Where They’re Stationed: Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va.
Her Military Connection: Husband Daniel is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and flies an F-18 Superhornet.
Number of Times She’s Moved for the Military: 3 (she’s prepping for move number 4!)
Her proudest moment as a military mom and wife: When my husband received his Wings of Gold in January 2007, (which happened once he completed the jet training syllabus and landed on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean). The syllabus is mentally draining and exhausting, and it was a difficult time for us because we also added a newborn to the family. So, I was ecstatic when they pinned those wings on him! It was the end of such an emotional ride.
How she keeps her family close during deployments: We do so much! The kids and I make and send homemade goodies: cookies, muffins, brownies, desserts, etc. (I even bought a hand-held vacuum sealer to help keep the food fresh.) We also Skype when Dan has a port call -- they only have a few of them so we take advantage of this every chance we get. He selects hotels that have free wifi just so we can Skype. Dan calls about once every 10 days. It can take hours of sitting by the phone on the ship to get a dial-tone so I’m grateful for even one phone call! We also send him a lot of cards, his favorite snacks, preschool art-projects and coloring pages, pictures, etc. He hangs all of our pictures and my son's artwork at the foot of his bunk.
How she talks to her kids about deployment: In the Navy, about eight months before a deployment, work-ups (mini-deployments that last anywhere from 10 days to six weeks) begin, and there are six or more total. So, the kids are used to him leaving, and each time, we tell them that Daddy is leaving on "the big ship" to go and fight bad guys. We also took the kids on the aircraft carrier and showed them him room, bed and the tarmack. When you do that six times, they totally understand what’s going on and what’s going to happen.