By Amanda Huffman
Guest Blogger

Military life can be challenging. Having someone who has experienced the lifestyle longer than you can really help you not only by giving you advice for the future, but also by helping you not feel so alone. And while my greatest mentor has been someone who helped me with my writing career, the fact that she is also a military spouse has helped me know that, despite all the challenges I have faced as a military spouse, my goals are possible. 

While I was in the military, the main source of mentorship provided to me was through the senior officers and was fairly formal and rigid. Typically, the commander of my squadron would take time to mentor the officers. We had monthly luncheons, one-on-one counseling, and received general feedback. And I thought I knew what it meant to be in a mentor-mentee relationship. But as I look back at these mentorship sessions, they were more focused on the military and checking off boxes and not focused on me and what I needed. Although helpful, it was not personal. 

It was not until after I left the military behind that I learned the value of mentorship. 

One of the best mentors in my life journey is Lizanne Lightfoot. As a new MilSpouse — and one hoping to build a writing career — I was mesmerised by the work Lizanne was doing through her blog The Seasoned Spouse and her freelance writing work. Somehow (I don’t even know how we became connected), she has been a source of feedback and encouragement throughout my writing journey. 

I won’t ever forget her taking me under her wing at the first Military Influencer Conference. She introduced me to so many different people and helped me feel welcome in a space I wasn’t sure I was supposed to be in.

I even followed her path of publishing with Elva Resa for my new book A Girl’s Guide to Military Service. She also published her book, Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses with Elva Resa, and she has given me sound guidance in the publishing and book-launching process, both from following her example and by listening to the advice she’s given to me.

And while Lizanne and I do not have a formal mentor-mentee relationship, it does not change the impact she has had on my life by helping me realize that a writing career was possible. She has been a constant source of both inspiration and encouragement through our friendship.

Sometimes I think we can get caught up in creating formal mentorship relationships that we forget there likely are mentors all around us in our own lives. People who inspire us, give us wisdom, and encourage us to follow our dreams. I am lucky because I could list so many amazing men and women who have helped me in my journey to entrepreneurship, and I am always looking not only for people who can help me learn and grow in my journey but also in how I can work to help those farther behind me in their journeys. 

Who has inspired you in your journey? Tell them how much they mean to you and how they have helped you. They may have no idea the scope of the impact they have made on your life until you do.

About Amanda Huffman

Amanda is a military spouse and Veteran who served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer including a deployment to Afghanistan. She met her husband while attending college and they served on active duty together until their first son was born. It was then that she traded in her combat boots for a diaper bag to stay home. Amanda is now a mom of two boys and continues to follow her husband’s military career. She has lived in New Mexico, Ohio, California and currently resides in Northern Virginia. She published her first book in 2019 titled Women of the Military, sharing the stories of 28 military women. In 2019, she also launched her podcast also titled Women of the Military, she continues to share weekly podcast episodes sharing the stories of military women today.  You can learn more about Amanda at her blog

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