didn't. And then I had some very rude awakenings that changed my perspective. Um, while I was serving so because I didn't have the most optimum experience the entire way through it, I was very happy to be leaving. And, um and to be to have my freedom back because, you know, you you sign away your right, you become property of the government. I was very happy to become not property,
not yours anymore,
right? And so I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do. Except the thing is, is. I hadn't realized how how in green that way of life had come to me and how much I did really kind of love it. And so when I went into corporate, although I did all right, I had a lot of, um because I had PTSD, and I didn't know it. Um, because I came out of the military with an illness. I, um, struggled in the civilian world. And so about three years after I became a civilian, I found myself jobless. I've got to be homeless and left. Penny lift by my has been a five years, and, um, I know what I was gonna d'oh! And fortunately, um, I have friends that came to my aid, and they helped me get on my feet. This woman, Eileen Frances, Director soul. She saw that I was going through a divorce at such a young age, has been divorced a few times, and she kind of took pity on me and let me move into her property that she owned several properties around Chicago. You let me and a friend move in and get on our feet. Oh, and live very actually, for six months, rent free painter way we paid her back what we could. Wow.
What? Yeah, What a good son.
We have a great though. Women helping women, right? And, um, he kind of and still that it means all my girlfriends came through one healthy find a job, you know, and it just it turned around. And then I shot in this job that I found was that a company that violated veterans because there for a while I had to take being a veteran off my resume. So, um, it just was an unwelcome finger for a little bit. No, I struggle. I struggle. I had a very difficult transition. And once I did get on my feet, I immediately started giving back what would help me was helping other veterans. And so it is. It had been something that I've done, um, for nearly 20 years now is not as a volunteer, but just on a personal level. When I see one on social media that was just getting my teeth or whatever it was. And somebody might see the there a bit and they're struggling, would reach out. Or when I met at a bar, a restaurant, or like in passing and life that needed help in some way, I'd reach out even if it was just to say a few words of encouragement or she tell them to take their meds, huh? I've always they own it. Cathartic Teoh be there for other
veterans. That was kind of your treatment to yourself, right? Is being able to give that that was that was feeding your soul? Absolutely. Your recovery.
Yeah, that's that's exactly right. That's exactly how I'd put it. And so that's kind of been my path where I am. No. Now, eventually, I did go back to school and I got my degree. I ended up with a master's degree and I'm actually almost done with another one. I'm after a find that, um Well, I got my ways. I got have my dream
sod. It came all the way through. That is so that when a great success story and you were able to use the bill for that still, I get good
use, most of it before they're
good. Man, the least we can do to be able to get back to our veterans is pay for their education. So it's I'm so glad you're able to take advantage of that. And you mentioned that you struggled with PTSD coming out without really even realizing that that was looming is do you care to share any more about that?
I'm absolutely, uh well, because I had some experiences in the military that were that were dramatic for me and because I got sick, I nearly died while I was serving as well. I got a kidney infection that had no symptoms. Oddly, in office, it presented as a stomachache, and so it was misdiagnosed, and it ended up going septic can I very nearly died, which is one of the things that happened while I was in. Um, and I witnessed some pretty horrific things and experience some less than pleasant things. And this was during peacetime, so there was no rockets going off all around me. There was no, um there was no gunfire or anything like that. It was just being in a stressful situation and happened to be on alert.
And they're doing better, too, at that, like as a society. And you know, not just breaking down the stigma, but also just getting people to understand that the PTSD isn't just about being in the middle of a war or hand to hand combat or, you know, shell shock. It's we're finally really learning that and accepting that it is so much more and so much more complex. And that's a perfect example right there, you know, and just having just the fact that you feel the need to say and we were at peace time, you know, to clarify that. And and it's important, though, that you say that's that people realize like it's not. We don't have to be an active fighting, have people get PTSD. You don't have to be in the military to get PTSD. It's like you said, it's something that has happened in your world that is affected too
well. That's exactly right. And, um, so And in addition, I left the military with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. So back in those days, those illnesses were hardly known about hardly discussed, hardly treated. And so I had to deal with a lot of, um, stigma from having an invisible illness. Zola PTSD is an invisible illness, and people don't understand. Even now, a lot of people don't understand PTSD, right, and so that all film made the transition really difficult because, uh, I had to fight a long time to be recognized as a disabled. That and, um and it affected my performance. And it had been affected my personal life and and it had, ah, lot of effect. I'm going through my experience for many, many years, even to this day. And so, in order to come across other veterans that were may be suffering from any sort of illness or traumatic experience that they were trying to work through and recover from, it was really important to me to help and to be there and to be supportive.
That's well, thank you for sharing that. That's I I bring Pipe brings me pause because as you talk about this, I think about, you know, in my network in my world, and I feel very much the same way as you d'oh people, my peers. I mean, we call it pure support right where we're taking care of our brothers and sisters that are standing right next to us in whatever it is that we're doing and you recognize the struggles that they haven't. You just want to be able to like you, said take your meds. Go see a therapist. You don't go do some yoga. Go for a run. Like it could be a simple Is that or, you know, a simple is being a shoulder to cry on. Or someone to read the e mail from them where they're ranting or someone to drive them to the doctor or someone to coach him through divorce. How you can help each other is unless
absolutely, I agree.
And you? I wanted to go back to something that you mentioned earlier where you said that there was a point where you took off your military service. Basically took it off your resume. Tell me. Tell me about that.
Well, there was a time before 9 11 where I think being a veteran was almost detrimental and your ability to be employed, you know, and I've definitely heard story where people were actually even told, you know, we would rather not hire veterans. So are people with prior mouth military experience, which to me, was insane because I'm like, don't you understand how beneficial it is to have a person who was trained by the government,
right? I understand the skills we have achieved Yeah,
you know, we have. We're We're We're Brett with leadership ability, even at our lower level. Right? You know, we're pot toe learn quickly in a and efficiently. We're taught attention to detail. We're taught to multi task, complete mission. You know,
anyone should be so lucky to be able to get a veteran in their workplace. I
agree. I mean, yeah, you might have to deal with, you know, from PTSD issues, but usually the person that is dealing with PTSD can manage them
right now, and they're usually a better person than coming out than they were going in. They have had this, like, tons and tons of training and money, pretending them that you could never invest in them as an employer. And I think since we're talking about this, I'd kind of like to mention it since we're here, because I think that this is a really good point for everyone here. No matter what it is that you do for a profession or where you're located in the world because we're still Yes. Before 9 11 it was much worse. And there were different reasons why people were like, Don't waste your time hiring a veteran, but we're still struggling with that. And here is a large reason why and coming from a large federal employer. I watched it happen all the time. You know, we have all of these policies in place that basically line out how we do our hiring. So if you're doing hiring and they give you this list, this certified list of names that come that came through and how they're ranked in all of that. But you, before you can hire this guy, you got a look at the vents list, right? Because you have that preference, which I think we owe them that preference. I mean, why not? They just came out. They need. They were doing something that blocked them off doing, you know, for so we could talk about that forever. But so what happens a lot of the time is your employer, like, let's say, with the feds, let's see your federal employer and you have this. You've got your buddy over here who, you know, he's awesome. You know, he's skilled. You know this. You know that he's also your bro. You want to hook him up with a job. He's well qualified he applies. He is at the top of the list, the best of the best. But before you can get to him, you have to first. Well, I call it vet, vet out the veteran's list, so that just puts a bad taste in some mouth. And for several years we went through toe where that was really ugly. People had a really bad attitude towards it. Toe where it just got the term vet and vet list, got thrown around work offices is just like a cuss word. I mean, it was just like, Oh, well, I wanted to hire you dude, Sorry, but I had to get somebody off the veteran's list her. I wanted to do this, but we had to get someone off that list and then you would What it. What it did, though, is two different things. It would put a nasty taste in people's mouths that we're doing the hiring and couldn't hire who they wanted, who they knew. And then it also put veterans at a disadvantage. Will one, because that stigma but then to is you would have someone like event on the East Coast put in for whatever jobs, whatever federal jobs. They just wanted to get a good job, and then they would have to be offered. They would be forced to be offered a job in nowhere. Idaho, you know, And then they're like So they were confused. And then we get displaced and how to displace their family to be able to get this good job. So there's There's been years of this mishmash confusion, which has caused a lot of stigma back and forth and what I've really been pushing for the last several years really recognizing it when people would start bitching about like, Oh, we have to hire a veteran. That's crap. Like, I wish I could hire you, but I can't. I have tire veteran, I have tire veteran. It just pissed me off because it would put better instead of at a disadvantage. What I started challenging people with was, you know you're pissed off because you can't hire who you want to hire your buddy. You can't whatever you can't hire who you think is the best. Why don't you go out and start recruiting the best veterans so that that vets list that you're always so mad about is stacked with amazing people like make it work for you. Go find amazing veterans. It's not just hire a veteran, it's hire a great one, you know. And once we started changing that attitude and people started looking at it that way, it really started to change things and come back around. And I think we're still working our way up. But I think we're starting to get to a better place where people are valuing it much more than putting it down. So there's my rant. I have nothing
with that. I could agree with that. And that's that's a beautiful thing. I mean, you know, I think that there are so many great skills and qualified veterans. They just have to be fought out. They just have to be recruited. And it's not about just hiring someone because they were veteran and which is all great and good. But we have qualification. So if you do go out and recruit one that would be beneficial for your organs, you are gonna probably increase profit in the end, which is what every organization wants to D'oh let the you know, federal,
but at least right. Yeah,
So if you've got a veteran that is still beneficial on if you have a bunch of you might find that your team actually improved, you know? And that you're doing better than he started out
though for me, stigmatizing veteran in it. A great way to for your own organization. Yeah, you know
absolutely well. And it's just like when they force. So they could They force people here, women like, Oh, we gotta fix our minority lists. And we need to get some minorities in here, and they don't focus small ways on recruiting great minorities. They just go like OK, well, how many women did we hire last year? Okay, that many. Great. Okay, we met our quota moving on, but they don't focus on good recruitment. So they might have some women that didn't fit the bill. And it's not fair because it shoots them in the foot and the employment, but it sticks exactly what happens with vets. They go. Well, let's hire some vets. Okay? We got some vets hired me and they saw a CSI. Well, it's like, you know, because you didn't match them for the right job. It's not fair to them. Absolutely. Yeah. so we could have a whole show just about the hiring place.
I mean, for real.
like something that I that is near and dear to my heart, actually, because I I don't think that the ideal believes that veteran should be priority. I I do. That's just my belief. It's my opinion. But in order to do that, I think that you have to really find talent that works for your organization. And I don't think I think that, um, that affirmative action so you see in hiring is all well and good. But it does kind of our people because they're just, you know, tracking off a let you know. I mean, they're just checking off the box instead of excellent checking off the boxes of the best possible candidates that they could actually find that the benefits of organizing sin and in my opinion and increase, you know, profit or an increase. The work was their amount of doing the way the operation run and ultimately be more efficient,
bright, And the more that we do it by choice, not by force is the more companies do that. Like I was just going to be seeing I saw on Amazon thing the other day, and it was like, um, promoting, um, having veterans start, they have these businesses to where you can start your own business being like a contract deliver for them type thing. And they're prioritizing veterans to be thes business owners because they know that vets are dialed in logistics and operations. Then they've got that organizational mine and leadership structure. And so they weren't just like, Oh, we just want to hire vets. I mean, gosh, dang it computer raise that They were like, We want Thio. We want to hire vets because we know they know their stuff, you know, which I thought that was pretty awesome.
so sorry to derail you so farther. But uh huh, Yeah, that's Ah, that's That's what I think about all that. And so I thought was really interesting when you said you needed to drop that off your resume because I think there's a lot of value and that that people need to hear and understand why. And, um and how much better I think we are doing it that I agree. Yeah, so that takes us through your well. Tell me So you dealt with divorce and you dealt with, you know, you moved for, came out, move forward. Um, And now you have these two beautiful kids, which we've got to meet here in the FCC on Lucas. And what was the other one?
Leo, tell me about Lucas and Leo.
Well, they're amazing. They're boy. So they're around bunching, but they're sweet hurt, and there are a lot of fun, and they keep me really grounded.
Yeah. And boys,
boy, boy boy Wonder Mama. Yeah. I mean, we definitely have a very, very special relationship. Um, together. And, um, they're just the most important thing in the world. Me
and what are they up to right now? Like whether their activities
Well, we'll get with home gold. Um,
And yet and so he's any grader and I have been homeschooling him first. Agreed.
I was gonna say, like, let's break this down a little bit, okay? It's not just that Leo is home school. It's that you are home schooling him like, yeah. Damn we to be Yeah, that's Corinne.
I'm not a teacher, but it's hard. This is actually my last beer. I am switching him to a charter school on morning. Um, he's wanted from there. Go to high school. So my last little bit of time, Um, doing curriculums and stuff like that. And Lucas started preschool this year, and I absolutely study here.
he went well, her gay on. But in a way, it's how I'm able to do do This is how I'm able to devote time to, you know, build slowly building. Ah, foundation. Um Artemis thehe thio to help being l veteran Tour homeless.
Yes, I tell me more about that because I wanted to pick. I'm glad that you mention it now because I wanted to ask you more about that foundation. Um, So tell me the name of it a little, because I'm hearing it a little bit, but tell me the name of it and your mission and how we can find it or help you with that
while it is in the works. Right now, I am just filing all the 503 see paperwork to get that going. And, um, the name of it is Artemis CIA. It is named after a naval strategist and queen from that predate, um, Christ and She was pretty amazing for her time running a country and was a brilliant naval strategist. So, um, the organization is named for her, and she, um it was just a really cool lady that ran things very well in just historically speaking. And I thought it would be amazing to pay her on honor and especially because the organization is being created the health female warriors. And she was one
Um, the organization itself is first mission is to help rehabilitate homeless female veterans and get them off the street as well as get them to thrive in life. So, um, the second mission is to, um, create smell veteran who would like to see alternative therapies to treat their illnesses who can't afford them. How much I think is really important as well.
and that's what it is. And, um, right now, the website being built and everything's just slowly progressing forward. I am going to be working with passageways in Kansas to learn everything I need to know about getting this up and running. They are an amazing organization who readability male veterans. They in five years have gone from creating how where they can take thes male veterans and and give them all the, um, the meet all their needs.
Yes, I'm familiar with Yeah, Your family? Yes. Yeah. Samedi admission.
So you know, the faithfully readability the mail that and then get them on their feet and get some thriving in life, which is exactly what I want to do with female veterans. And then right now, they are building our community get started. And so I'm going to work with that because they may want some help getting some started here on the West Coast. And it looks like I'm the girl s o. I was working with them to get that going. Klan learn everything I can, which will, in turn, help me to build out our new media.
Awesome. And some if somebody right now is like, Oh, my God, I love what she's doing. I wanna help right now. What can they dio while you're in this stage to help? Is there someplace they condone? E is there? Um you know what? If somebody was to help you right now, what would you want them to? D'oh.
Well, they could check out, um www. The female veterans pocket dot com. And on that Ah, you can quick some button the landing p buttons on. And it will take you to find out more information about both the female veterans podcast and to Artemis Zia and where you can donate
awesome, perfect and help you really get cause none of this stuff is cheap. People like that's what you think. Like you want to do good things and you want to that man, everything just sucks. All of your resource is. But when your heart is in the right place, it's, you know, you just give everything that you possibly can, And, um, so anybody that can help her out you by helping her you're helping a female veteran get on their feet today, Tomorrow, next year, at some point, it will be going towards something really good. So please listen to her podcast and help her out. And so, in regards to your podcast, I wanted to know, like, tell me a couple of guests that you've had, you know, just give me a couple of examples of, um, you know, stories that you've heard or some inspirational moments from the podcast since you've started it.
Well, I can tell you this for certain. The podcast has completely changed my life. I wanted to build a platform to empower women to share their stories both good and bad because I felt like number one, Uh, for women who have suffered trauma, it is healing to share your story and for women who are not ready to share its healing for them to hear that they're not alone. Number two for young girls who are considering going into the military to hear both the good and bad stories so they can make an educated decision and also for the entire community of women in the world in the country to know what we experience both good and bad. And so, uh, when I started the podcast, I was very fortunate that women wanted to share their story. And they dio and, um, there are women veterans all over the country that come and they want to be a part of it. I've gotten amazing amount of support, an amazing amount of love or what I'm doing. And I'm so blown away and grateful for it at the same time. Not to mention. Then there's the hearing of the stories themselves, and it's like your style of interview. Mine is the same. I love meet my veterans sisters. I feel an immediate kinship with, um and we talk. We just talked stories than their riel, and they're compelling. And they're they're just amazing heroes that are just coming forward and opening up and being vulnerable and very, very, very wrong that time. And so I'm always amazed, always abused at what I hear, Um, and what we go through both officer and enlisted and it's It's just it's been an incredible experience. And so I think, um, the stories that stick out in my mind My friend Mindy, who I served with she was in the first season, and her story was a good one off for the most part, and she definitely dealt with some issues that we deal with those women, you know, She dealt with, you know, getting cracked over because she didn't deploy and she dealt with, you know, less than ideal situation, you know. But she would not categorize her story as her experience. I would say as a negative one. She had a really great experience. She loved being in the Navy, and she retired as a chief, which was amazing. I was so interested to find out so that her problem was in the transition. She definitely had a difficult time transitioning to civilian life and offered all of my guests offer advice again and offered the most incredible advice about reinventing yourself after you get out. And I would say, other than the story, um, the advice is amazing and very, very beautiful and very, very hopeful. And so another story that felt they they all live in my mind. Actually, every single one of those girls is incredible. Every single woman I've spoken to has left a print on my heart, and I love them. Love them all like sisters. Um, and I love to them before, But afterwards it's just it's just the unbreakable bond I feel like. And, um, and another story, Um, see is the most incredible woman a mother or and he was involved. He was a survivor of military sexual trauma, and her story is coming up actually hasn't yet, and that story is that it is all right now from Palm. It is that it was the first time I ever truly broke down in an interview and had to stop it like I just couldn't go on. I was just shaken, shaken to my core. And she's a delight and she's funny. And she tried to make me laugh, didn't laugh and and I will like I will love her for the day I die in a in It's chipped. I'll never, never forget her. Never forget her story. Um, it was just so moving. And I think the very last interviews that I did with Kara uh, see, she was incredible feel. And he was the 1st 1 where I got really angry at what she experienced and just kind of off my temper during the pocket about the experience. So that one thing about for that, but they are all and I'm keeping I'm keeping it in because it's important.
It's a really,
really happened. And though I think
that by anger, you're feeling the sadness you feel in something that anger, you feel in sound like that's legit, and that should be left in there because those air those were the real emotions that are coming out of some this of and the happiness and the laughing. But, you know, we worked so hard to cut this stuff out, just like our earlier in the show is like, I'm not cutting your kids out. I'm keeping them there because that's that's life. That's it's really a and, you know, their anger is, Yeah, I mean, God, some of this stuff that goes on it's just, like, pisses me off in, And it's okay to feel that because people need to feel that we need to not hide it. I mean, there's no reason to blow it up and make it something it's not. But that's your hearing. These real stories and your film really emotions. And I I commend you for for sharing those with everybody.
Thank you. I want everyone to know. I want everyone to know how these live in hell, how they felt good or bad. Every single story is important, and we should all hear them
slightly and s. So I'm hoping you're gonna gets more listeners after this because, Pete, more people need Thio, discover your podcast and hear what you're doing and hear this story's thean inspirational stories. And I love that how you're talking about that you want little girls to hear and young women to hear these things so they know the good, the bad, the ugly and it's not. It's not everything the recruiter tells them. There's a lot of layers, you know, that are important to here, and we need to hear all of the different stories going into. No matter if we're gonna go in tow, working at Starbucks or going into the Marines, we need to know all the different sides. So that's kind of how I shaped some of my recruitment efforts throughout the last several years. You know, a woman Would these young girls come up to being like, Oh, I love what you're doing and how do we do that? I'm like, Oh, yeah, it's really great. This this and this. And then I try to help them like okay, And then I need you to think about where you're gonna be in 15 years, you know? Where do you envision yourself and me? With the military? Different. You got your servant. But when you choose it to be a career, you know, like firefighting. When I chose that, I couldn't see my emotions. When I was a new mother, I couldn't see you know, the effect it would have on a marriage. I couldn't see, you know, because I was invincible at that time. And you don't have those those guilt tugs of being a mama and you feel all of that stuff. And so I tried to tell women now in men, too. I mean, whoever I'm recruiting or are, you ever asked me about him? Here's all the great things. There's all the exciting things. And then here's the things I want you to think about, for your goals and your aspirations later so that you know, these challenges ey're coming and they're not such a shocker when you get there. And I think that's important. More of us need to do that for all the different professions out there.
I agree. I absolutely agree with that.
Well, is there anything else that we need to make sure and tell folks, or any thing any other info that you would like us to make sure that we share with others out there?
Just listen to the story, check out the podcast if he feel moved to and, you know, support support veterans and support the truth
now in our home in our towns and our hometowns. What is something that we can d'oh to help our local female veterans who are struggling? What's something that we can go out there and dio
that's an easy one? Donate. Donate women's clothes. You coat toiletries something as simple as the lip gloss or a little designer and Proctor's perfume and make a woman living on the street have the hope to want to get off the street. Donate. Go to your vet center, donate their go to your charity problem. You want to donate or female veterans get involved. Take some action. You know thing Thank you for your service is wonderful, but actually something as simple is donating and starting the conversation about that is just what is so necessary and so needed.
You got it. That's how did you just make me cry with saying the words donate in lip gloss? Uh, I'm
I How and all I can say is that way back when you and your friend were trying to figure out what to do and they told you that that they just really needed a voice and he felt that calling. They certainly found the right woman to say that, too, because you are an excellent voice. And thank you. Not just for your service from way back when but thank you for your service right now and everything you're doing forward. So thank you so much for everything you're doing.
Oh, my God, No. You're gonna make
me. I'm sorry, because I'm not even like that. But I just You know, you're doing something so much bigger than yourself, and I just want you to know that I see you and a lot of people see you and thank you for what you're doing.
Thank you. Thank you for saying that means the world to me is beautiful. Thank you.
Yeah. And with that Sorry, everybody, If we made it on emotional note, go doom. Girls were just It's just real life. And and thank you. So with that, I'm gonna let you go. And thank you so much for spending this time with me today. It's really been an honor.
It's been my privilege. Thank you.
All right. I'll be talking to you soon For more information on everything that key is doing with the female veterans podcast in her upcoming nonprofit charity, Be sure to check out our show. Notes. I'm gonna abby bolt dot com for more information. It has been an honor to spend this time with you.