Today's guest is Julie Negron, creator of Jenny, the military spouse comic strip that appears in the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Julie captures the challenges of military life with humor!
Julie L. Negron is a cartoonist with the military newspaper, Stars & Stripes. Negron has attended art school and began her career as an editorial cartoonist for the local newspaper of Hermiston, Oregon. She married into the Air Force and soon found herself drawing and writing for military base newspapers, among others making a weekly column about surving in Alaska as a military spouse. She eventually began a studio in Okinawa, where she made greeting cards, notepads and stationery. It was there that she created her comic strip 'Jenny The Military Spouse', which appears in the Sunday Scene section of Stars & Stripes magazine since November 2005.
Kim: How and where did you marry into the Air Force?
Julie: My husband and I met in Sumter, South Carolina, in 1997, where he was stationed with the 79th FS. We married on April Fool's Day, 1999, and have been living in wedded bliss ever since.
Kim: What was the biggest challenge transitioning from civilian to military newspapers? The biggest reward?
Julie: There was no challenge to the transition at all In fact, it was easier to write about the world in which I lived rather than the newspaper editor's opinions.
Kim: How does one survive Alaska?
Julie: Alaska is really, really great if you're outdoorsy. At the time, I had a blast. These days, I much more enjoy warm sandy beaches.
Kim: Tell us about Okinawa from the perspective of military spouse and budding entrepreneur.
Julie: Okinawa was our best assignment yet. We learned a new language and discovered that we were the foreigners. I grew up overseas - in the Philippines and Taiwan - so I was somewhat comfortable in that environment. Dealing with times zones for editors and/or interviewers back in the States, on the other side of the world, was a bigger obstacle to overcome.
Kim; You are now a "staple" in the military community through the Stars and Stripes. What are some of the reactions you receive from other military spouses? husband's coworkers? command?
Julie: Most of the reactions to "Jenny" have been positive. Many spouses say they think I must have been a fly on the wall in their own homes when I wrote some of the strips. It just goes to show that military spouses have a unique lifestyle and can connect to each other through the understanding that we're all "in the same boat" (as my father used to say). Husbands and commanders have been nothing but supportive and have played a large part in the distribution of "Jenny" around the world because they actually read the strip in the Stars & Stripes overseas before sharing it with family and friends back home.
Kim: What happens when you become the spouse of a retired veteran - does Jenny retire too?
Julie: Jenny will never retire. She represents the New Spouse in all of us. As we grow older and wiser, she remains the same and will never learn. Why? Because there are new military spouses every day and they need to see someone going through the same trials. They meet plenty of Senior Spouses and I'm sure they get tired of being preached at. Why not give them somebody to laugh at and with?
Kim: What have you learned as a military spouse that has helped you become a successful entrepreneur?
Julie: Never give up, never surrender! Sorry, that's from "Galaxy Quest", one of my favorite movies. However, that's exactly what you learn as a military spouse. If you give up, who else will do it?
Mahalo, Julie, for joining us at SOS Aloha! To learn more about Julie, check out her blog, Jenny the Military Spouse.
In honor of Julie's visit, I am giving away a special treat from Okinawa - Julie's favorite assignment. To enter the contest,
1. Leave a comment about Julie, military spouses, budding entrepreneurs, and Galaxy Quest.
2. Make sure I know how to contact you - if you are new to SOS Aloha, please send your email address to SOS Aloha . Or friend SOS Aloha on Facebook. I prefer you do not leave your email address in the comments.
3. Comments will be open through November 19 for this giveaway.
4. The giveaway is open to all readers.
Join us tomorrow as we continue Veterans' Appreciation Week with Greg Causey, the editor of Denizens of the Desert, a photographic journal of aircraft nose art.
Kim in Hawaii
Julie wrote that Jenny will never retire.
What are some things that have been retired from society?
The rotary phone.
Technology has made our lives easier. But sometimes dinosaurs like myself resist change. I give a shout out to Terri C. who gently prodded me to add images to my blog. Now I am the image queen!
Terri C. also nudged me to add the link buttons ... and viola, I now have link buttons! Thus proving that an old dog can learn new tricks!