Spouse of Tech. Sgt. Steven K. Schminke
10th Intelligence Squadron
Air Combat Command
Langley Air Force Base, Hampton
Angela Schminke knows what it’s like to be deployed and away from the family while on deployment. For 12 years, she served in the Air Force, stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton.
A knee injury that resulted in a staph infection, however, ended her Air Force career, but not her love for the military.
“I come from a Marine Corps background,” Angela said, who was also a Hometown Heroes finalist in 2006. “I knew when I signed up to say ‘I do’ not only to my husband, but also the military. I saw what my mom went through as a Marine Corps brat.”
There are a lot of sacrifices by being involved in the military, but Angela believes it’s worth it.
“With the sacrifice comes honor and pride that doesn’t come for the average civilian,” Angela said. “We have a totally different perspective than what is on the news. We have a finer definition on what it means to be patriotic; it’s so much more deeper.”
Military spouses must learn to make decisions alone, Angela added, without second guessing yourself.
“You hope your spouse will agree,” she explained. “It’s just deeper and more intense to be a military wife than a civilian wife.”
Angela works as an office administrator for a contractor at Langley Air Force Base’s hospital facilities. She’s attending school through St. Leo University, majoring in health care services with religion as a minor. When she’s not working or doing class work to maintain her 4.0 GPA, she cares for the couple’s two sons, Tyler, 9, and Hunter, 5, hauling them to football practices, Boy Scouts, camp outs, and speech therapy for the youngest.
Her husband, Tech Sgt. Steven Schminke, wrote on the nomination form that Angela volunteers with the Red Cross to help those who have been burned out of their homes, which sometimes requires her to be called at all hours. She also volunteers with the Peninsula Food Bank
And that’s not all. Angela is also the assistant youth leader at their church, and was the founder and leader of the Military Ministry.
Angela recommends all military spouses stay connected to their service member, and to the community as well.
“Don’t stay in military housing and not get to know others,” Angela pointed out. “The more military spouses you know, the better connection there will be on what both you and your spouse are going through.
“And be informed. If you don’t know an answer to a question, then seek out another military spouse who does, or the chaplain,” she continued. “There are so many ways to stay informed, and being uninformed is a detriment to your family and your relationship. There are so many neat web sites and programs on base that can keep you informed.”
Being in the military is a challenge, so “embrace the positive,” Angela said. “Any bit of negative, take it in stride. Between friendships, staying connected, being informed and finding a good church family, those can get you through any deployment.”