I enlisted in the Navy in September 1974. I could not afford college, so I went in to have access to the GI Bill. I served four years and 10 months on active duty and then went on to serve in the reserves for another 17 years. I was stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola, working in the same hanger as the Blue Angels. My last active-duty station was at Naval Air Station Bermuda, supporting P3 squadrons that monitored Russian submarine activity along the east coast during the late 1970s. During my reserve time, I spent five weeks in Yokosuka, Japan, during the closing of the bases in the Philippines. I retired as chief petty officer in 1997 and am proud of my service. I love the Navy and miss it.
My military career made me a stronger, more independent individual. I discovered I have the determination to accomplish what I set out to do.
After I was discharged from active duty, I worked full-time, attended college courses at night, and continued my military service in the reserves. My bachelor's degree is in accounting, so I had a financial background when coming in as a volunteer with the Credit Union of Denver 23 years ago. My determination to continue to grow once I became a volunteer shows in my continued service. I started on the supervisory committee and, after 11 years, I was elected to the board of directors 12 years ago. My leadership experience as I was promoted in the Navy made me the strong leader I am for the credit union.