New Initiatives Committee Chair

Hailing from South Carolina, Melanie clings to her southern roots with pride. Since falling in love with her Air Force sweetheart, she has lived all over the United States with her husband and three children. She received her education in Business Management and Writing for Print and Digital Media and graduated from the Tillman School of Business at the University of Mount Olive. Melanie is a licensed aesthetician and proud military spouse entrepreneur. A straight-talking advocate for military spouses and children’s rights, Melanie enjoys using her time to support and lift the voices of the military family and small business owners.

InDependent Title:
New Initiatives Committee Chair


  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Leadership

  • Licensed esthetician in California and North Carolina

Besides working with InDependent, I:
Serve as a volunteer EMT and am the editor of a fashion and beauty magazine for the military community.


Favorite Duty Station:
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base because of the close-knit community and its proximity to our home state of South Carolina.

Favorite Place to Visit or Go on Vacation:
My family and I enjoy visiting Washington DC. It is a wonderful military-friendly city that my parents shared with me as a kid. Now, I get to create those same memories for my children.

What Does Wellness Mean To Me:
Wellness means being conscious of your whole self, from how situations make you feel to the signs your body gives to you. I love when I hear people say, “I know my body.”

How I Find Balance:
I find balance by scheduling regular mental health breaks. I am deeply rooted in my faith; this helps me stay grounded and purposeful in my day-to-day movement.

Favorite Pastime:
Curled up with a book at home or hanging out with my awesome kids and husband. I also enjoy gardening and tending to my flock of chickens.

Healthy Eating Tip:
I make it a habit to step away from my meal for a few minutes. When I come back and sit down, if I am still hungry, my appetite will call me to finish more of my meal. If I am no longer hungry, I will wrap my meal and place it in the refrigerator later. This practice has helped me differentiate between eating to satisfy my hunger and eating due to food’s simple presence.

Favorite Healthy Snack:
I LOVE veggie trays and fruit trays. Besides being aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they are so delicious and customizable that even my kids go crazy over them. It isn’t a family night, football game, or other function without a good vegetable tray in my house.

My Go-To Recipe:
Salt and pepper air-fried sweet potato chips. These are so simple and because my kids love french fries and potato chips, this serves their craving with a healthy twist.

Fitness Achievement Most Proud of:
During my time at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, I retained a fitness trainer before COVID. I was very excited to have created fitness goals that I could track and maintain. Getting a personal trainer was by far the most adult feeling I had ever experienced.

Favorite Way to Work Out:
With friends or my husband. I love the company and the occasional competition.

Favorite Workout Song:
“Overcomer” by Mandisa! I first heard this song while watching a Christian movie about a little girl with asthma struggling to reach her fitness goal of becoming a great cross-country runner. This song has been stuck on my playlist ever since. Whether I need an extra boost of confidence in my fitness journey or my day-to-day life, this song reminds me that I’m never alone and can overcome any obstacle.

Biggest Fitness Hurdle:
Proper posture. It may not seem like a fitness goal, per se, but I found that not keeping my workspace ergonomic has caused my chronic back issues. These issues caused me to work harder to build my core strength, which has been difficult at times.

What Brings Me Joy:
Seeing my hard work translate into enjoyable times for my family…and puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies?

My Favorite Way to De-stress:
Alone time watching Golden Girls or any other Nick-at-Nite classics in a dark room with sea salt popcorn.

The cost is too great when the cost is your character.