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The Freedom Sisters Podcast

Women Veteran's Soulful Stories to Help Others Overcome, Heal. Thrive.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Women Veteran's Soulful Stories to Help Others Overcome, Heal. Thrive.

EntertainHER Series | Jennifer Brofer

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Let's go today we are talking with Jennifer Brofer as we continue the EntertainHERs Series here on the Freedom Sisters Podcast.

Jennifer Brofer is a producer and actor who served as a Marine Corps broadcast journalist. Growing up, she always had a love for theater and film, but she put her dreams on hold in order to answer the call to military service.

In 2010, she deployed for a year to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province as the 1st MLG (Forward) Public Affairs Chief, coordinating news coverage of the unit’s forward-deployed Marines and sailors. 

In January 2012, Brofer was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and went on to attend film school at The University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film. She is now the CEO of Right Face Productions. In 2020, she joined the California State Guard.

When she's not making films or looking at kittens on Instagram, she volunteers as an ambassador for Pin-Ups for Vets, an award-winning non-profit organization that benefits hospitalized veterans and deployed troops across the globe. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and a member of The American Legion Post 43.

https://www.jenniferbrofer.net

www.freedomsisters.com


--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Jun 14 2021

44mins

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EntertainHER Series: Melanie Corinne

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We start a new series this week!

We are talking to writers, authors, producers, directors, creators, podcasters galore for the next 8 weeks!

Our very first and lovely guest is Melanie Corinne.

Melanie Corinne is a Marine vet and former Levantine Arabic linguist. She served at Camp Lejeune and deployed to Spain in 2016. She has a degree in English, creative writing from Fordham University and currently works in film and television with ViacomCBS. Connect with her on LinkedIn, or follow her Youtube Channel, The Writers Inn, for craft and industry notes for writers.


She is kind, articulate, imaginative and wise—I introduce my dear friend to you all!

Jun 07 2021

42mins

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Mother|Daughter Duo: Tanya and Amber

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We are wrapping up our series with our mother/daughter duos today and we have such a treat for you.  


This episode is full of love and grace.  My favorite thing about this duo is the fact that Tanya, the momma came into Amber's life and healed her broken parts and accepted her FULLY as a daughter.


I just love the sincerity and compassion yet extreme ambition with this pair! A story of hope, healing and belonging.


Being in the military is hard, being a mother in the military is harder—this series has hopefully given you a glimpse of the incredible commitment it takes to serve at home and in the military.


www.freedomsisters.com

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 31 2021

31mins

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Mother|Daughter Duo: Teryn and Ashley

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All month long we are celebrating military MotHERhood with mother/daughter duos.  This week we sit down with duo #4!


You are in for a real treat. An incredible adoption story that was sealed with the love of service.

Teryn and Ashley are strong, brave, kind and full of love not only for this nation but for one another and other women veterans.

We discuss the hard moments of military service, breastfeeding in uniform, giving back to MST survivors and being a Texan in Kodiak, Alaska!

www.freedomsisters.com 

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 24 2021

42mins

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Mother|Daughter Duo: Kathy and Emily

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May is a fun month, all month long to honor MotHER's day, we are bringing you 5 weeks of mother/daughter duos to the show. You get to hear about the family dynamics, honor and how the military really is a family business for these special mother-daughter teams.


This week is week 3 and we have Kathy Donovan and Emily Cirocco.


Both women are Navy, one retired after 30 years of faithful service and the other still serving and getting ready to be a recruiter!  I was a captain in the Army an O3 but a Captian in the Navy is an O6,  which is the rank right below generals/admirals.  Really senior ranking and the competition is steep.  Kathy Donovan achieved that rank in her 30-year career and is known as a legend to those who served under her.  Her daughter Emily Cirocco is a Petty Officer 3rd Class and looking forward to continuing to serve and make a name for herself in the Navy.

Emily is a new mom and we get to hear both women gush over the baby, hear about the fun they had served together, special memories and how they became a family.  Our first blended family in the series with a very special bond and story.  I hope you leave this conversation knowing that blood is not thicker than water, you can serve and parent well, and mostly finding what works for your family to be the mom and the military member you want to be!  

We have some great tips and advice for you today, so let's dive in.


For more stories of women veterans subscribe to our magazine. 

https://www.magsfast.com/Magazines/Freedom-Sisters/Latest


--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 17 2021

36mins

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Women In Service—Merryl Tengesdal Part 2

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Welcome to Women in Service—A Partnership between ViacomCBS Veterans Network and Freedom Sisters Media.  This is our first episode Part 1 with Retired Colonel Merryl Tengesdal.

To us, Merryl is the coolest woman on the planet and you are about to find out why, tune in to part two to hear what she is doing now she is no longer in the military! She is a mom, motivational speaker, personal trainer and a reality TV Star!!!  Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers in the world, we love you and appreciate your hard work!

More about Merryl:  A retired United States Air Force Colonel, Tengesdal served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.   A native of The Bronx, New York, Tengesdal is a graduate from the University of New Haven with a Science Degree in electrical engineering. She was one of three women to make it through the program. After Officer Candidate School commissioning, she began a career as a Naval Aviator by flying the SH-60B Seahawk Helicopter at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. During that time, she deployed on two long cruises and multiple short cruises to the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. After a three-year sea tour in helicopters, Colonel Tengesdal went on to become a T-34C and T-6A Instructor Pilot. After completing T-6A Instructor Training, she became one of four Navy T-6A Instructors to train Navy and Air Force students at Joint Student Undergraduate Pilot Training (JSUPT) at Moody Air Force Base, GA. Her former Navy flight instructor, Commander Ron Robinson, has said that Merryl David (maiden name) "was one of my best flight students, and it doesn't surprise me that she's doing so well."  Once she completed her Navy obligation, she continued her military career by transferring over to the Air Force to fly the Lockheed U-2S Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California. Tengesdal was deployed to multiple locations in support of Operations OLIVE HARVEST, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM and HORN OF AFRICA.

In 2017, Tengesdal retired from Air Force as a colonel.

In 2021, she competed on the CBS Television Show, Tough as Nails.

www.freedomsisters.com

www.viacomcbsvetnet.com

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This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 10 2021

28mins

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Women In Service—Merryl Tengesdal Part 1

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Welcome to Women in Service—A Partnership between ViacomCBS Veterans Network and Freedom Sisters Media.  This is our first episode Part 1 with Retired Colonel Merryl Tengesdal. 

To us, Merryl is the coolest woman on the planet and you are about to find out why, tune in to part one to hear all about her military career!  

More about Merryl:  

A retired United States Air Force Colonel, Tengesdal served in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan.   A native of The Bronx, New York, Tengesdal is a graduate from the University of New Haven with a Science Degree in electrical engineering. She was one of three women to make it through the program. After Officer Candidate School commissioning, she began a career as a Naval Aviator by flying the SH-60B Seahawk Helicopter at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. During that time, she deployed on two long cruises and multiple short cruises to the Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. After a three-year sea tour in helicopters, Colonel Tengesdal went on to become a T-34C and T-6A Instructor Pilot. 

After completing T-6A Instructor Training, she became one of four Navy T-6A Instructors to train Navy and Air Force students at Joint Student Undergraduate Pilot Training (JSUPT) at Moody Air Force Base, GA. Her former Navy flight instructor, Commander Ron Robinson, has said that Merryl David (maiden name) "was one of my best flight students, and it doesn't surprise me that she's doing so well."  Once she completed her Navy obligation, she continued her military career by transferring over to the Air Force to fly the Lockheed U-2S Dragon Lady at Beale Air Force Base in Northern California. Tengesdal was deployed to multiple locations in support of Operations OLIVE HARVEST, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM and HORN OF AFRICA.  

In 2017, Tengesdal retired from Air Force as a colonel.  

In 2021, she competed on the CBS Television Show, Tough as Nails.  

www.freedomsisters.com

www.viacomcbsvetnet.com

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This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 10 2021

41mins

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Mother|Daughter Duo: Ann and Molly Mae

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May is gonna be a fun month, all month long to honor MotHER's day, we are bringing you 5 weeks of mother/daughter duos to the show. You get to hear about the family dynamics, honor and how the military really is a family business for these special mother-daughter teams.

This is week two of five and we have on the show today,  Army Capt. Ann Potter and her daughter Air Force Capt. Molly Mae Potter.

This is an honest conversation about life, love, overcoming and serving others well.  Teo highly humble and high-achieving women overload us with wisdom and love—you won't want to miss this beautiful duo!

www.freedomsisters.com

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This episode is sponsored by
· Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 10 2021

41mins

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Mother|Daughter Duo: Venita and Brianna

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May is gonna be a fun month, all month long to honor MotHER's day, we are bringing you 5 weeks of mother/daughter duos to the show. You get to hear about the family dynamics, honor and how the military really is a family business for these special mother-daughter teams.

Up first is mom, Retired Maj. Venita Shackleford and daughter, Petty Officer 3rd Class Brianna Rhean.

This is an unforgettable chat about the bond of a single mother family raising two daughters who persevered and thrived in a military career.


www.freedomsisters.com

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

May 03 2021

56mins

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Forever Crowned: Tasia Crawford

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After 8 years Tasia Crawford speaks out about her SurviveHER story and on March 1, 2021 started her Forever Crowned Instagram account to be a guiding light for otHERs.

Today is her first podcast appearance and shares her story with us so bravely and courageously. 

As a courtesy, I want to let our listenHERs know that we do discuss some tough points about her story and it may increase your own sensitivities in your own story, listen with caution and care for yourself.


Also, I get a little heated and say a couple of curse words, thank you for your grace.

I am very honored to share Tasia Crawford's story and I hope today whoever needs to hear they are not alone in their pain, may you be blessed and encouraged today.

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

Forever Crown IG

Visit neveraloneadovcacy.org #webelieveyou

www.freedomsisters.com



--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Apr 26 2021

59mins

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Combat Sexual Assault: Lindsay Knapp

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We continue the SurviveHER Series talking with Lindsey Knapp who is the real deal, the pit bull in the fight for justice.   She's been advocating for victims of sexual violence for more than 19 years.  As a graduate from North Carolina Central University School of Law and military veteran, she knows knows how you feel.....and has the know how to help.

Today we talk about real stories and how together we are in the fight for justice.  We want women who hear this today, to know that we love you and that we believe you and you are worthy of justice, healing and hope.

For more information about Combat Sexual Assault, please visit them at https://combatsexualassault.org/


www.freedomsisters.com

Apr 19 2021

1hr 4mins

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Never Alone: Amy Franck

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Continuing April 2021 with the SurviveHER Series, we have another compelling show for you today.


There is always room at our table for fighters for justice, although not a woman veteran, Amy Franck's work supports our sisters, especially those who no longer have a voice to speak up for themselves.  I am so honored to be friends with Amy Franck and helping her in her mission to eradicate the abuse of power in our military and seek justice for Military Sexual Trauma victims.


Today's conversation is an honest, reflective, and raw conversation abt problems in the ranks that allow the pervasive culture of assault, battery, and rape to fester in the military.

Listen to hear about the incredible work she is doing for MST victims and if you are a victim of MST, sister, we believe you and we are here for you too!  Reach out to us!

www.neveraloneadvocacy.org

www.freedomsisters.com

Join us on April 14th at 7pm EST at www.facebook.com/freedomssitersmedia for the Never Alone Virtual Live Stream Event.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Apr 12 2021

59mins

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GuideOn Education: Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado

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FOr April 2021, I wanted to introduce a special series to help those who suffer from MST, this is our SurviveHER Series and we kick it off with Ashley Gorbulja-Maldonado who is a warrior, scholar, leader, advocate, and entrepreneur…surviveHER.


As a consummating professional and a leading voice in supporting America’s military-connected community, she has dedicated her career towards building nationally recognized programs, brands, and communities through strategic communications and marketing.

She additionally focuses on improving the outcomes of non-traditional students in higher education, empowering call-to-action storytelling to demystify the military-civilian divide, and improving local, state, and federal policies and program development as a one-of-a-kind consultant.

She is a driven, passionate, and strategic visionary that has experienced increasing organizational responsibility in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. 

Her life Motto—I Can. I Will. Watch Me.


We are so excited to share her story with you all today as we kick off the SurviveHER Series for SAAM.  #webelieveyou


Join us on April 14th at 7pm EST at www.facebook.com/freedomssitersmedia for the Never Alone Virtual Live Stream Event.

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Apr 05 2021

52mins

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Women Warrior-Living Legacy Natasha Swartley

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A dynamo sister is on the pod today! Rounding out our series with incredible leadership wisdom and a highly motivational chat!


For full disclosure, there are a few F-bombs in this episode, what can I say she has the mouth of a sailor!!!


But I want my guest to be authentically represented and I loved her vernacular, so we are all adults over here and can handle it - but wanted to also inform in case you may be offended.  


I implore you to listen if you are a leader, or you want to serve or you are getting ready to transition like Tasha.  After 20 years, she is retiring from the US NAvy and ready to set sail into her next journey!


So much goodness in this episode - you don't wanna miss it!

 

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Mar 29 2021

56mins

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Women Warriors - Living Legacy 2021: Adriana Rosales

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Today's guest is an Air Force Veteran, who served during the Panama conflict and the first Gulf War era.

She has used her time and life wisely to position herself to leave a lasting impact to whoever she coaches or leads.  

Working with Adriana means working with a unique professional who trained by the best in the industry. Adriana is an  author and her books have been translated into several languages. Aside from her many contributions in the Forbes expert panelist community, she has been helping people develop unique skill sets, setting them apart from the status quo. 

Adriana is the go-to trainer and executive coach for you and your company. As a contributing Forbes Coaches Council member and writer, she helps everyday people publish for the first time, helping them save time, understand the technical aspects of publishing and get them traction.

Adriana writes about technology, philosophy, examines biographies through her literary critiques and is a prolific poet with several poetry books.

Adriana has helped hundreds of writers publish their first stories through her signature programs like “Latinas 100” and “Women Writers 100” projects. She has mentored and empowered hundreds of women and helped them share their voices with the world by creating the community necessary to get traction, save time and giving others the technology required to stay ahead.

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This episode is sponsored by
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Mar 22 2021

1hr 12mins

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Women Warriors Living Legacy 2021: Donna Lowery

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Continuing the Women Warriors Living Legacy 2021, we get the pleasure of chatting with a Vietnam Veteran, Donna Lowery who spent 19-months in Vietnam during the war.  Donna raised all the way up the enlisted ranks to achieve the prestigious title of Sergeant Major.  


You all are in for a real treat with a conversation of a woman who loves this country and has incredible memory to help the listener understand the work women did in Vietnam.  She shares so much how serving in the Army through incredible change has made a lasting impact on her life and how she has been a champion for women veterans to obtain benefits and support after the uniform.


She wrote a book about Women Vietnam Veterans!


More about the book - Women Vietnam Veterans: Our Untold Stories, by Donna Lowery, a Vietnam veteran, chronicles the participation of American military women during the Vietnam War. This little-known group of an estimated 1,200 women from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy left its mark in Vietnam from 1962 to 1973. They served in a myriad of duties from intelligence analysts, flight controllers, clerk-typists, translators, physical therapists, dieticians and communications specialists among many others.


Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Women-Vietnam-Veterans-Untold-Stories/dp/150491399X 

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Mar 15 2021

1hr 1min

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Women Warriors - Living Legacy 2021: Amelia Cunningham

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Amelia Cunnigham is a dynamic and inspiring Korean War Woman Veteran. She served from 1954 -1957 as a morning report clerk in Manhattan.

Declining the opportunity to become an officer, she returned to Illinois to pursue a career in teaching.

Amelia Cunningham became a more famous Korean War Veteran after her Honor Flight to DC in 2018.

She has made an impact for generations in her teaching career, which was made possible by the GI Bill and scholarships, she felt she was able to receive because of her experience in the military.

Amelia is now 95-years-old, a retired teacher who doesn't own a computer or a smartphone.  Recording her interview was a good old-fashioned phone call.  

Despite not having state-of-the-art audio, this interview is truly state-of-the-heart.  An inspiring story indeed!


www.freedomsisters.com



--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Mar 08 2021

52mins

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Women Warrior-Living Legacy 2021: Elinor Otto

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Less than 1-month after the infamous speech from President Roosevelt after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Elinor Otto was on the assembly line making parts for warplanes, eventually working on KC-135s and C-17s.  


She is famous for being the longest-serving riveter of all time, 68-years on the assembly line!  Forced into retirement at age 95, when the Long Beach Boeing plant closed its factory doors forever.

Elinor sits down with Kerri Jeter for an incredible interview down memory lane, some tears, lots of laughs and even a song!


You don't want to miss this interview as the opening of our Women Warrior-Living Legacy 2021 Series!


Get the Freedom Sisters Magazine Today to read even more about this incredible icon, Elinor Otto. 


--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Mar 01 2021

50mins

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Navigate Your Freedom: Nicole Smith Part 2

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Trigger Warning: Hey listeners, we want you to prepare for this conversation so that you can adequately engage or, if necessary, disengage for your own wellbeing. Some of today's content may cause intense physiological and psychological symptoms for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders. 

To the family's left behind from the Oso Mudslide that I mention in this episode, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.  I will never forget them. 

Nicole and Kerri dive into part 2 of this conversation, it's almost like a coaching call between us, we share tears, real vulnerable stories and heartache coupled with breakthroughs.

Nicole Smith is a Military Veteran turned Life Coach and Mental Wellness Advocate, who recently retired after 20 years of honorable service in the United States Coast Guard. While serving our country, she suffered from anxiety and depression in silence.  She stayed quiet out of fear. Fear of judgment, shame, the possibility of losing her job, and ultimately the fear that no one would understand.

But after hitting rock bottom, she is now helping other women veterans and military spouses navigate their freedom too!

Verse of the week: Psalm 32:7.

You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

www.navigateyourfreedom.com

www.freedomsisters.com



--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Feb 22 2021

56mins

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Navigate Your Freedom: Nicole Smith Part 1

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Then, 18-year old Nicole Smith arrived at her first duty station in some fishing town in Oregon.  She signed in for duty as an operator, basically performing the duties of a 9-1-1 dispatch for the US Coast Guard.  Years after being told to brush aside her emotions, suck it up and drive on and mission first, in addition to her own personal struggles--suffered a broken heart.

What manifested in a massive panic attack, Nicole was experiencing suicide ideations and was in deep darkness, but then the doctor who was treating her panic attack spoke kind words and for the first time in forever, Nicole felt seen and understood.  

After having success in her own healing journey with a life coach, Nicole has become one herself, when she exited her 20-year Coast Guard career.

Now she is passionate about helping other women veterans and military spouses find true freedom for themselves as well.

Verse of the week: Matthew 18:12-14.

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

www.navigateyourfreedom.com

www.freedomsisters.com


--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app

Feb 15 2021

55mins

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New faith in humanity & human potential- YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED!

By zhcrb - Apr 24 2020
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This pod cast is entertaining, educational and most of all inspiring! I have laughed out loud, cried and even found myself nodding my head, YES! ... Thank god someone is addressing the pay gap, epigenetics, positive manifestation, fitness, health, motherhood, inequalities- and all the journeys in-between. And educating all the while about veterans who have given all of themselves. I could go on.... It has opened my heart in ways I didn’t know needed opening and has really given me a window into what being a woman veteran looks like. She looks like you and me, she looks like your next-door neighbor, your mother, your teacher, she even looks like famous actress’s and start up entrepreneurs. Give this a listen & you won’t be disappointed- you will find a new faith in humanity and human potential. #LOVE . Thank you Keri please keep it coming, we’re listening!

So many cool stories

By fantastic journalism - Apr 09 2020
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Love, love, love this!! So many cool women and amazing stories!! Keep them coming!!