"The Hardest Part Is Losing Friends:" 10 Women Veterans Share Their Stories

In honor of Veteran's Day, we'd like to introduce you to ten totally amazing and inspiring women.
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Meet Amanda Crow

Amanda Crow

“At times all I wanted was another woman to talk to…”

Amanda Crow, 27, is a retired, disabled veteran who served as the only woman specials ops parachute rigger for the U.S. Navy for the past nine years. Amanda’s husband, Special Warfare Boat Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer Jeremy Crow, died February 22, 2010 while deployed at war. Amanda has since fulfilled their dream of opening PostNet NeighborhoodBusinessCenter so military service women and men would have an easier time sending their packages and cards to loved ones.

Hometown: Huntly, Virginia

Where did you serve? China Lake and San Diego, Californa; Guam; Bahrain; Iraq; Kuwait; Jordan; and Norfolk, Virginia

Why did you decide to join? I graduated when I was 17 years old, and my goal was to go to Wesleyan College, but couldn’t afford it at the time. I was extremely frustrated about not being able to go to school, and the recruiter from the Navy called at the right time on the right day. 

What’s the hardest part? Being away from everyone and missing everything. I missed so many events from wedding to funerals, and the final straw that made me leave was losing my husband.  

What do you love most about it? There were so many thrills, but being able to skydive and getting paid for it ranks near the top of the list! 

How does your family feel about it? My mom and dad were both excited and proud of all that I was able to do during my seven years in the Navy. It was especially thrilling because my grandfather was in the Navy, on the USS Alabama, which I reenlisted on in 2009. 

What’s it like being a female service member? Is it hard? I don’t think it was hard. At times all I wanted was another woman to talk to, but working in Special Operations for six out of my seven years, there was rarely an opportunity for female interaction. Eventually, I ended up being one of the boys which was also fun because it was like having a bunch of big brothers who always wanted me to do well and protected me from people that didn’t feel the same way. 

What are some things you take with you, or do, to feel “at home” when you’re so far away from home? When I went to Bahrain I brought my dog, Luke, who played an integral role in keeping me going.  He is what keeps me going a lot of times. To keep the feeling of home, I try and get into a routine as quick as possible. Once I have that down, normally it feels like home. However, getting packages from home with normal food was a great boost!  

Your biggest fear? My biggest fear is and always was failing. I’m not good with rejection, so I work very hard to succeed. 

What do you want most out of life? To be a mom, and find out what happened to my husband. 

What’s something you wish all Americans knew about our troops? People that aren’t part of a military family don’t realize how hard it is to be away, always missing everything, and always putting your job first. For all of the people that want to complain about America, they should go overseas to a third world country and they will quickly realize how good we have it in the United States. We should be glad that the war isn’t on our land. 

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