About this Jersey Girl

Dori~ H.What I am is a combination and contradiction of many things. I am a Woman, Baby Boomer, Navy Veteran,  Political Junkie, Independent Writer & Blogger, Real Estate Broker,  Gourmet Cook, Wife,  Sister, Aunt and Mother to not only friends and family~ but to the over 35 rescued dogs & cats (& a few birds & squirrels) that I have loved and cared for over the years. Despite being a die-hard Reagan Conservative ~ I AM a Jersey Girl. 😉

I am a native-born American and Patriot~ a Woman & Navy Veteran. I was Mom, Ross and Me 1957 001born in Montclair, NJ during the armistice of the Korean War and I grew up during the cold war, survived “duck & cover” and the Kennedy Assassination in 1963 while in grammar school. Later in the 1960’s, I watched my neighbors mourn their older sons whom had died in Vietnam and prayed Dad, Ross and Me 1957 001for my older brother each time the new numbers were chosen for the draft during the late 1960’s & early 1970’s ~ and I watched in disgust as thousands of dirty, long-haired & strung-out hippies and pampered college students spit on the brave soldiers that came home alive!

I survived high school (yeah!), graduating in 1972 andMe 1971 002 after experiencing college, beauty school & the many, many uninteresting jobs that followed as well as having survived the club scene & disco by the late 1970’s I needed a change.  So ~ I took off for Europe, specifically Italy & France. After all the shopping, partying & drinking~ I took a really good look around and noticed the unspoken fear of the people there as well as the social disorder, and I began to compare it to the then economic turmoil and fears I’d had in America.  And then ~ poof ~ I had an epiphany!  I came back Ross & Me, Port Authority NYC 1979to my United States of America, the GREATEST country on Earth (despite the crappy economy).  Indeed, I had decided to do something totally alien to my then ‘selfish’ nature & lifestyle. It was totally something unselfish & purely patriotic. (I didn’t know it then ~ but it actually saved my life.)  

Despite being in my mid-twenties, I enlisted in the U. S. Navy within 2 days of returning to the states in late August 1979.  Sure, I was a late bloomer but I had found my true calling! That BERMUDA 1981 002was only a few months before the U.S. Embassy in Iran was attacked and 44 American hostages were taken, (President Carter told us that they were “victims of terrorism & anarchy” then he added “the United States will not yield to blackmail”).  Regardless of how I felt having him as a Commander in Chief, my service continued throughout the 1980’s and into the early 1990’s. During the 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan restored, what we all felt at the time; a renewed morale to all of the American Armed Forces. WE in the military felt it! WE respected it! And, when OUR Commander-in-Chief decided not to take any crap from Libya… he gave them the bitch-slapping of their life!

JACKSONVILLE 1984 00120110824162734289I was stationed at U. S. Naval Air Station Bermuda in 1980 and during that time when word came that two American F-10 Tomcats from the U.S.S. Nimitz had fired back against Gadhafi’s soviet-built MiGs, the entire base celebrated! The bravery, unfettered resolve to duty and resulting success of our Navy Pilots had been the direct result of President Reagan’s doctrine “Peace through Strength”.  President Reagan’s guiding principle of a 600 fleet Navy & the subsequent recall to active duty of Fleet Reserve personnel who were familiar with the Iowa-Class battleships; USS Iowa (BB 61), USS New Jersey (BB 62), USS Missouri (BB 63) & USS Wisconsin (BB 64) was brilliant! While stationed at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida I was processing those brave men & Fleet Reservists back on to active duty in order to teach their skills to that current generation of sailors.

Also during that time, as a Personnel Specialist & Classifier, I worked with BERMUDA 1981 00120110824162750482military personnel being deployed to the Sinai region of Egypt & Beirut, Lebanon; the Caribbean island of Grenada; the southern Mediterranean Gulf of Sidra and other frequent conflicts with Iran & Libya throughout the decade. Later under President George H. W. Bush (41) I assisted with personnel deployments to Panama & the Philippines (to protect the Aquino government).

DoriNavy1stClassIn February 1986, after having served over 6 years, I reenlisted for an additional 4 years with a contractual promise to transfer back up to the north-east United States. I met my husband, Luke (now a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer) the day I checked into my last duty station at Naval Station, NY (Staten Island).  We were married 13 months later & three months after that my husband was transferred to the USS Butte (AE-27) out of NWS Earle, NJ. I remained stateside until my last enlistment ended and I bailed out with a second Honorable Discharge on Groundhog Day 1990. Luke remained in the Navy until his retirement in 1999.

Now I spend my time working, volunteering, blogging & paying bills from our Me & Luke Christmastime 198720110824163248723home in New Jersey along with our house full of adopted & rescued dogs & cats.  And, I’m still a little crazy after all these years! ~dfh~

 
SailorsCreed
SAILOR’S CREED
I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.

ME

This Jersey Girl in 2015

2 comments

  1. It’s so refreshing to see another women do what most people would think as the middle life crises. You see we live in a very small town in South Jersey. Close to Commodore Barry. My daughter had a really good job in Phila.Pa. Came home,said I quit and I joined the Navy. Me,Mom thinking WHAT?. Your (her) 31 years old,and would have a birthday during bootcamp.Can’t run because of being knocked kneed and been told you are flat footed,boobs that will smack your face trying to run.Well,guess what,she made it. She even out ran the kids in boot camp. (Shocked to say the least) but as any proud parent you are so happy and thrilled for them. Never know how much until those doors opened up at Graduation from bootcamp and they come marching in. It’s been 3years now and I still tear up over it.
    Also, what is funny she even went to Montclair for a while. She is a very strong and determine young women. But, anyhow Thank you for your services,And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year! A Navy Mom

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    1. Wow, Linda~ your daughter’s experience sounds like it mirrored my own! (Even down to my own mother’s tears at my boot camp graduation!) I was 25 years old when I entered boot camp in 1979 and felt the need to begin being accountable to someone other than my over-protective mother. Like your daughter I was told more than once to quit running up & down the stairs because I’d give myself two black-eyes ! LOL Indeed, my bras were Underwire DD’s and my boot camp Company Commanders had to come up with a way to fold them that would be acceptable to the “brass” during locker inspections! I never ran faster than everyone in my company but I passed all the physical qualifications to graduate. Practical & written exams were a piece of cake! My favorite day was always Sunday attending Naval Chapel. (Ask your daughter if they still sang, “# more Sundays” ~ a countdown song of Sundays remaining until graduation at the end of each service?) Everyone I ever met over the 11 years I served agreed when I would say, “Boot Camp was the most difficult & degrading experience of my life & I would never do it again, however; I learned so much about myself and am so very happy that I did it!” I loved the Navy & all the experiences I had serving strengthened me, my resolve & my faith. I was 31 when I met my husband & we married when I was 32. (He’s 5 years younger). I stayed until 1990 when I decided that an Honorable Discharge & raising a family as a civilian & Navy Wife would be preferable to advancing to the rank of E7/PNC (Chief Petty Officer). Besides, my husband was planning to stay in and retire when he hit his 20 year mark. Which he did in 1999, with over 21 years & the rank of ENCS.

      We lived in Clifton, NJ (my hometown) until 2010 when we relocated to Monroe Township. Since my husband was only 39 when he retired from the USN, he had to work at least another 23 years before he can collect Social Security. Poor man still has another 6 years to go! We have family in Mullica Hill, Absecon, Brigantine, Atlantic City & Galloway. I don’t know how close your town is to those I mentioned but regardless~ it IS a small world! So nice to touch base with another Jersey Girl!

      Tell your daughter that the Navy will give her a breast reduction if that is her wish. I waited until I was 40 and all hope of having children had been exhausted. WHAT A RELIEF having that surgery was! God Bless you and your entire family, Linda and I sincerely hope that you all have a Very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! GO NAVY!!!

      Dorian F. Howard

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