Since founding Operation Welcome Home Maryland in 2007, her organization has greeted over 500,000 of our military service members returning home from oversea deployments. Along with thousands of volunteers from schools, colleges, veteran’s organizations, church groups and organizations participating, she has dedicated countless hours to ensure that our returning service member heroes receive a level of greeting and care that is commensurate with their devoted service abroad. The foundation’s website is: http://www.operationwelcomehomemd.org .
How have you benefited from your service in the Navy Reserve?
I have benefited in so many ways from my service in the Navy Reserve. One of the most significant has been the opportunity to work with high caliber Sailors who have a deep dedication and pride in their country – Sailors who volunteer to serve their country! I am humbled often by their selflessness for each other and their goal to get the work done, regardless of who gets the credit. I have been blessed with the privilege of leading many Sailors in a variety of leadership positions and learned what truly defines a leader, while at the same time trying to live it every day. Finally, being able to mentor Sailors, both Officer and Enlisted, in their Navy careers has brought me a lot of satisfaction and made me feel that I made a difference.
My service in the Reserves has also benefitted my civilian career by allowing me to translate the challenges our military face, each and every day, to those in the civilian sector. Even though we have been at war for the past decade, many servicemen still return to face medical issues and reintegration problems at home, work, and school. My experience working in a military hospital has given me the unique perspective to help civilians understand and appreciate this reality and our military culture. Recognizing this rare ability, my civilian employer actually hired me because of it.
Why did you choose to join the Navy Reserve?
I joined the Navy Reserve immediately after college because I wanted to do something with my nursing career and serve my country at the same time. The chance to work in a Military hospital was different because it would not only allow me to grow personally, but also afford the opportunity to help others to grow, such as teaching and preparing Corpsmen to be “Doc’s” for the Marine Corps. What other job in the civilian sector prepares you like this?
In my Navy…
my Lesson #1 is to pay attention to your Sailors. If you take care of them, they will take care of you.