I am a West Virginia native. I graduated from Greenbrier East High School, Fairlea WV in 1973 and attended West Virginia University and Center College shortly after. I left college and started working for the State of West Virginia, Charleston WV but at the same time found myself involved in a volatile relationship. Domestic violence rapidly became a part of my daily life: at home, at work, at social functions… it became all-consuming.

In 1980, I returned to my hometown of White Sulphur Springs WV in an attempt to get out of my abusive relationship but little did I know, it isn’t that simple! Leaving the abusive relationship did not fix the problem. Things quickly escalated and long story short, I was seriously injured by my abuser, but he was arrested, charged, and convicted.

There were many times when I didn’t know what my future held, whether or not I would survive this great ordeal called domestic violence… but I did survive! In 1982, I was finally free and safe to live my life. I relocated to Philadelphia, PA where I initially worked at the University of Pennsylvania Science Center as a data entry clerk.

In July 1984, I enlisted into the U. S. Army Reserve. I went to Basic Training (BT) at Fort Jackson SC in last 1984 and to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Sam Houston TX in early 1985. My first assignment upon completion of training in May 1985 was at the 361st Evacuation Hospital, Folsom PA as a Patient Administration Specialist (71G). Upon arrival at the 361st Evacuation Hospital, I immediately began inquiring about other jobs.

I enrolled in the Medical Supply Specialist (76J) correspondence course in August 1985. I completed the Medical Supply Specialist (76J) correspondence course in July 1986 and also attended and completed the Administrative Specialist (71L) course in August 1986. The completion of these two military occupational skills (MOSs) early in my career, greatly influenced my promotion potential in my latter career.

In 1986, I also started working for the Department of Treasury (Internal Revenue Service). In 1989, I completed phase 2 of the Medical Supply Specialist (76J) course and became a Department of the Army (DA) civilian. I retired as a DA civilian in March 2014.

I continued my Army Reserve career until December 2013, retiring at the rank of Master Sergeant. I served in the greatest medical units in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Germany under the 79th ARCOM, 99th RSC, and ARMEDCOM (commands). I graduated from the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy in 2007.

I held five military occupational specialties (Patient Administration NCO, Human Resources Manager, Medical Supply NCO, Finance NCO, and Retention/ Transition NCO) and I was an Army Instructor.

There are no words that can express how the Army changed my life for the better… and it still does today! As the Delaware Libraries – Veterans/Military Families Program Developer, I hope my military experience and passion for Veterans has helped me develop and implement training, events, resources, etc. to enhance the lives of our military service members, Veterans, and their families in Delaware. I love working alongside other Veterans who are committed to our military community. My heroes wear dog tags! God bless our troops!