John Shieldsmith
May 06, 2022

The Gist

Military Appreciation Month and Military Spouse Appreciation day both happen in May, during which time we celebrate and honor the millions of active and veteran servicepeople and their spouses. There are numerous military spouses at AKASA, each of which makes our work possible. To honor the military spouses of AKASA, we invited them to share their stories, struggles, and tips around life as a military spouse.

There are more than seven-million military spouses in the United States, between active duty and surviving spouses of veterans. May is Military Appreciation Month, with Military Spouse Appreciation day falling on May 6, a time during which we honor and celebrate those partnering with active and veteran military service members.

At AKASA, we have a number of military spouses that proudly help our clients and support our team. Our very own VP of revenue cycle operations, Amy Raymond, is a proud military spouse who’s made it her mission to hire and support as many other military spouses as possible.

Raymond lost a job she loved largely because of her status as a military spouse. She couldn’t travel and her husband was deployed, so her career was put on hold. After receiving support from a commanding officer’s wife and local groups, Raymond realized a career was possible, and that support made all the difference in the world.

From the moment she joined AKASA, Raymond set out to hire as many qualified military spouse revenue cycle specialists as possible.

“Support made a huge difference for me, and I wanted to return the favor and help as many military spouses as possible.” – Amy Raymond, VP of Revenue Cycle Operations at AKASA

We have a rapidly growing group of military spouses at AKASA, largely thanks to Raymond’s efforts. We know and appreciate these wonderful individuals, and want to give you the same opportunity to meet them. Here are some of the military spouses that help make AKASA’s healthcare operations work possible.

1. Amber Taylor

Amber Taylor
Title: RCO Analyst II
Spouse Military Branch: US Navy

What was most unexpected for you about being a military spouse?

I never realized how capable I am of doing hard things. I’ve learned so much about my ability to step up, to be adaptable, to try new things. As a military spouse, the responsibilities surrounding kids’ illnesses, appointments, extra curriculars, etc. all fall on me.

It’s been hard, but so rewarding.

2. Tayler Prater

Tayler Prater

Title: RCO Analyst II
Spouse Military Branch: US Navy

Have you encountered problems around finding work when you transfer to different states?

For me, work has always been the biggest struggle anytime we move — from finding places that are hiring to getting hired to needing time off to putting in your two weeks a few years later when it’s time to move again. And then you have to start the whole process over. My resume is so long! So many military spouses have trouble advancing in their careers, as a result.

3. Shannon Wild

Shannon_Wild

Title: Manager of RCO Projects
Spouse Military Branch: Air Force (Shannon and her husband both served)

What can businesses do to better support military spouses and families?

Understanding is huge! When a spouse is gone, the burden of maintaining the home and the family falls 100% on the spouse left behind. Things like taking the kids to school, handling doctors appointments, and grocery shopping become harder to coordinate.

When employers are willing to work with employees on start times, it can make a huge difference in the stress the spouse is dealing with. Oftentimes, kids are really emotional when a spouse deploys, especially if they’re old enough to understand where they’re going. Being able to be there to drop off and pick up a child from school helps the child feel comforted.

Also, understanding that there is a time difference and the spouse might call in the middle of the day. If the employee feels comfortable to step away and take the call, that’s huge as well.

Understanding the employee’s needs have changed and helping them navigate through that is helpful overall.

4. Sasha Garcia

Sasha Garcia


Title: RCO Analyst II
Spouse Military Branch: Army

How can people better understand life as a military spouse?

In a weird sense, the military spouse is serving as well. But in a different respect. When our husband or wife takes that oath, we’re also serving. Serving by having to be okay with being away from our spouse for long periods of time. Serving by going days and weeks without any communication to confirm they’re okay, all while maintaining a home, raising children, and explaining that Mommy or Daddy will be home soon (while holding back your own tears). There are so many different battles that military spouses deal with that are not always brought to light.

5. Katie Eden

Katie_Eden


Title: Revenue Cycle Operations Supervisor
Spouse Military Branch: Navy

What’s one benefit every company should offer military spouses?

It can be difficult for a military spouse to have a career due to the demands of the military. A couple of benefits here at AKASA that support military spouses include working remotely and flex time. That flexibility is key for military families.

Also, the unforeseen ups and downs of the military can add stress to military families. A self-care benefit that promotes well-being would be valuable.

6. Niki Bouge

Niki Bouge


Title: RCO Analyst II
Spouse Military Branch: Navy

What can colleagues do to support military spouses?

Colleagues simply need to be understanding of our ever-changing lives. It helps just to know we have our colleagues on our side if we ever need words of encouragement or even someone to vent to.

7. Loreina Moreno

Loreina Moreno


Title: Data Analyst I
Spouse Military Branch: Navy

What are some of the challenges of being a working military spouse that most people may not realize?

Up until joining AKASA I could never see myself being able to hold a job that could survive our next duty transfer. Finding work that fits around our spouse and children is a pretty tough task! When I became an employee at AKASA, I had this moment where I realized I never had to be worried about starting and stopping random jobs again.

8. Monica Wilson

Monica Wilson


Title: RCO Analyst III
Spouse Military Branch: Army

What’s your fondest memory as a military spouse?

A few of my husband’s best friends, who he served with, attended our wedding. They reminisced and shared stories throughout the entire night. Many of these stories were new to me, reminding me how proud I am of what my husband did for our country.

9. Bailee Chokr

Bailee Chokr


Title: RCO Analyst I
Spouse Military Branch: Coast Guard

How has AKASA supported you as a military spouse?

More PTO has allowed me to FINALLY enjoy a vacation with my husband. In the past, PTO was saved for trips to Michigan to see family or used for moving. With more flexible PTO, I can use time for those essential family trips and moving, but also take precious time off with my husband.

10. Amy Raymond

Amy_Raymond


Title: VP of Revenue Cycle Operations
Spouse Military Branch: Navy

What would you say to those struggling to find their footing as a military spouse?

Don’t give up.

Network as much as you can. Take advantage of milspouse communities, companies like Hiring Our Heroes, the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) program, free education available to spouses, career fairs, free LinkedIn pro subscriptions for trainings and connecting, and so on.

Remind yourself that it’s okay to reevaluate your “why” and decide what you want to do, whether that’s work or stay home or something else entirely. Either way, don’t give up.

Appreciating Military Spouses Everywhere

The above people are only a handful of the millions of military spouses in the United States. Just as we appreciate them, we appreciate each and every military spouse. Without their dedication, sacrifice, and support, the people that serve the United States wouldn’t be able to do what they do.

While military spouses often serve as the foundation of their family, we also recognize that nobody can or should go it alone. If you or someone you know is a military spouse in need of support, these organizations are here to help:

We also understand the work-related struggles that often come with being a military spouse. AKASA is always hiring, so we encourage all military spouses to check our career pages. We offer fully-remote work, extensive benefits, unlimited PTO, and the understanding that military spouses face a number of challenges unique to military life.

While May is the official month for appreciating the military and military spouses, we at AKASA appreciate all that you do, year round. Thank you.

WRITTEN BY
John Shieldsmith

John Shieldsmith is the senior writer at AKASA, where he regularly interviews both internal AKASA experts and external partners to help them share their stories. Before coming to AKASA, he helped dozens of healthcare tech orgs, SaaS startups, and established e-commerce brands grow their voice. He studied English at Indiana University and currently lives near Austin, Texas with his wife and son.

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