“My dad is a retired Marine and he’s the reason I joined the Navy. I haven’t always wanted to fly but I’m so glad I became a pilot.
“I met my husband in flight school in Pensacola, through mutual friends. We dated long distance for two years, and then we both got to Norfolk, VA. I was flying helicopters and he was flying E2s. We were both busy and our flight schedules didn’t always line up, but it was so great to finally be together, to get to watch movies together, sit on the same couch, do the things you normally take for granted, until you’ve been apart.
“He proposed on my birthday in 2009. It was very sweet. I opened my present, and it was a frame with four photos. One with ‘Will,’ the next with ‘You’ and then ‘Marry’ and ‘Me.’ I started work-ups for deployment and deployed in May 2011. I came home and we had three weeks together before he deployed. We spent our first year of marriage apart and it sucked but we got through it.
“When I found out I was pregnant, my mom told me she would come out and care for our baby when I went back to work. I didn’t realize how much of a blessing that was until my first day back at work 7 weeks postpartum. My parents have since moved here and I am extremely lucky I have them as a support system.
“I’ve been in the Navy for 9 years; it’ll be 10 when I get out. I will miss the flying and camaraderie. I have no idea what I am going to do when I get out, but I won’t regret getting more time with my kids, and I am excited for whatever is next.”