Crystal Joins the Women In Uniform and Enlists in the U.S. Army
Honoring U.S. Army Veteran Crystal Jeffords, our April 2019 Missilette
At the age of 28, Crystal joined the Army and moved away from her hometown for the first time. She had been married for 10 years and had two daughters, ages seven and nine. She deployed to Iraq in 2005 as her unit’s only 92FH1 (Petroleum Supply Specialist). Even though there was a male assigned to a similar position, he did not have experience and could not drive a fuel truck.
Becoming a Female Combat Veteran
Stationed at the Forward Operating Base in Camp Victory, Iraq, Crystal worked at the Education Center and was in charge of language improvement classes and testing. Crystal helped over 300 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines improve their test scores to obtain promotions and job changes.
Crystal with her service dog, Buddy, March 2019
Life Takes an Unexpected Turn
Crystal’s life took a dramatic change in 2007, when she received a Red Cross message that her mother had hung herself. When Crystal returned overseas from emergency leave, she was informed that her tour of duty had been extended. Worse yet, for the next seven months, she faced repeated situations of sexual assault by a person who held a leadership position in her own unit.
"This has evoked many feelings for me. First, I was in disbelief that I had not only been nominated, but also chosen. Now, I feel privileged, humbled, blessed, proud and, most importantly, empowered!”
Crystal Jeffords on her nomination as our April 2019 Missilette
Mental Resiliency: Crystal Learns How To Bounce Back
Recovery did not come easy. It was nearly 10 years before Crystal was able to crawl out of her bedroom (and the haze of medication) to face life again. Now, she is a beacon of hope for other women and dedicates her time to raising strong daughters, being a great wife and working with multiple women’s support groups. Crystal says that helping others, keeping a positive attitude, seeking treatment (like her service dog, Buddy!) and having her family’s support has strengthened her.
Crystal's story was included in every April 2019 HelloMissilia Box, delivered to women across the globe.
Advice For Women Interested in Military Service
Before joining the military, Crystal encourages every woman to research each branch and look at female promotion rates and the history of how females have been treated. Most importantly, she says, speak with other females. " A male cannot accurately tell you what a female faces in the military."
“Don’t up the fight, my Warrior Sisters. It is a daily struggle, but you can make positive changes.”
How You Can Join Us and Support Strong Women
In recognition of Crystal's strength and ability to bring women together, we have invited Crystal to launch the Traverse City Chapter of Missilia! As a thank you for her acceptance, Crystal is receiving a 1-year subscription to the Missilia Must Have box and her story is inspiring women to seek help for their mental health. If your company or organization supports strong women, please consider sponsoring our heroes by checking out our Sponsorship Information or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can help ensure that stories of women who kick butt, like Crystal, are being shared and celebrated! Every month, we feature the story of a U.S. female Hero in our Missilia Must-Have box. Subscribe today and keep encouraging women to do great things by clicking https://www.missilia.us/product/missilia-must-have-box/