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A Former Air Force Sergeant Shares How Service Impacted Her Work in Public Health

Lynn Fyanes in uniform
Lynn Fyanes in Uniform

Lynn Fyanes has worn many hats in her life. One of the most rewarding was her role as a United States Air Force Senior Master Sergeant.

Fyanes served for 26 years from 1989 to 2015 and lived all over the world during her time with the Air Force.

​​”Once I began my Air Force career, I loved it and never regretted my choice to enlist and serve our country,” Fyanes said.

As retirement approached, Fyanes said she began to reflect on her experiences in the Air Force — asking herself what all those years of military training could teach her for her next endeavor.

“It boiled down to this, to be successful in the US military we must be kept safe, healthy, productive, and physically fit,” Fyanes said. “Enforcing safety and health policy standards helps the military achieve this goal.”

With that answer in mind, Fyanes embarked on a master’s degree in Health Policy with Boise State University.

Lynn Fyanes

Now fully retired from the Air Force, Fyanes is a program specialist with the Idaho Commission on Aging and is an adjunct faculty member with the School of Public and Population Health.

Fyanes knows that transitioning to civilian life can be very difficult for veterans. She suggests public health professionals connect with veterans and foster support systems.

“Military members are trained to be actively involved in their communities, so opportunities for connecting with veterans could go far,” Fyanes said.

Spending time throughout so many different parts of the world has shown Fyanes not just how to work with other service members of all backgrounds, but how to serve others from all backgrounds.

“Learning how to navigate different cultures can be challenging,” Fyanes said. “Creating an inclusive, positive, safe, healthy and accountable environment can lead to high morale and a productive workforce.”