Your Story Your Strength 12 – Michele Johnson
With each Camouflaged Sisters book project we’ve experienced the healing power of putting pen to paper and better understand the incredible power our words have. In this series, we interview coauthors from the next Camouflaged Sisters book, Behind the Rank and learn how they’ve been able to regain personal strength by sharing their individual stories. Listen in as they share the struggles they’ve been able to overcome in their lives and military careers to become the courageous women they are today. Here is a snippet from our interview with Michele Johnson.
From 14:23 – 15:09
HOST: So, that’s pretty incredible that your journey started off like that. It’s always find – you know, I’ve been talking to a lot of ladies and what I’ve found is that many of us are – there’s two types of women that join the military: Women who are running away from something and women who are running toward something to validate them.
HOST: Right. Wouldn’t you agree with that?
GUEST: I do. I do. I’ve heard the same stories, and it usually falls in those two categories: Running from something or toward something that – to make them feel like, you know, this is me, where they can fit.
HOST: Yup. That’s it right there.
GUEST: Yeah. Yeah. I agree with you wholeheartedly.
GUEST: And I feel like that it’s important for, not just other military women – because we know. We know. When I read – hear you talking, I understand. I feel you. And I feel the same way, you know, that other military women – they can feel, you know, what we’re going through, and it encourages them, but I feel like that it was important for me to do this because I’m around a lot of women who have never been in the military, have never been in a family that had someone in the military, and I feel like they need to, not just hear the story, but be able to read the stories. And I mean all of the stories in this project. I believe that they would have a better understanding of, you know, of our story because it is so unique. You know, there’s no other job quite like ours.
And the things that we go through and, you know, when I talk to some people, I have to — my chain of command, they’re like, your chain of command? Okay. My supervisor. You know, just change it so they understand it. And I feel like they still don’t get it, but I believe when you take several stories and they are able to read several stories that show, you know, where we’re still women –
And the title is wonderful because there’s so much behind the rank. There’s so much. I’m a visual person, so I see like, you know, under our rank is, like, almost by our heart depending on how your uniform fits. But that’s what our heart is for our children; that our heart is for our families; that our heart are for our friends; that we still have other lives, you know, that is connected, but we balance it out with being in the military; having our friendships; traveling to, you know, other places; doing other things; doing normal things — because sometimes, that’s what some people will ask me. Oh, you can leave the coast? Oh, you can – you know, just – and I’m like, they just don’t understand. They don’t really have a concept that, you know, we’re a woman that cries, has emotions, has feelings, reads books, you know, does normal things like other women but we also have, you know, a duty and a responsibility to our country.
We have, you know, we have said – we stand out and we are unique, you know, we are in, you know – I just felt like right now was a good time. And I have three more years left in the military, and, so, I wanted to share my military story because I think people think they know me, you know, just as a person, but they don’t know behind the rank as much as I would like for them to know. And I also — you know, this is an opportunity just not to hear my story, but to hear the – a myriad of stories, a variety — diverse group of women that are in this book project. And, so, I just think it’s going to be an awesome experience for someone else to read it. That was important to me at this time.
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