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Q: Please tell us a bit about your family members who have served or are serving in the military.


Donna: There are several members of my family who have served in the military. My husband’s grandfather was in the Coast Guard during World War II, my father in-law was in the Navy, and my brother in-law is still currently serving in the Navy. I was not a part of their family when my husband’s grandfather or father served, however, I am thankful for their service as I am for all military men and women who serve our country. My brother in-law Shaun joined the Navy shortly after high school and has made a 20+ year career out of it. He has risen through the ranks and is currently serving in Lithuania at the American Embassy.



Q: When a family member is deployed, it can be a difficult for those they leave behind. Describe some ways in which you support and encourage your loved ones when they are away from home.


Donna: It is difficult when Shaun is deployed because we miss him, of course, however it is most difficult for him and his children to be apart. When he is deployed, we stay in contact by messaging through different apps or text messages. Phone calls are a little more difficult due to time differences. Facebook is a great way to share pictures and life events with them and vice versa.



Q: What’s one thing you’ve learned from a family member’s military service experience?


Donna: I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned from Shaun and his service is the dedication that goes into that career path. Not only his dedication, but his wife Tracy’s as well, who is also a retired Navy veteran. Her support and commitment to him, their children, and the service is amazing. It takes a special individual to be able to uproot their life multiple times and immerse themselves in each new place they are stationed particularly when it’s in another country. 



Q: What’s the best thing about being part of a military family?


Donna: I think one of the best things about being part of a military family is the amount of pride you feel when you say someone you love is in the service. It certainly is for me.

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