Wolfe, Jill (Interview transcript and video), 2021


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Wolfe, Jill (Interview transcript and video), 2021



Smither, James (Interviewer)


Jill Wolfe was born in December 1975 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to a mother who worked as an art therapist and a father who worked negotiating contracts. She moved to St. Louis, Missouri when she was 3, and moved again to Troy when she was 15 where she stayed until she graduated high school in 1994. Wolfe applied to and was accepted by both Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. Several weeks before she was meant to leave for Grand Valley, her mother said she should join the Army instead, but she refused. Her father was in ROTC during Vietnam and his older brother was a career officer for 25 years, but Wolfe does not consider herself to come from a military family. After a lackluster semester of college, Wolfe came into contact with a recruiter following an argument with her parents about them wanting her to get a job to pay for her tuition, or else they would not send her back for a second semester. She originally was uninterested in the pitch but said she “...didn’t want to disappoint anyone” and left to think about it further, settling that service was a potential solution to her monetary issues. Her ASVAB score qualified her for several high-clearance positions of which she selected Non-morse Communications Specialist which would take 3 years. Wolfe was shipped out in 1995 to a holding unit in Fort Jackson, South Carolina before later being transported to boot camp in the same state, she recalls boot camp as being the most physically exhausted she has ever been “aside from giving birth” and Wolfe waited several weeks before being sent to San Antonio, Texas due to clearance issues. She was later sent to Camp Humphreys near Seoul, South Korea with the 3rd MI Battalion Bravo Company for 14 months on orders in 1997. In Korea, Wolfe volunteered as a lifeguard at a nearby pool and remembers being able to own an apartment off post and enjoying the thriving city life. 3 months before the end of her term in Korea, Wolfe found out she was pregnant and was forced to discharge and return home. Wolfe returned to Grand Valley and graduated in 2001, going on to work in PR and eventually become the Military and Veterans Resource Manager at Grand Valley where she continues to work today, assisting veterans in their schooling.




In Copyright


Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401.


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






Moving Image




Wolfe, Jill H., “Wolfe, Jill (Interview transcript and video), 2021,” Digital Collections, accessed February 21, 2024, https://digitalcollections.library.gvsu.edu/document/48918.
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