Staff Sergeant Zandria Michaud
Yes, that's really me. I was in the Army for five years, before cell phones had cameras. I was a broadcast journalist/public affairs specialist stationed at Fort Bragg, NC and then later Frankfurt and Wiesbaden Germany.
I excelled at my military training and was promoted quickly to the rank of E-6. This is quite a rare achievement for a 22-year-old.
While in Germany, I managed the largest US forces broadcasting television and radio station, serving a DoD audience of more than 66,000. I supervised seven soldiers and was responsible for all training, day-to-day operations, deadlines and quality control. I produced, wrote and anchored American Forces Network Hessen's television and radio newscasts on a daily basis. I updated the station website, uploading pictures, and radio and television stories.
My experiences in the military gave me the confidence and leadership skills to manage incredible responsibilities.
After I was honorably discharged from the Army, my husband, who was also in the Army, was stationed at Ft. Lewis. Just a few months after our son was born my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year.
I know sacrifice. Raising a baby by myself was tough and my husband missed out on so many of my son's firsts. Thinking about this time in my life still makes me emotional. The impact of his deployment was so significant that it influenced my decision to write a thesis on the impacts of year-long military deployments on children. I can only hope that more research has been done on this subject since then.
I have the utmost respect for military spouses and their children. They deserve all of our support.