Courageous, Passionate and Determined to Share Stories of Military Personnel
Sharing the personal stories of military members and their families for more than 30 years has been a true calling for Amy Forsythe. She’s a creative person who lives to tell other people’s stories and has turned her passion for creating stories that connect with people into an opportunity in the digital media space. Her book is titled ‘Heroes Live Here: A Tribute to Camp Pendleton Marines Since 9/11’, and she has been able to share the stories in her book with public speaking engagements and a successful newsletter to connect non-profit organisations with people who are in need of assistance.
“Risking is always better than regretting” is a quote that has fueled Amy’s passion for global travel, pushing her creative limits and challenging the status quo. “When we reflect on crossroads in our lives, sometimes people regret the things they would have, should have or could have done to achieve a different outcome. I’ve always tried to make decisions based on the fear of regretting taking risks with my career and relationships.” As a military combat photographer, she served five tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, where she was exposed to significant risk to life and limb but found that she thrived in dangerous situations and living on the edge. She explains that she was being pushed to face fears of death and severe injury daily, but it gave her a renewed sense of reward, gratitude and appreciation for all the goodness in life. While those situations are in the rear-view mirror for her now, she now cherishes the experiences of danger and uncertainty because they continuously made her a better leader, friend and American citizen. Taking risks is an opportunity to grow, learn and sacrifice. When there’s no risk, there’s no reward.
A picture can tell a thousand words, and just having a camera in her hand, Amy knew that she could make a difference by documenting some of these historical events. Showing the world the courage it takes to serve in uniform has been her passion and honour for over 30 years, and that’s the highlight of her career. Creating stories that inspire and motivate others fuels her passion. She beckons the opportunity to make a documentary or write another book filled with bold images and graphics someday. She is eternally curious and always keeps scouting for interesting topics and fresh ways of telling stories!
Amy says that her goals are always changing and evolving, but she remains so energised by seeing the next generation of leaders who will take her spot and make progress even further. She shares, “I’ve always tried to follow the brave women who went before me. Now, it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of women leaders who will ultimately go further and faster than me. My inspiration comes from seeing an incredible transformation and progress for women in military service and we’re also witnessing an explosion of confident and capable women working in emergency response services and law enforcement roles.”
There’s a saying in the U.S. military, “You’re not a leader until you make other leaders.” Amy feels proud to watch those that were under her charge grow into being wonderful people, great leaders and successful in their lives after leaving military service. It gives her immense pride and fulfilment to know the impact that she has had on other people during her career and to watch others win awards, successfully lead others and empower the next generation of leaders.
Several awards and accolades have been awarded to Amy Forsythe. She was recently inducted into the Women’s Museum of California Hall of Fame in the category of ‘Historian.’ Her greatest professional achievements have been covering important historical events that have shaped the lives of military members for generations to come. She was nominated as a finalist in Success Magazine 2022 Women of Influence 2022 among some of the most accomplished women in the world, like supermodel Ashley Graham, award-winning TV producer Shonda Rhimes and professional tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.
One of the most important leadership traits that she has embraced is gratitude. Having a grateful heart and leading others with optimism and hope has been the most impactful lessons that Amy learned along the way. Lastly, she explains that everything in this life is up for grabs, and it’s up to each of us to harness our own maximum potential by realizing there are infinite possibilities in life.