An interview with Staff Sergeant Britney Oswald & Senior Airman Ann Wimple
I've struggled with Veteran's Day for a long time. Its meaning. Why people serve.
Should I have more respect for them than others? A special respect, maybe?
Why is there not a National Holiday for Creative Directors also? Why do Veteran's
get a national holiday and I don't?
People who serve our country often do so with a passion and to some extent,
ask us to share in that passion. I wanted to share my interview with this couple.
It helped me understand the motivation behind their service, the daily struggles
Ann and Britney have been sending their love of the Northwest to one another
for years. A lot of that love comes from Little Bay Root. We decided to get to
know these two a little better after seeing some of their photos on social media
and the constant packages being sent to one another.
Happy Veteran's Day to Little Bay Root's favorite service people!
Name and rank.
SSgt Britney Oswald.
Where are you physically stationed?
Scott Air Force Base, IL.
Where is home?
Name and rank.
Senior Airman (SrA) Ann Wimple.
Where are you physically stationed?
Scott AFB, IL.
Where is home?
Northern California. But, home is anywhere that I am with my girls.
What drives you crazy abut where you are stationed?
Britney: People are SO RUDE! Nothing like the West Coast…nothing!
Ann: The people seem to be so unhappy that they are ridiculously rude!!! Coming from the west coast it is quite different.
Brian (interviewer): Hallelujah to that! West is best!
Tell us about your immediate family (and pets!)
Britney: Just the little babe, myself, and Annie…we have Tod the American Bulldog (our first baby together), and Fitch the chihuahua.
Brian: I might consider a monkey, but no kids. If I get pregnant, you can have it.
Tell us about your extended family. Were your parents in the the military or do you have a family history of service? Why are you there, what/who was your inspiration to join the service?
Britney: Born and raised Oregonian, I will never claim any different! All my family is in Oregon. I have a cousin who was in the Marine Corp but I wasn’t very close with him. I always wanted to join the military to do something bigger than me and what everyone else was going to do (college). I knew that the disciplined lifestyle was for me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be in the military. I always wanted to be a tough girl.
Ann: My dad joined the Marine Corps when he was 17. He got out of active duty and became a police officer. When 9/11 happened he reenlisted in the reserves. I tried going to college when I graduated high school but that wasn't for me...not yet at least. And I knew that I wanted to be a police officer serving my community or I wanted to join the military and serve my country. I happened to join the military and I am a police officer in the military. So I kind of got the best of both worlds. I am happy every single day to defend my country so that my friends, family, and everyone in America can be safe and free!!!
How did you two meet?
Britney: Annie is a cop, she would work the gate when we were stationed at Ellsworth in South Dakota. I would always make sure I would take my lunch breaks at the same time to see her, little did I know she was always making sure she got the gate the same hour because she knew I was coming through. We finally hung out and after that day, we have been inseparable.
Ann: Brit and I met at our first duty station. Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. I worked at the gate checking ID's. Brit started coming through my gate everyday when she had lunch. When I started noticing what time it was I made sure that I was the one checking ID's during that time. Little did I know she was making sure to come through the gate at that time because she knew I was working. Ever since then, there hasn't been a single day where we haven't talked. We have been hooked on each other since day one!!!
Brian: Well, your stories check out. Good coordination ladies!
How much time do you get together?
Britney: By the time we hit our three year mark together, next August, we will only have been physically together 1.5 years. When we are home together we probably spend a good 4 hours awake and together a day.
What is your typical work day like?
Britney: I have an AMAZING job. I am a personnelist (admin/HR) and I work normal work week hours; 730-430 every day. I get up super early, take our pumpkin to school, go to work, go get the monster and go home.
Ann: My typical day is having to be to work by 5am and I am off around 2pm. Each day varies. Some days I am on the gate and checking ID's...some days I am doing security for aircraft...and some days I am driving around in a patrol car and working the law enforcement side of the job.
Brian: Okay, if this is your typical day, then we definitely need a Creative Director's Day, LOL.
Have you been in combat? Would you like to?
Britney: Combat, no, thank goodness. Combat zone, yes. Would I like to be IN combat, no. I would like to go back into a combat zone, it gives you purpose when there is mortars popping off every two hours so close to where you are working.
Tell us about a time that being in the military made you breathe in deep and say “this is why I am doing this”!
Britney: Oh man, what a great question. I have had so many of these moments…when I was deployed I had a school teacher who would send me drawings and creations from her 1st grade classroom. Along with those crafts she would send me a letter that the class made together; I probably got these once a month. Every time a got a letter from that class, it brought that feeling, the feeling that THIS is why I do this, to protect those sweet children loving children. They are so thankful, and so precious.
Ann: When over to FaceTime Brit and our daughter. I sit and think how incredible it is that everything Brit and I do and sacrifice is so that our kids can be free to be anything they want...so they can achieve every goal they set their sights on...so that our kids can go outside and play with her friends and know she is going to be safe.
Brian: Setting up a path for success is the best thing a parent can do!
What are you going to miss when you come back home?
Britney: Nothing...haha...maybe the traveling.
Ann: The traveling mostly. We have met some really great people along the way but the good ones remain friends even when there is distance.
Brian: Two peas. One pod.
What is one thing you think civilians misunderstand about serving (or the military in general)?
Britney: Every time I go home, people think that it’s my obligation to go see every single one of them. There is only three of us, and so many people that we want to be able to see. For us to travel to see everyone is incredibly hard, people don’t understand what it’s like to visit home after being away for so long.I don’t talk to a lot of people, so I haven’t really heard any misconceptions about the military people and what we do, which is good!
What are your thoughts about America’s role in the world, as it pertains to military?
Britney: There are some places that people deploy that I just can’t comprehend what the mission could possibly be…but some things aren’t for us to understand, we just do what we do knowing that we are keeping people safe so they can sleep at night.
What is the best way to support our troops for a person who is anti-military, anti-war?
Britney: If it wasn’t for our strong military forces, America wouldn’t be so feared. Who knows where we would be if we didn’t have the defense system we have to be. We could very well be the little people, an easy target for the rest of the world. Although I chose to be in the military, I don’t agree with war either, I want peace…but that’s why I joined, is to create peace, make the world a better place. Sometimes to earn peace we have to fight for what’s right, and what we want and deserve…freedom. Support comes as easy as a simple thank you, thank you for doing something only .01% of America has chosen to do, to support, protect, and defend.
Ann: Just have respect for the people who are literally out there laying down their lives everyday so that you can have your opinions and you can have your beliefs with the freedom we provide. Even if you don't agree just remember that only 1% of Americans are actually willing to do this...and we do it all for you. And find a non profit place to be involved in sending care packages or letters to people who are deployed it really does make our day. Operation gratitude is a great program. And remember that being away from our families is not fun for us it's probably the hardest thing we will ever have to do. But we do it for everyone back home. Whether we know you or not we are doing it for you!!!