Erica Baez

Oberlin College Library


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00:00:00 - Introduction, Early Life and Family

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Partial Transcript: Can you please state your name and date of birth?

Segment Synopsis: Erica Baez introduces herself and talks about her early life in Puerto Rico, her relationship with her sister, and her parents' jobs. She then gives an overview of how her family came to Northeast Ohio, beginning with her father coming to his family in Cleveland and then sending for them.

Keywords: Childhood; Cleveland; Early life; Family; Migration; Puerto Rico; Secretary

00:03:47 - High School JROTC, Meeting Antonio Baez, Military Outlook

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk about how and when you met your husband?

Segment Synopsis: Erica discusses meeting her husband, Antonio, through her high school JROTC class. Erica's father was a big influence on her outlook towards the military because he always emphasized the advantages of working for it. She didn't have any concerns about the idea of being in the military growing up. Coming from a strict household made for an easy transition into the structured JROTC environment.

Keywords: Antonio Baez; High school; JROTC; South Lorain School; Spouse; U.S. Navy

00:10:23 - Living with Antonio's Parents

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Partial Transcript: While he was enlisted, did you stay here? What was that like for you?

Segment Synopsis: Erica recounts how she lived with Antonio's parents at the start of his military service. At the time, she wanted more independence.

Keywords: Family; Housing

00:11:52 - Emotional Pressures of Antonio's Service

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Partial Transcript: How long was he in the military for?

Segment Synopsis: Erica discusses the emotional pressures of having an active duty military spouse, emphasizing the anguish of not being able to hear from her husband and having to explain where he was to her kids.

Keywords: Bootcamp; Children; Deployment; Rank; U.S. Army Reserves; U.S. Marines; U.S. National Guard

00:17:51 - Antonio's Second Chance, Accepting Military Hardships

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Partial Transcript: Were there any positives of being a military wife?

Segment Synopsis: Erica explains how Antonio was seen as a troublemaker in high school and how people didn't expect him to be "successful," but the military gave him a second chance to commit to his job, travel, and achieve more financial stability. Erica expresses acceptance of the ways that the military "breaks them down to create US marines."

Keywords: Bootcamp; High school; Travel; U.S. Marines

00:20:45 - Becoming a Military Mother

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Partial Transcript: Now, I'm not just a marine corps wife; I'm a marine corps mother.

Segment Synopsis: Erica talks about the journey that her son took entering the marine corps after high school.

Keywords: Children; Family; Georgia; Recruitment; U.S. Marines

00:23:33 - Life & Raising Kids During Antonio's Military Service

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Partial Transcript: While your husband was enlisted for those seven years, what was your life like and how did you spend most of your time?

Segment Synopsis: Erica remembers her time living off-base with Antonio as he was stationed in North Carolina and Maryland. Her oldest son had a hard time being separated from his grandfather, but she's also grateful that her kids got to see so many places and sights.

Keywords: Friendship; Living off-base; Maryland; North Carolina; Station

00:29:08 - Nursing School, Home Health Job

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Partial Transcript: And what did you say you went to school for?

Segment Synopsis: Erica mentions that she completed nursing school and worked as a home health aid for a few months while Antonio was in bootcamp.

Keywords: Career; Employment; Healthcare; Nursing school

00:29:51 - Friendships with Other Military Wives

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned living in North Carolina and Maryland and spending time with other families on base— what were those friendships like?

Segment Synopsis: Erica remembers her friendships with other women in North Carolina and Maryland who were also military spouses.

Keywords: Alcohol; Friendship; Substances

00:33:39 - Letting Go of Her Own Military Aspirations

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Partial Transcript: After you had your son, did you ever reconsider going into the military?

Segment Synopsis: Erica says that once she had her children, military service was off the table for her. She wanted to make sure that someone was always there for her children.

Keywords: Career; Children

00:34:15 - Antonio Ending His Service, Cherishing Elders

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember when Antonio decided not to continue his military service?

Segment Synopsis: Erica tells the story of Antonio ending his active duty military service because of Erica's concern for their viejitos, who had begun to pass away more often and needed to be cared for.

Keywords: Caring for elders; Death; Elders

00:38:40 - Transition Back to Lorain, Antonio's Service Changing Erica

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Partial Transcript: What was life like when you got back here?

Segment Synopsis: Erica describes what it was like to get back to Lorain having been changed by her experiences in North Carolina and Maryland.

Keywords: Friendship; Military families; Respect

00:42:20 - Advice for Military Families, Changing Family Structure

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Partial Transcript: What message would you want to leave for future generations who could hear this interview?

Segment Synopsis: Erica emphasizes that people should have more respect for military families. She discusses how being a military family changes family structure and creates trauma.

Keywords: Advice; Children; Family structure; PTSD; Trauma

00:47:03 - Erica's Career

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Partial Transcript: I remember you said that you went to nursing school. Have you become a nurse since then?

Segment Synopsis: Erica discusses her home health job that she had after she went to nursing school. She stopped working as a home health aid when she left Ohio with Antonio, but found out later that she could have continued. She also speaks affectionately of Antonio's grandmother. She then describes her current job with Clearview District Schools, where she translates for Spanish-speaking parents.

Keywords: Career; Clearview District Schools; Elders; Employment; Lorain City Schools; Nursing

00:52:24 - Outro

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything we haven't spoken about that you'd like to speak about?

Segment Synopsis: We close out the interview by thanking one another.