It's a Military Life's Mission

It’s A Military Life is a military spouse and veterans network advancing resiliency, community involvement, and forging meaningful relationships.


Passionately committed to serving our military community

Founder: Christina Etchberger

Christina Etchberger is the Founder and CEO of It's a Military Life Corporation. She is an Army spouse and a mother of two little boys, while currently residing in South Korea. IML began as a lifestyle blog and a community to bring the military community together, and now it has evolved into a nonprofit organization.

Christina continues to be a connector, by providing educational and resourceful programs for the military community as a whole. She is very grateful for her professional volunteers consisting of military spouses, veterans, service members, and fellow patriots. Christina looks forward to seeing It's a Military Life grow and serve as many people as possible!

Christina Etchberger Linkedin Profile

Treasurer: Becca Zettwoch

Becca Zettwoch is the Treasurer of IML and joined the team in December of 2021. Becca is an Air Force spouse and currently resides in Florida with their daughter and younger brother. Becca is currently working towards her Bachelor's degree in Accounting. Her career aspirations are to obtain her CPA and work in public accounting.

Becca's Linkedin Profile



Webmaster: Marina V. Rodriguez

Marina is the Webmaster for It's a Military Life Corporation. She has been a Marine spouse for 20yrs and possesses a Bachelor's Degree in Interactive Media Design. She manages and implements website updates, performs ongoing optimization, conducts site troubleshooting, SEO execution, and UX/UI website innovation.

All technical interfaces related to the company's web presence are under her cognizance. In addition, she also collaborates with the Marketing team on blog and social media posts. She is detail oriented, takes the initiative, and is genuinely dedicated to providing informative content to the military community.

Marina's Linkedin Profile

 Editor in Chief: Courtney Hickling

Editor in Chief: Courtney Hickling

Courtney Hickling is the Editor-in-Chief for It's a Military Life. As part of her role, she will be responsible for the editorial direction of the content published on the website, which will ensure that the content is consistent with the organization's vision and mission. As a veteran and military spouse, Courtney is intimately familiar with the difficulties this community faces. She strives to create meaningful and impactful content to help this unique community succeed.

As a Technical Writer for a Defense Contracting Agency, Courtney brings her strong editing and content management background to her role. Among her qualifications, she holds a Bachelor's degree in business administration, a Master's in Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and a MA in New Media Journalism, and will complete her MBA in October. As an avid reader and writer, she is eager to share engaging content with you.

Courtney's Linkedin Profile


Veteran Pen Pal Project Team

Program Director: Megan Stewart

Megan serves as the Program Director for the Veteran Pen Pal Project and brings over ten years of volunteer experience to IML.

During her time volunteering with military-centric nonprofit organizations, she has developed a deep passion for helping military families, soldiers, and the veteran communities alike. As a military spouse herself, she understands the needs of this wonderful and unique community and loves to find lasting solutions that help address the challenges they continually face.

In addition to volunteering, Megan works full-time as an Association Manager for New York Women in Communications. Through her professional and volunteer experience, she brings a strong background in program management, event coordination, and volunteer development.

She holds a Bachelor's and a Master's in Healthcare Administration and considers herself a lifelong learner. She and her husband, who is newly retired from active duty, are enjoying spending time with their two children, traveling, and exploring their new forever-home surroundings!

Megan's Linkedin Profile

Volunteer Assistant Program Director: Carolyn Pinheiro

Carolyn Pinheiro is the volunteer Assistant Program Director for the Veteran Pen Pal Project at It’s a Military Life. She was born in southern California but has lived in the south coast of Massachusetts for the majority of her life. Although she has no previous military affiliation, she has always been a patriot for her country and has a strong appreciation for those who have served and continue to serve to protect the people of the United States.


Carolyn has over 20 years of administration/operations experience and continues to build on her professional expertise. She has an Associate’s in Computer Technology, a Bachelor’s in Business Management and is currently working on her Master’s Degree. When she isn’t volunteering, doing schoolwork or working, she either has her nose in a book or is spending time with her husband, daughter and fur-babies.

carolyn's Linkedin Profile

Ambassador Program Manager: Chantelle Pangburn

Recently retired from the Air Force after 20 years of active duty service.  I am married and my husband and I have 5 children, ranging from ages 26 to 13 and a grandbaby!  I love to hike, run and spend time with my family!  We are located in the Clarksville, TN area and love supporting our community.  I am passionate about serving those who have served before me and take pride in our country and its values. 

Chantelle's Linkedin Profile


It's a Military Connection Team

Curriculum and Instruction Designer: Kim Lara

Curriculum and Instruction Designer: Kim Lara

Kim designs the curriculum for the It's a Military Connection cohort immersion program. Kim also has developed the instruction for the course which will be catered to military spouse and significant others who want to participate in a program that helps guide them on their professional journey.

Kim's Linkedin Profile


It's a Military Child Life Team

Program Director: Kirtley Adams

Kirtley is the Program Director for It's A Military Child Life. She coordinates activities, partnerships, and events to help military children and teens according to our mission and vision.

It's A Military Child Life is a community that recognizes, celebrates, and supports our military children and teens.
The mission is to address the needs of our military children and teens by providing valuable resources; to foster meaningful social connections through programs that support the experiences of military children and teens everywhere; and to cheer them on in their unique journey.

Kirtley was born and raised in Indiana. She has been an Army spouse for 12 years, currently residing at Ft. Benning, GA. She has a passion for helping military families. As a mom to 3 kids, her focus is on helping military children and teens navigate the ups and downs of their military life. When she's not volunteering you can find her reading, knitting, or building websites.

Kirtley Adams's Linkedin Profile

Assistant Program Director: Lourdes Camille Gonzalez

Lourdes is the Social Media Manager and Assistant Program Director of It's a Military Child Life. In her position, she manages IMCL social media accounts, creates a variety of content and interacts with our community.

Lourdes is an Air Force spouse currently residing in Colorado. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she is bilingual in Spanish and English. Lourdes earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology from Penn State University. Among her interests are social work, wellness, children and books.
She is passionate about this community and loves connecting with other military families.

Lourdes's Linkedin Profile


It's a Military Outreach Life Team

Program Director: Melissa Tolliver Thicklin

Melissa joined It’s a Military Outreach Life in August 2022 as the Outreach Program Director.

In this new position with IML, Melissa is looking to embed It’s a Military Outreach Life into local community outreach and within the schools as a resource for military families.

Melissa is a former Army wife of 22yrs, with two daughters and one son. Melissa’s education consists of an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies and a Master Degree in Public Administration. She is also currently working for United States Space Force, Space Delta 13 as the Commander Executive/Chief of Protocol/Outreach.

Melissa has some previous experience working in the outreach field from her past job at the Air Force Culture and Language Center. Melissa’s love for helping people ha spill over into helping in the community any way she can.

#Itsamilitaryoutreachlifestrong  #Communitystrong   #Militarylifestrong

Melissa's Linkedin Profile


Help us Support our Veterans

VPPP connects veteran communities such as veteran centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and VA hospitals with pen pals around the world. We also host large holiday initiatives where we call on our pen pals to send general 'Dear Hero' holiday cards to our participating facilities.

Attention Milspouses and Milso Professionals!

It's a Military Connection provides a voice, resources, and hands-on experiences to military spouses for their professional journey. Through a 12-week cohort immersion series, participants are given the opportunity for professional development and networking opportunities that align closely with their goals.

A place to be a helper as an individual and a family-for all communities. Get involved-give back and pay it forward!

It’s a Military Life believes it is important to give back to our community, whether it is military or civilian related. We do that, by creating a network of outreach programs to provide volunteer opportunities for military and civilian families. We will help match you with the an opportunity that best fits your outreach interest and commitment level at this time.

Be a Part of our Military Child Community

Here you will find community, among other military families, who are looking for resources for their children: advocacy, homeschooling, learning, and more!


Donate to one of most popular programs - Veteran Pen Pal Project! Your donation will support our mission to support our veterans through the simple act of writing a letter and creating friendships.


Subscribe to our monthly IML newsletter! Get all the updates on our blog as well as our programs.


Email us at to sign up! Volunteer to be a writer or join our official professional volunteer team!

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It's a Military Life

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