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 born 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 for 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 and 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 to 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 was 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!
I 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 military 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).
In 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 home 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~