Inspired by her uncle who served in Vietnam, Ashley Paintner enlisted in the Army National Guard at age 17. One year later, she was deployed to Iraq and was faced with many challenges. Although it was difficult, the lessons she returned home with were life changing.
During her deployment, Ashley dedicated her spare time towards service efforts, organizing missions that provided medical care to rural villages, delivering over 500 school-supply-filled backpacks to Iraqi children, and volunteering over 200 hours with the combat stress team.
After serving eight years in the Army National Guard, which opened her eyes to poor health care, especially mental heath services for our veterans, and a year in a public health job, Ashley enrolled at the University of Washington to pursue her law degree and address these same issues.
Ashley’s military career taught her that there is no work more satisfying than a cause you believe in. Her future plans include advocating for changes in how mental health issues are addressed in the correctional system, especially in the juvenile and veteran courts.