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Interview with Lizette Busquets, October 5, 2017

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:44 - Motivations for joining the military

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Partial Transcript: First question, big question, easy question, why did you join the military?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets describes her motivations for joining the military including an interest in military history, a family history of service, and a desire to travel. She discuses how her family's traditional views on gender roles affected their reactions to her service. Busquets also talks about how gender norms in Puerto Rico have changed since her time in the military.

Keywords: Imperialism; Puerto Rico

00:07:27 - Military occupation and early training

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Partial Transcript: Let's talk about, what was your job in the military?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets describes her occupation as an Electronic Warfare Signal Interceptor during the Cold War. She discusses having to use English for the first time outside of Puerto Rico during her Basic Training. She talks about her experience at Advanced Individual Training (AIT) and being promoted to a Squad Leader.

Keywords: Fort Devens; Fort Dix

00:16:12 - Stationed in West Germany

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Partial Transcript: Did you know you were going to Germany when you joined? Was that apart of your contract?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets describes being stationed in West Germany during the Cold War, noting the contentious atmosphere. Busquets discusses her unit being combat deployable, and the combat exercises they practiced to gather intelligence.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; Ramstein Air Base

00:23:29 - Public misconceptions of the military / Leaving the military

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Partial Transcript: There are lots of public misperceptions about the military, is there a misperception that specifically gets under your skin that you would like to help future generations understand?

Segment Synopsis: Busquet discusses the misconception that individuals that join the military are incapable or unintelligent. She also discusses leaving the military because she got married and intended to go back to college. She talks about later regretting leaving the military without attending Warrant Officer Training School.

Keywords: Fort Bragg

00:28:04 - Events leading towards University of Georgia attendance

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Partial Transcript: So when you went to school in Texas, what school did you go to? What did you go to school for?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets talks about being stationed as a military wife at Fort Bragg, and attending the University of North Carolina. She discusses receiving her bachelors degree in biology, and working in a biology lab at Boston University Medical School while her husband was stationed at Fort Devens. She describes working on her masters in public health at the University of Hawaii and eventually working for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). She worked as a health compliance officer, detailing the inhumane treatment of Mexican employees by businesses near the Texas border.

Keywords: Fayetteville State University; Fort Brag; Fort Hood; Notre Dame

00:37:46 - Student life at University of Georgia

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Partial Transcript: So describe your life as a student veteran here at UGA?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets discusses how her move to Hawaii separated her from other soldiers she knew from her deployment to Germany. This, combined with lack of a shared military service among her academic peers, has contributed to Busquets not disclosing her military status in the classroom because she feels separated from that part of her life. She also describes how the military taught her discipline and the impact this has had on her academics.

Keywords: Cold War; University of Georgia

00:44:17 - Women in the military

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Partial Transcript: What did I not talk about that you would like to talk about? Would you like to talk about current events at all?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets talks about what it meant to be woman in the military during the Cold War, noting the difficulties of integrating all-male units, and how male soldiers would underestimate female soldiers. She also discusses the physical challenges of being a woman in the military, describing the heavy equipment they needed to carry for intelligence gathering.

Keywords: Germany

00:49:03 - Hurricane Maria / Final thoughts

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Partial Transcript: I would like to preserve some commentary on what is happening in Puerto Rico right now?

Segment Synopsis: Busquets discusses the devastation of Hurricane Maria and the insufficient government response in providing aid. She details the historical disparities between the United States and Puerto Rico and how this has impacted the island during the natural disaster. Busquets gives her final thoughts on serving in the military, noting the need to frame individual service within a global perspective.

Keywords: Hurricane Maria; Puerto Rico