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Transitions: Reserve helps Airman find balance she craves

Capt. Angela Martin

Capt. Angela Martin

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas -- As I sat in the lobby of the military personnel section at Travis Air Force Base, California, waiting for my active duty career to wrap up, my mind was filled with competing emotions.

On one side, there was disappointment in myself for not continuing with my career. The Air Force had provided me with a foundation of success: a college education, opportunities for world-wide travel, and situations that challenged me personally and professionally. Why was I leaving this behind?

There was also the unnerving feeling of regret. Would I miss the companionship of my brothers and sisters in arms? Or forever wonder about career opportunities that could have been?

But the feelings of hope far outweighed the negative emotions racking my brain. As a new mom to a baby girl and a spouse to an active duty husband, I was eager to establish balance in my personal life. To be honest, my active duty career left me exhausted. I poured my entire soul into the mission and my job, leaving little energy for my loved ones or for myself.

I wanted the option to spend more time at home with my baby, helping her grow and providing her with the daily comfort she deserved. I was ready to let go of the stress and worry I felt with securing future join-spouse assignments. I was excited to get back into hobbies and interests that had been collecting dust for far too long. But most of all, I was ready to take control of my personal life and future career progression (and sneak in a little bit more rest).

I was hopeful transitioning into the Air Force Reserve would help me find the balance I craved.

Transitioning from active duty to the Reserve helped ease the pain of leaving everything behind. The Reserve provides the opportunity to continue wearing the uniform while choosing where I want to work, when I want to work, and a position within my skill set I want to hold. I knew there were opportunities to travel and attend school for professional development. I also knew that belonging to a new unit would enable me to maintain esprit de corps with my fellow Airmen.

For the first time in my career, it felt like the stars were aligning. I was moving into my new role as a stay-at-home mom while working as a part-time Airman. I had a job lined up as a traditional reservist working for a commander who truly cared about my personal wishes, respected my time outside the office and supported my aspirations in my civilian capacity.

As the Airman working at MPS signed my paperwork and closed with “Thank you for your service,” a weight lifted from my shoulders. My future was bright as a new member of the Air Force Reserve.

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