Seaman Janine Jones graduates, still has bills

Class 050-15, the latest batch of Navy public affairs specialists, celebrate their last day at the Defense Information School. Photo by PO2 Don White.

This website’s in-depth look at Fort Meade’s economic impact included two insights into the lives of junior enlisted service members. The money these troops spend in the surrounding community is a big contributor to Fort Meade’s total economic output.

Seaman Janine Jones briefly checked in to update us on what’s happening financially in her world. She’s a Navy public affairs student at the Defense Information School on Fort Meade, and her class graduated just a few days ago.

“Lately I’ve been going out with people from the barracks,” Jones said.  “We’re all pretty happy to be graduating, so we go out to celebrate. Restaurants are a big thing, because food is a great way to de-stress.”

The biggest drain on her finances is college debt. That won’t change for several years, but one thing about military life is helping.

“I’m still paying on my college debt, but I’m making progress,” she said. “Being in the military helps, because I don’t have to pay rent.”

SN Jones directing during her final project. Photo by SR Kyle Moore.

What’s next for Jones? Warmer weather and more saved money. She had her orders to USS Nimitz changed at the last minute, to USS Theodore Roosevelt. The Nimitz is in Bremerton, Washington, while the Roosevelt homeports in San Diego.

“Bremerton is colder than San Diego, so I would’ve had to buy some more cold-weather clothing,” Jones said. “I wanted the Nimitz but I am happy to avoid buying expensive winter clothing.”