contributed by Sylvia Trein
Military personnel, veterans, and their families share a unique experience that has its quirks, challenges, and triumphs. For years now, military influencers have created content to share knowledge and advice, hobbies, entertainment, and a sense of community among military families scattered around the globe.
We love discovering these bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters who show the diverse experiences of military families and veterans. Here are a few military and veteran influencers you might connect with. (You can also find our previous list of best military Instagram accounts here.)
After almost 15 years in uniform, Army veteran Katie Vail revels in the self-expression possible through fashion. She offers a popular Instagram account (@stripesandwhimsy) dedicated to personal style and DIY home decor. A similar fashion-focused account is @planesandprettythings, where Air Force spouse Aimee Huebner posts promoted and unpromoted budget fashion ideas.
Shayne Meder retired from the Air Force and volunteers by painting military aircraft; check her out under the handle @flygirlpainter.
Food people can check out Claire Dieterich’s Instagram (@fortheloveofgourmet). A veteran married to a veteran, she is now a food photographer and recipe developer, as well as an ultramarathon runner and mother of five. And be sure to check out veteran and former White House Executive Chef, Andre Rush (@realchefrush), who combines expert cooking techniques with mental health awareness and military-inspired personal fitness.
David Goggins (@davidgoggins) is a retired Navy SEAL and bestselling author most known for incredible fitness achievements in ultramarathons and triathlons. A well-known motivational speaker, Goggins uses his platform to show the relationship between mindset and fitness.
Veteran and Ironman Nick Bare can be found on Instagram and YouTube (@nickbarefitness) educating on the holistic health benefits of running, cycling, weight lifting, and otherwise pushing your body to its limits. His loyal following upholds the motto “Go one more,” a testament to resilience and grit. (He also hosts a self-titled podcast.)
Other popular fitness figures among veteran social media influencers are Diamond Ott (@diamondcut_fitness), Michael Eckert (@michaeleckert_fit), Josh Bridges (@joshbridges_training), Kirstie Ennis (@kirstie_ennis), Melissa Stockwell (@mstockwell01), Rudy Reyes (@realrudyreyes), Lisa Bodenburg (@lisabodenburg), Noah Galloway (@noahgallowayathlete), and CT Fletcher (@ironaddictsgym)—all on Instagram.
Zachary Bell is a Marine Corps veteran whose Instagram account, @veteranwithasign, is pretty self-explanatory. Imitating the popular trend of short-and-sweet statements on cardboard, he uses his platform to advocate for support and services for military veterans, as well as to encourage active duty personnel and veterans to seek mental health care rather than suffer alone through PTSD and other afflictions.
Also on Instagram, Erin Byal @theshortwife—a self-proclaimed “Anxious Milspouse”—entertains and educates with her transparent reflections on living with anxiety. A new mom, she also touches on life as a parent and military wife. Christina Kimbrough (@ckimbrough1) adds the perspective of a military spouse in addiction recovery.
Another Instagram-based influencer worth a look is Caitlin Lewis (@thekindredginger). With her husband Josh currently stationed at Camp Lejeune, she offers solidarity and discusses topics of relevance to families of active duty personnel. Similar accounts are @wivesofthearmedforces, @militaryspousenewhouse, and @kendallmariah.
Marine Corps veteran Chris Van Etten (@chrisvanetten_official) is a double amputee who inspires followers with his humor and adventurous lifestyle. A former actor on General Hospital, his relatable posts include windows into his family life and hobbies.
Lastly, Dulce Candy is an Army veteran whose YouTube channel, Sweet Soul, opens a window into her life post-military service. While her original audience is young Latina women, her subscribers come from all backgrounds to learn about topics from journaling and meditation to managing tricky relationships. She also hosts The Dulce Candy Podcast with a more spiritual bent and can be found on Instagram as @dulcecandy.
Sean Tobias Ambriz (@chief_pinkmist) is an advocate for military personnel and veterans. An active duty Master Sergeant and member of the Navajo tribe, he is also an author, graphic designer, entrepreneur, and public speaker on issues facing his peers.
Veteran and former CIA Directorate of Operations Ryan Fugit hosts the podcast CombatStory (@combatstory), where he interviews veterans about their experiences in combat.
Veteran Adam Braatz (@realadambraatz) is the founder of The Thriving Veteran and often speaks publicly on needs and gaps within veterans services organizations. The Secure Families Initiative, started by military spouse Sarah Streyder, seeks to advocate for military personnel and their families through current events and policies as they unfold (@secure_families on Instagram). Fellow military spouse Michelle Norman advocates specifically for military children with disabilities, on Instagram as @partnersinpromise.
Who did we miss? Tell us about your favorite military spouse blog, veteran podcasters, and other military influencers in the comments below.
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