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Military Spouse-Turned-Caregiver Joins BRCC Finance Team

Paula Austin became a military spouse in August of 1999 when she married her then-husband, Ivan Garcia. His service started out active duty, but after three years, he transitioned to the National Guard. Garcia deployed three times with his Guard unit, twice to Iraq and then once to Afghanistan. 

While her husband worked a civilian job with WAXIE in Santa Ana, California, and served with the National Guard, Austin completed a degree in accounting at Fullerton College and worked as an accounts-payable clerk with Imperial Sprinkler Supply until Garcia was injured on his third deployment to Afghanistan in October 2011.  

“We lived in California at the time,” Austin said. “Once I got the news, and Ivan was moved from Germany to the burn unit in San Antonio, I decided to make the move to be with him.”

Photos courtesy of Paula Austin.

Within two weeks, Austin moved herself to San Antonio, Texas, and in the next two months, Austin moved all four of their kids as well. With the long-term care Garcia required at the burn unit, it made more sense for the family to be together. 

Photo courtesy of Paula Austin.

“I was Ivan’s caregiver for the next seven years,” Austin said. “While he was in the burn unit and the months and years after, I helped him with everything: getting to appointments, wound care, you name it.”

When Garcia had recovered to a point where he could be more independent, Austin decided to get back to what she enjoyed doing and started job searching. 

“I started searching on Indeed, came across job listings for Black Rifle Coffee Company, and it seemed like a perfect fit,” Austin said. “I had heard about BRCC a year before, and when I found the listing, I applied right away.”

Austin ended up with two job offers at the same time, which is, of course, a great position to be in. 


Photo courtesy of Paula Austin.

“I obviously chose the BRCC job,” Austin said. “I love what they stand for. We have a military family, and the way the company presents itself also had a lot to do with my decision.”

Austin joined the Black Rifle Coffee family in 2015 as the accounts-receivable finance administrator and was promoted in 2019 to oversee all ready-to-drink accounting. 

“I love my team, the military connections, and support,” Austin said. “We’re all family-oriented and supportive of each other. Everyone here treats each other as equals, and you can actually go to people and talk, no matter where in the food chain they are. It’s so different from management at other companies, and it just makes me feel that they care, because they take the time to notice you.”