Focusing on the family: Cannon family thrives in any situation

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz)

(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Whitney Amstutz)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series highlighting exceptional members of the Air Force family in honor of Military Family Appreciation Month.

For many serving today, the idea of traveling the world is an appealing prospect. Airmen are able to experience new locations and cultures every few years without having to hit pause on their lives or impede career progression.

The spouses and children who support service members, however, are not always assured the same continuity. Instead of arriving on station to find a position waiting for them, a close-knit group of colleagues and a paycheck, military families must recreate those circumstances after each move.

Following a four-year tour in Germany, Christy Scholl, Airman & Family Readiness Center financial counselor, arrived at Cannon with her sights set on doing exactly that.

“My husband and I have been married almost 10 years,” Scholl said. “When we married, I lived in Texas and moved from Texas to Idaho where he was stationed. I moved back to Texas when he received orders to Korea and from there we moved to Germany and now here I am in Clovis.”

Prior to becoming an Air Force spouse, Scholl, who possesses a master’s degree in social work, was employed by the state of Texas for more than a decade. Though she had every intention of continuing on that path, life, as she likes to say, had other plans.

“It has been an adjustment for me,” Scholl said. “I had been in the child welfare field for 16 years and that was all I knew. When we moved away and that was no longer an option, I was forced to reinvent myself, which is the only way I can describe it. I looked at my options and took the best path, which led me to work at the Child Development Center while we were in Germany.”

Though working at the base CDC was not what she had expected to do, Scholl found that being forced out of her comfort zone led her to meet new and interesting people, and taught her an important lesson about herself and life as a military spouse.

“I recreate myself every time we move,” Scholl said. “I keep an open mind, I am open to new things and I am always trying to learn more. That is how you stay happy; that is how you find success.”

Armed with this knowledge, Scholl has indeed found success at Cannon.

“When we arrived in Clovis I paid a visit to the school liaison officer at the A&FRC,” Scholl said. “It was by asking questions and getting involved that I found my current position as a financial counselor with the organization in 2014. I love what I do now, and I’m extremely fortunate to be able to say I spend my days working with, and helping Airmen here.”

Scholl and her husband have three children, 14-year-old Conner, who attends Gattis Middle School, 8-year-old Brooklyn, who attends Ranchvale Elementary, and 2-year-old Evelyn, who spends her days at the Cannon CDC.

“Conner is a typical 14-year-old,” Scholl said. “He likes to spend time with his friends and he always has his phone in his hand, but he is very active in the school band and would be content if we were to stay in Clovis forever. Brooklyn has lots of playdates and takes advantage of all the things the youth center has to offer. As for my toddler, she has not exactly voiced her opinions on our location, but she is a perfectly happy 2-year-old.”

When faced with moves in the past and the potential of moving in the future, Scholl has encouraged her children to focus on the positive aspects of military life.

“When they visit their cousins and think about how other children are able to grow up with a consistent group of friends it can be hard,” Scholl said. “I remind them about the incredible experiences they are having and the memories they are making. So few children have seen the things they have seen and they understand there is a give and take to the life we live.”

Having moved to Clovis and adjusted to new employment, new schools, and a new community with very few growing pains, Scholl and her family have a simple formula for following in their footsteps: Be open and ask, ask, ask.

“You have to keep an open mind,” Scholl said. “When opportunities arise do not be quick to turn them down. Make friends, go to orientation briefings such as Heartlink, and ask questions. Ask your spouse questions, ask your key spouse questions, ask questions everywhere you go. Knowing things and people makes every place so much more enjoyable and positions you for success.”

“I believe no matter where you PCS [permanent change of station] you must look at what that community and base have to offer rather than looking at what they do not have,” Scholl continued. “Every place we go has something unique and we can learn so much from just being open to a new experience.”