LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) — At 18-years-old, her dreams were focused on high fashion and high heels, but instead, she changed her look to camouflage and joined the Airforce.
“It was hard because you have to prove yourself, said Veteran Susan Clancy. “I always wanted to be a fashion designer.”
Joining the military began as a way to coax her parents into paying for college. But, before she knew it, she’d signed a contract.
Clancy said her 12 plus years in the military shaped her in more ways than one, but most of all it taught her that women can do anything.
“I had no idea what I was going into, I had none,” Clancy said. “I knew I had to do some pushups that I couldn’t do.”
Being a woman in the military presented its own set of challenges, but Clancy said she was a fish out of water during boot camp.
“I was always told that I needed to take the granny panties because they fold well,” Clancy said. “You don’t have time to like, shave your legs per se. When we would do sit-ups I’d always have a guy hold my legs and, yeah it was not pretty.”
But thankfully, Clancy said her prickly legs didn’t hinder her love life. While stationed at RAF Lakenheath in the UK, she fell in love with a jet mechanic.
“He was always the fun guy, and so we were friends,” Clancy said. “He would go out dancing with me….he would always go when nobody else would go and it just kind of evolved from there.”
Clancy and her husband, Brandon have two boys together, and not long after having their second child was born, she made the decision to leave the military for good.
She said being a mom changed her priorities and she wanted to be around more to raise her kids.
“Being a mom and working, I mean, over 40 hours a week really cause I worked mostly 10-hour-days,” Clancy said. “I was working 12, 14 hour days with kids, I mean it’s hard.”
No matter where life took her, Clancy said she will always look back on her time in the military as some of the best years of her life.
“I got to do something for the greater good,” Clancy said. “I got to serve my country, do something for the greater good, and make something of myself.”
Also, above everything else, Clancy said she found a life long family.
“One of the biggest takeaways that I took from the military that I will cherish forever is my military family,” Clancy said. “My military family has really turned more into like my family than my own family. So those are things that people can’t take from you, you know.”