Jaimie Ames

REVELO ISSUE 03 • Written by Brooke Carlock Miller

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From the time she was 14 years old, Jaimie Ames knew she wanted to be in the military. She was hoping to end up in the CIA or FBI, so she started preparing early. While most girls her age were going to the mall or chatting on the phone with friends, Jaimie was studying to earn top grades in school, taking martial arts lessons, and training to become an EMT. “I got my EMT certification when I was 16,” says Jaimie, sitting at a table in her Strasburg home.

“I ran an ambulance for a couple of years, and got into search-and-rescue. When you’re that young and you start seeing real life situations, it definitely makes you grow up a little faster,” she laughs. Jaimie thought becoming military police made sense to further her career in federal law enforcement, so she signed up as a reservist, hoping to gain some valuable experience.

The year was 2001.

“We were deployed about two months after the 9/11 attack,” Jaimie says. “I was specifically brought down to Fort Monroe, Virginia… There are lots of colonels and generals, and lots of higher-ranking officials on post. Our detail was to secure the post, and obviously there was a lot of information going back and forth from The White House to this post,” she adds.

Since she was trained as a field MP, which meant digging foxholes and guarding POW camps— “basically the closest I could get to infantry, being a woman,” Jaimie says—her job at Fort Monroe required garrison training, which meant learning how to be more of an actual police officer, writing tickets and arresting people. “We had to go through training again, being pepper sprayed, tortured, and all that good stuff,” she laughs.

Some of Jaimie’s more memorable experiences included a standoff with a group of Navy Seals who landed on the beach of the fort without prior warning, as well as standing her ground against an angry high-ranking general who forgot his ID when trying to enter the base. Jaimie had his car searched from top to bottom and required him to get a day pass in order to enter the premises. “I was just doing my job,” she smirks.

Even though her work as an MP was physically taxing on her small, 5’2” frame, Jaimie insists she didn’t experience the sexism that most people would expect from a woman who was one of only five females in a group of 240 men. “Having a career that was surrounded by men just didn’t bother me,” she shrugs. “I didn’t really think much about it, and they accepted me just like one of the boys. As long as you prove your worth, and that you’re as good as the skills that they have, they have no problem with it, and they treat you equally.”

She continues, “There’s lots of controversy about women being on the front lines, and you talk to most military men and they’re like, ‘As long as she can do what I can do, we’re okay.’ They don’t really have a problem because they serve with women; they know the strength of women. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and they’re aware of that. Yeah, all my brothers, they were great.”

Unfortunately, Jaimie’s plans to continue in the military and law enforcement abruptly ended when she shattered her ankle during a training run. “The lack of mobility in my ankle didn’t enable me to go on to do further things in the military… but I did get to come home and be with my son. That was the hardest part of deployment, obviously,” she admits. “He was 14 months old, and I gave him over to my parents, so that was very emotional because as a mom, usually your child is on your hip. It was very hard to just pull him away at that age. He was just starting to talk, and be aware of that unconditional love. It was a very hard thing to do.”

“I was really upset about my loss of my career,” she admits, “but I was also happy that I was able to get home to him, and continue to be a mom. I’ve often thought, ‘What if I could have fulfilled all of that, and went through?’ But I’m happy. I’m happy being a mom, and I’m happy with the experiences I have to share with people.”

Jaimie has transitioned those experiences into a career as a realtor who, naturally, specializes in helping veterans. Her son Kody, now 18, is carrying on his mother’s footsteps—he’s a black belt in tae kwon do, and just joined the Marine Corps. “The intensity rolls on through the family,” Jaimie laughs, “but it’s all good. It’s all reasons to be proud. Any position or branch that’s serving the military I have a high respect for. Obviously, it’s in my heart.”

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