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Image: Sgt. Jennifer Baumes, Courtesy of Washington National Guard

The Washington National Guard is celebrating “Pride in Service” by featuring Sgt. Jennifer Baumes on their Facebook page. Baumes joined the North Carolina National Guard in 2010 and then moved to Washington in 2011. She started out as an MP but later reclassed and currently serves as a Human Resources Specialist with HHD, 156th Information Operations Battalion on Joint Base Lewis-McChord

When she first enlisted, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was still in effect. “For the first year I was in the WAARNG, I had a ‘husband.’ Now I can speak openly about my wife and kids and the conversation doesn’t even skip a beat” Baumes said. One comment on Facebook remarked that Sgt. Baumes is an “amazing soldier and awesome human being”.

Growing up in the South, she never heard of Pride Month until she moved to Washington. “Going to the Pride Parade in Seattle – it was the first time I felt ‘normal’ in my own skin. I was surrounded by people that were like me. I could hold my significant other’s hand without anyone giving us weird looks or staring.”

She says that being in the military can be stressful as it is and being able to serve openly is something that she’s incredibly thankful that she is able to do. “I’m able to be more mission-focused as my authentic self than I ever was when I was pretending to be somebody else.” 

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Here at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, we are an equal housing lender, and we believe that housing should be available to all. We join the Washington National Guard to celebrate Pride and the differences that make us who we are.

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