Amy Rose – USAF Veteran

Amy Rose – USAF Veteran's Story

“My name is Amy Rose and I’m an Air Force veteran. I’m so thankful for Frontline Gardens choosing to provide me with garden therapy as I learn to manage MST PTS. My love for gardening started when I was born into a family landscaping business in July, one of the peak months of hot, humid Lafayette, Louisiana air. From the earliest age, I can remember watering the plants in our garden center and talking and singing to them. They were my friends and I felt such joy and peace, which I’ve longed to get back. On job sites, my 2 older sisters and I learned how to use a wheel barrel, tiller, trencher and the list goes on. Each of us took lessons learned from those days into our professional careers, which I’m proud to say my sisters are now highly accomplished doctors.

At 17, I enlisted and went to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas and on to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, where I studied to become a weather observer. I was then stationed at RAF Lakenheath, England. My father is from Coventry, England, so I was able to visit my grandparents, uncles, and cousins while there. My son, Bailey, even has dual citizenship since he was born on a US airbase. God works in mysterious ways and I’m amazed seeing how He has undoubtedly worked in my life.

I returned to Keesler to finish weather training. Once a forecaster, I was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. The Air Force provides weather support for the Army, so every other base is typically an Army assignment. After 2 tours to Iraq, I left the military to become a teacher. There were highs and lows in my time serving my country. I excelled academically, received numerous medals, and became a Staff Sergeant within my 6 year career. I made some lasting friendships. Unfortunately, I also experienced being a young female in a male dominated world, which left untold scars that ultimately have taken their toll.

My life has had turns I never saw coming and I’ve genuinely learned the value of Psalm 90:12: teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. I strive on a daily basis to be mindful of walking in God’s path and not letting the burdens of life take complete hold of me. I know what it’s like to live in deep, dark despair and I’ve seen the beauty of living life holding onto the love and joy God offers.

I’m now actively seeking to become a beekeeper and am involved with both Hives for Heroes, a nonprofit connecting veterans with local mentors, and Heroes to Hives, which provides 9 months of online beekeeping classes. Thanks also to Stoneworks Agency here in Hot Springs, AR, as well as the Birdwell PTSD Foundation as I’m one of 6 Arkansans veterans to receive a Slovenian type bee shed. I’ll be working with my bees inside a shed, which has numerous benefits. I’m also a member of Homegrown by Heroes, the official farmer veteran branding program.

When I found out I was selected to receive the raised flowerbeds, my mind immediately went to roses. I’ve always loved their beauty and fragrance. I quickly put together my dream wish list, hoping it wasn’t too extravagant, but knowing it holds everything needed to make elegant, long stem bouquets. Stephanie Trost, the founder, has been in touch with me every step of the way, and has truly made me feel as though my goals are attainable and important.

Without each of these nonprofits, not to mention others I’m involved with from the Arkansas Freedom Fund to Project Sanctuary to Operation Once in a Lifetime, I don’t know what my life would look like. Just like honey bees need us to help them survive, veterans need the help of others to thrive. I’ve got a list of favorite verses, but a couple I’ve committed to memory are: Galatians 6:2: Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Proverbs 14:10: Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.

Through the love of family, friends, and countless other programs that have helped me along the way, I’m able to realize my past doesn’t define my life today. I want my life to be lived forward in service of God. I can’t wait to see where my gardening journey takes me…”

Amy Rose

Amy Rose