During my military career as a United States Marine, I went to boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. From there I went to Camp LeJeune as a heavy equipment mechanic and was eventually stationed in Yuma, Ariz.
Talk about a climate change from being a small-town girl from Ishpeming, Mich. I was part of Marine Wing Support Squadron 371. We were in charge of keeping all the heavy equipment—forklifts, cranes, bull dozers, runway sweepers—up and running We were also known for being a hot weather training base. In the summertime it could get over 120 degrees in the shade there. I also went to other places in California for training operations. I truly enjoyed my job in the Marines and I was honored to be serving our country.
The experience I received in the military and as a United States Marine was, and is, invaluable. It has been extremely beneficial in learning to multitask, knowing how to supervise a department, knowing how to be fair and yet firm in decision-making, knowing what is important to get the job (or mission) done, knowing how to accomplish things, and knowing how to react—or not react—when things are happening everywhere around you.
I was recently named the 2021 Marquette County Veteran of the year, and then the 2021 State of Michigan Veteran of the Year for knowing how to help our veterans at work. Being involved in the different veteran organizations is also very valuable—to the veterans and to TruNorth Federal Credit Union.