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A Military Spouse’s Guide to Finding Empowerment through Employment


By Charlene Wilde

Assistant Secretary, AAFMAA

In October 2015, a dear friend of my family had sudden heart attack and died at 39, leaving behind his wife and three boys. I helped the family as much as I could during their time of need but, of course, I always felt like there was more that I could be doing. Shortly after my friend’s funeral, I was contacted through my local military spouse employment office about a position with The American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), in its survivor assistance department, which I graciously accepted. I am not sure if I would have been so drawn to this position had I not just watched a dear friend of mine suffer.

Fast-forward to March of 2016 when my father, a Vietnam veteran, was diagnosed with lung cancer and given just six weeks to live. My position with AAFMAA enabled me to assist my parents and give my dad peace of mind that his wife would be taken care of.

In life, things are often all about perspective. For military spouses, no matter your location, family situation or partner’s rank, considering employment options can be tricky and inspiration can come when you least expect it. In my case, an unfortunate tragedy opened me up to new opportunities to grow not only personally but also professionally.

Read Charlene's full story and all of her tips for finding empowerment through employment on MilHousing Network and SpouseLink. 

Charlene Wilde is a veteran and military spouse. She is the Assistant Secretary of AAFMAA, our nation’s longest-standing non-profit association that empowers military families with affordable financial solutions. Wilde is also a regular contributor to SpouseLink, an online community created by AAFMAA to inform, support, and inspire Military Spouses around the world.