News: Dedication through education; spouse uses knowledge to support others
Story by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Many people find comfort in helping others when faced with hardships of their own. For some, learning and better understanding leads to contentment and happiness, which encourages others in similar situations.
Juliann Peterson, family readiness assistant, Marine Air Support Squadron (MASS) 3, and a customer services assistant with Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, aspires to give back to her community by volunteering and gaining an education. Peterson volunteers to help Marines and Sailors make it through rough times, and she promotes readiness for whatever may come with the military lifestyle.
“As the [commanding general] said, ‘For the Marines, their first priorities are the Marine Corps and then family,’” said Peterson. “The best way that I saw for me to help support my husband was to get as involved in his first priority as possible and also adopt it as mine. Since I made this decision, we have been doing great!”
Peterson began volunteering with the MASS-3 family readiness team and spreading her new-learned knowledge of the Marine Corps to other spouses. She began two book clubs, bringing spouses who live on base together.
“In order to be as effective and mission ready as possible, the Marines must have stability in all areas of their lives,” she said. “How is someone expected to be clearheaded and focused when their spouse and thus their home lives are miserable, or if they have no outlet for the inevitable frustration resulting from being in the military? The family readiness team does whatever we can with whatever resources we have to help alleviate some of the stress the military imposes on its service members.”
When not volunteering at the squadron, she gives her time to Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, where she aids service members in staying focused on their mission at hand by providing financial resources.
“With any luck, [I am] able to help support our Marines by providing resources for them and their families to be able to succeed in the military lifestyle,” said Peterson. “When someone enlists in the Marines, it is not just a job. It becomes their life and the same goes for their dependents. I am not a Marine, but because my husband is, I am in the Marine Corps.”
Peterson found the pursuit of knowledge is not limited to the Marine Corps. Peterson holds two bachelor’s degrees and is currently working toward a doctorate in comparative literature. Through her collegiate studies, Peterson’s educational quest leads her to a higher calling.
“I would like to teach graduate school because I am very passionate about education and about my field of study,” said Peterson. “In graduate school, the students are studying particular subjects because they are also passionate about them. It is this distinction that makes teaching at the graduate level, versus the undergraduate, so appealing.”
Peterson uses all facets of education to benefit herself, other military families, and in the future, her students.