But at age 49, living off of her retirement and her late husband's workman's compensation benefits, she is struggling to find fulltime work.
"They were always saying the military would take care of me for the rest of my life," said said recalling her conversations with patients at the military hospitals where she worked. "And now I'm here 28 years later saying the same thing."
Chastain is not alone.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports nearly one in five female veterans is out of work, a figure that's twice as high as male veterans.
Determining why these numbers are so disproportionately high for female ex-servicemembers may require further study.
"I'm not sure we really have figured out the exact reason why but it's certainly a good research topic for many of us to consider," said Taco Williams, Vice President of Programs for ARVETS.
The public-private partnership in North Little Rock works with veterans to help them make the transition into civilian jobs.
Chastain, who has only been able to find seasonal work preparing taxes, said she believes some employers are intimidated by career military female veterans.
"I think we have too much experience and people are afraid we're going to go in there and walk all over them," she said.