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jamie paxton

Master Sergeant,
U.S. Air Force (Ret.)
Little Blessings Veteran and
Community Outreach

Jamie grew up learning about military camaraderie from her grandfather, a WWII veteran and Purple Heart recipient. She sought out that community for herself when she joined the Ohio National Guard. Jamie spent 25 years in service across four different career fields, working her way up the ranks and earning numerous commendations including the National Defense Service Medal.

The responsibilities came naturally to her, Jamie says. "I've always been the mom figure-I had those abilities." But still, being a woman in the military had its own challenges. "It's a weird experience because you want to be equal to the men, so womanliness is really just kept hidden in the back of your head. You can't portray it." Still, she didn't let that hold her back. Jamie interviewed against nine men for First Sergeant, and beat the odds by becoming the first female to earn the position.

Her duties increased tenfold, including handling deployments, coordinating Red Cross trips, and more. Ultimately, her job was to take care of her troops and ensure their preparedness and safety, something she did with pride each day. "My military service really shaped me into who I am: the commitment, staying true to myself, the hard work ethic, perseverance and diligence," she says.

Jamie still relies on these traits daily as her primary focus remains much the same: caring for as many veterans and active military as possible as Executive Director for Little Blessings Veteran and Community Outreach. "It's a major transition to go from service to civilian," Jamie says. "It doesn't happen immediately." Her goal in founding the organization is to provide veterans and their families a place to find community, support, and encouragement during this period. "I struggled, and I didn't want somebody else to do that by themselves-again, that mothering nature."

Little Blessings uses equine therapies, community outreach, and wellness programs to help veterans make the adaptation to civilian life-including offering a 50-week, 5-phase program to assist former service members as they readjust to their new lives. By integrating equine therapy into this program, veterans are able to process this major change in their lives as they interact with and care for horses. The organization also offers wellness programs such as yoga, day retreats, and massage therapy to assist with mental and physical rehabilitation. Additionally, the foundation recognizes the impact on the entire family when a veteran leaves the military, offering programs to assist each family member with the adjustment.

Learn more about Little Blessings Veteran and Community Outreach and the work they're doing at

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