Advocating for military spouses

Lydiah Owiti, a military spouse born in Kenya, shares her story of reinventing herself after she came to America on this week’s episode of The American Legion Tango Alpha Lima podcast.

She explains the difficulties she faced integrating into the American way of life. Her Army husband was deployed to Kuwait shortly after they arrived. Owiti learned that her law degree was not recognized, did not fully understand the challenges of military life and struggled to find employment.

“It was challenging emotionally,” said Owiti, a member of The American Legion Auxiliary. “It was challenging financially. It was challenging in ways that I cannot even explain because there was so much going on with my husband being deployed out of the country and I was left alone.”

Having a masters degree in international development management didn’t help either. “All my networks were back in my country.”

Now she has a fellowship as manager of the Military Spouse Professional Networks at Hiring Our Heroes. In this role, she advocates for military spouses and the challenges they face. Her goal is to make sure that no other military spouses face the same obstacles that she did.

“I am so driven to make sure that spouses feel as supported as possible, feel that someone has been there and is trying to do their best to remove these barriers, lessen these barriers, shorten the time that it takes for you to learn something.”

Co-hosts Jeff Daly and Ashley Gutermuth also riff on:

• American Legion posts as a nightlife destination.

• The 50th anniversary of the all-volunteer force while the military branches battle recruiting woes.

• The Army’s tactical bra and a joke by The New Yorker that went flat.

• VA Save training, hosted by an American Legion post, which is in lock step with The American Legion’s Be the One initiative.   

Check out this week’s episode, which is among nearly 190 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.