TROY — Jo Wildman, 30-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard, will be the speaker on May 3, 2023, at 9 a.m. at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, 2245 S. County Road 25A in Troy.
A graduate of both Miami University and Wright State University, Wildman has stories to tell about the ports where she was anchored as well as her experiences on board.
When she joined the Navy, she was all set to go fishing aboard a big craft and instead spent six years in dry dock at Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago. At the end of that period, she was offered two options: a job in, as she words it, “monitoring clean up or getting out.” At a time when men in the Navy were being offered a $30,000 re-enlistment bonus, she would have been required to take a pay cut to re-enlist.
Wildman decided to leave the Navy and become a part of the Coast Guard. Of that decision, she remarks, “The Navy closed the window for me as a woman, but the Coast Guard opened the door.”
In 1999, after serving as a Fire Control Technician, she was the first female in the Coast Guard commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer with Weapons Specialty.
Her life has always been purpose driven, and her post- military service includes a very long list including using her skills as a pianist, a celloist and a trombonist in community bands.
A free, full breakfast, provided by Miami County Veterans Services will be served to area veterans and their friends beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. Reservations are not required.