You probably hear her voice every day during PT or on your way to work. She’s an AFN DJ, a volunteer, Army spouse, former pageant girl in Texas and Louisiana and a mother of two dogs. She’s Christy Whitaker (a.k.a. C-Dub on the radio waves) and she hails from Oklahoma.
I sat down with C-Dub for some candid conversation. Here’s what she had to say.
Are you a military spouse? Mother?
Do fur-babies count? I have two. I have a weinie dog. I talk about her on the air a lot. Her name is Ms. Weinie, and she weighs fifteen pounds. She should probably only weigh maybe nine pounds. She’s a little curvy. I blame the German culture. She likes bread. And then we have a cattle dog named Mia. They truly are our kids. But no, no kiddos.
Are you a volunteer?
You work early in the morning. What inspired you to volunteer as a DJ? Have you ever fallen asleep on the job?
I honestly didn’t know I wanted to do it until I got here. I have a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. I knew it was going to be a little bit more difficult to find a job in my career field. I already had my mind set that I was not going to work and that I was going to be active in the community in a volunteer role. We were here two weeks, and I was going crazy at the hotel. I said, I’ve got to get out and do something. So I contacted AFN and I thought there may be something for me to do. So I came in, and they said, “We’re actually looking for a morning show co-host. Have you ever thought about being on the radio?” A year later, here I am. And I’ve been doing the morning show for a year now. I didn’t know I wanted to until I jumped right in and I was like, “This is awesome!” It’s so much fun. And to answer your question, no I’ve never fallen asleep. That would be bad.
Any advice for others who may be thinking of becoming a volunteer?
Definitely do it. It gives you a chance to give back to your community, especially the military community. Two, you get to meet new people. You get to learn things that you may not have known that you wanted to learn. For example, I never knew that I would want to be a DJ. But volunteering gave me an opportunity to see another world and another skill set that I didn’t even know that I would be interested in until I did it. Another reason is, especially if there’s spouses who are worried about having a gap in their resume, this gives them a great opportunity to fill up that gap. I mean, if you think about it, three years is a long time to not have anything on your resume. Especially when you do PCS back to the States, they’re going to wonder why and sometimes saying, “Well, I’m a military spouse, I was supporting my husband or my wife,” isn’t enough for some employers. They want to see what you do the last three, four years. Whether it’s FRG or a specific unit, the USO, again you get to learn skills, you’re meeting people, you’re giving back, and you’re getting out. It’s a win-win for both parties too, because whatever organization you volunteer for, obviously they are getting extra help and that can help tremendously.
Describe one of the craziest things that’s happened to you at the AFN station.
So the show starts at 6 a.m. and there’s not a lot of activity in the station during that time because it’s early. Work call isn’t usually until 7:30 or 8 a.m. I went to the restroom and I got locked in the women’s restroom and my co-host is running the show like normal. We have talking breaks, and we play songs obviously and the news. But there’s about a five minute window between the time that we say we’ll be back to the next time that we have a break. Well, one break went by and I guess he did it not thinking: “Well maybe she had some issues in the bathroom.” So another break went by. Still nothing. And I’m just sitting in the bathroom, like nobody could hear me because there’s nobody there. He’s all the way down in the studio, and I thought this is great. I’m missing the show. I’m stuck in the bathroom. And so finally, he comes after that hour was over. He comes knocking on the door. “Is everything okay? Can I get you anything?” I’m like, I’m locked! Let me out!
How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
I know this is going to sound silly, but I volunteer. I do a couple of things at the USO. I’m either helping them with dinner for Soldiers or with special events that they have coming up. I also help out with the cheerleading squad for Vilseck High School. I’m going to be the assistant cheer coach for this season. Being able to be a role model to those young women is good. There at an important time in their life, they’re at the age range of 16-17, juniors and seniors, so I think it’s good to have a good mentor, a positive role model, especially for young women in this day and age. Not to say that they don’t already, but I don’t think you can have enough or too many positive role models. But when I’m not volunteering, I’m usually traveling, hanging out with my husband, playing with our fur babies. And I actually blog. I have a blog that I started and it’s kind of trying to be a positive role model.
Would you rather…would you rather be an AFN DJ or a celebrity rock star?
I should want to say be an AFN DJ, but I’d rather be a celebrity rock star. Who wouldn’t want to be, right? Yeah I definitely would. I think there’s a lot of pressure on celebrities. But at the same time, I think they know what they’re getting into. Again, I know I sound like a broken record, but as a celebrity, you can use your title for good. You can use your status to be a positive role model, or to set a good example for those who are maybe going down a bad road. Whether it’s one person or a hundred people, it’s still good.
What’s been your most embarrassing moment at the AFN station?
Oh gosh, they happen every day. There are too many to count. Whether it’s silly things, like forgetting to turn my co-host’s microphone on and I’m just talking away and he’s trying to talk but nobody can hear him or saying something silly on the air. Sometimes I think you forget you’re in a studio, it’s just you and your co-host, and sometimes you forget that you’re broadcasting to 60-70,000 people. You just start conversations, and you just forget. But in turn, some of the feedback we’ve gotten, is that that’s why people like our show. It’s because we are real. We’re not trying to be fake. Real life moments happen.
What song were you last listening to on your iPod?
I have two iPods. I wasn’t sure which one you wanted. Ok, the reason I have two is because, in my spare time, I drive a motorcycle. I have 2007 Suzuki GSX-R. It’s a sports bike. My husband and I ride just for leisure. On that iPod, I had “Shoot to Thrill” by AC/DC. Because on my motorcycle, I feel like I’m a bad chick. In the car the last song playing was “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe. [The USAG Bavaria Public Affairs Office does not condone driving a motorcycle while wearing headphones.]
What are your top three favorite movies of all time?
Definitely, it’s a romantic comedy… Hitch with Will Smith. I love it. It is your stereotypical chick flick, but it makes me feel all gooey. Then, probably — Do Christmas movies count? — Elf. I love Elf. I could watch it over and over again. My other favorite movie — I’m a big Will Smith, Will Ferrell fan — Talladega Nights. It’s so stupid, but it’s so funny. It’s fabulous.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I own a motorcycle. I got tired of riding on the back with my husband, so I said, “You know what? I think I can do it myself.” So, in 2012, I got my license in the States. It’s not hard, I think it’s more of a mental thing. It’s so liberating. You’re on the back, you feel the air, and you’re just….it’s really enjoyable. But scary at times because you don’t know what the other drivers are going to do. You don’t know if they’re going to see you, you don’t know if they’re texting and driving. I think as a female we’re stereotyped a lot when it comes to things like cars and bikes — manly-like things — and I’ve always been one to want to break stereotypes. So I’m like ha-ha, I can ride a bike.
What advice do you have for others living in Bavaria?
Just embrace it. Get out, live beyond the gates off-post. A lot of people are scared to get out there on the economy. They’re afraid to interact with the host nation, because maybe they don’t know German, and that scares them.. And yeah, that may be intimidating, but what better way to learn, then get out there and experience it? My husband and I have always said we never want to look back and have any regrets from not traveling enough while we lived here in Europe. Just embrace it, learn all you can, because this is an opportunity that you may never get again. There are so many things at your fingertips.